Mobile games dominate app store downloads

October 31, 2013 7:46 am

Report reveals emerging markets account for two per cent of worldwide revenue

Mobile games account for 36 per cent of all app store downloads and generate 71 per cent of total revenue globally, while emerging markets are still gaining traction, according to a joint report by Distimo and MEF. It provides an analysis of app download volumes and revenues by category in established markets, such as the US and Europe. It also turns the spotlight on growth markets, such as South Korea, Brazil and South Africa, indexing consumer preferences and buying behaviours. The full report is available to MEF members and all attendees of its inaugural two-day conference, the MEF Global Forum 2013.

According to the study, the Apple App Store now accounts for 65 per cent of total revenues globally, with Google Play gaining ground rapidly in the past six months, with 35 per cent of market share. Much of this revenue development is due to the success of games monetisation across several countries, accounting for 71 per cent of total revenues.

While established markets continue to dominate, the report also identifies the current limited impact of the Apple App Store and Google Play on growth markets, with the largest of the emerging markets analysed – Brazil – still sitting outside the top ten countries rankings, with only 1.18 per cent of total revenue generated by both app stores.

While the study does not factor in numbers for the Middle East region, other sources show an increasing appetite for app downloads in the region. According to Wamda, Lebanon has the highest rate of mobile app downloads, with 70 per cent of internet users downloading at least one app, while 40 per cent download news and feeds. Egypt and Jordan are tied with regards to the lowest rates of mobile app usage, at 49 per cent.

Growth markets account for only a small percentage of the total value of all of the revenue generated by Google Play and the Apple App Store in the top 40 countries listed in the report.  This reflects the dominance of mobile operator-led mobile content.  However, these markets are growing and represent a major opportunity for the app industry.

Rimma Perelmuter, CEO at MEF, says: “The global mobile ecosystem continues to expand into new markets and vertical sectors. Understanding the prevailing business models and regional variances that underpin this growth is essential to helping mobile businesses identify new opportunities across growth markets. MEF will address these trends in San Francisco next month at the MEF Global Forum, where we will gather and engage the industry’s foremost thought leaders.”