Mobile technology has become an essential part of our lives in recent years, with services like the App Store ensuring we have access to all manner of clever tools and software.
Now, new research has put a spotlight on just how massive that platform’s influence actually is, with it being found to have supported a vast amount of business across 2019 alone.
The App Store ecosystem
In the middle of June, Apple released the findings of a study completed by independent economists, which found that the App Store ecosystem helped to facilitate $519 billion of commerce globally last year.
The study found that the platform was thought to have had a role in $413 billion of commerce related to physical goods and services, while it may have helped to generate around $61 billion related to digital goods and services. In-app advertising was also thought to have created around $45 billion.
In addition, the research found that direct payments to developers from Apple were only a small amount of the total. Furthermore, as Apple only receives a commission on sales linked to digital goods, it is thought that more than 85 percent of the total commerce accrued to third-party developers and businesses.
Our app reliance
Such findings are perhaps clear evidence of just how reliant we are on many types of apps these days. We use them for so many activities, with them having a particular impact in terms of culture and entertainment.
Apps have become central to how we watch the latest TV shows and movies, with major services and brands like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video absolutely thriving in that space. Competition in the area is now hotting up as well, with HBO Max and Disney+ being examples of just two of the recent high-profile additions to that market. Streaming apps have become a popular way to listen to music, too, with Spotify stating that it had 130 million subscribers at the end of March 2020.
Gaming apps are also massive, with Apple’s research stating they were the most downloaded type of app in 2019. However, the study also found there is more to apps than just entertainment, with retail services found to account for $268 billion of physical goods and services sales linked to the App Store. Travel apps, ride-hailing apps, and food delivery apps were also found to generate a large number of sales.
But while the Apple research has put a spotlight on where things stand at the moment, it does perhaps also beg one question – which app types could see some growth across the coming months and years?
Fintech apps could well be an area to watch out for, as another study has suggested that they have been on the rise in recent years. In April, Mobile Marketer reported on research from AppsFlyer, which found that the app category was the fastest growing in the US in 2019, with it seeing 53 percent growth in the latter part of the year when compared to 2017.
Elsewhere, apps related to health and fitness have been increasingly popular and could be set for further growth, if another study is to be believed. Technavio released a report at the start of June, which suggested that the global fitness app market could grow by $1.68 billion between this year and 2024. The report added that such trends would equate to a compound annual growth rate of around 12 percent across the forecast period.
When all of that is considered, it is fair to say that apps have become an essential part of how we tackle so many jobs and activities in our lives.
The figures released by Apple are truly eye-opening and have gone some way towards emphasizing the important role that mobile software now plays. It will be fascinating to see whether apps continue to have such an impact in the months and years ahead.