In-App Purchase Revenues Projected to Reach $36B According to Latest Report by Gartner

We love hearing good news about the In-App Purchase market growing bigger so we were very excited to hear about the new research from Gartner .
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of company, Gartner is a research firm that tries to predict how different markets will preform over the next year. Their projections usually come true and many companies and financial institutes really on their reports for making big decisions.
The last year was a pivotal one in terms of the mobile app market. This year In-App Purchase not only proved to be a viable model but actually proved to be the fastest growing area in the mobile industry. Gartner’s report is the first one to reflect that change so it’s interesting to see what they came up with.
Here are some interesting predictions made by the report:
  • The number of app downloads in 2013 will reach 102 Billion
  • 90% of the downloads will be for free apps.
  • By 2017 Gartner expect the annual app downloads number to reach 268 Billion
  • The expected revenue generated by mobile apps in 2017 is expected to be $77 Billion
  • Out of that total revenue, In-App Purchase revenues are expected to be 48% or $36 Billion
  • The advertising revenues in mobile apps are expected to grow drastically from $1.85 Billions in 2013 to over $10 Billions in 2017
We put the numbers on a chart to illustrate how big the growth in this market is:
App Market Growth
You might also find the detailed revenue numbers useful. Here are the figures projected by Gartner for the next few years:
a table of in app purchase sales and revenue
The report also provides detailed app download forecast in the table below:
Table 1. Mobile App Store Downloads, Worldwide, 2010-2016 (Millions of Downloads)
2012
2013
2014
2014
2016
2017
Free Downloads
57,331
82,876
127,704
167,054
211,313
253,914
Paid-for Downloads
6,654
9,186
11,105
12,574
13,488
14,778
Total Downloads
63,985
102,062
138,809
179,628
224,801
268,692
Free Downloads %
89.6
91.0
92.0
93.0
94.0
94.5
Source: Gartner (September 2013)
As expected, free apps will continue to dominate the market in the next years. If you are considering making a mobile game these days, what the growth in the numbers should tell you is that you still have a very good shot of making it. Markets that are growing quickly present more opportunities for small players and challenges for the bigger ones. The trick is to look for the sections that grow really quickly and try to innovate within them. Let’s see which section is growing at the quickest rates in the chart below.
App Market Growth worlwide, in millions of dollars
The obvious response is that the place to be these days is a free app with In-App Purchases. If you are making an app like that, you are in the right place. SOOMLA has many other resources for free to play design, In-App Purchase coding examples and more. Feel free to explore and let us know what else you need.
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