You know how some numbers are so ludicrously big that they’re pretty much inconceivable to our insignificant brains? Well this story has one of them numbers in it. It’s pretty big.
A catchily-named report from IDC, titled ‘Worldwide and U.S. Mobile Applications, Storefronts, Developer, and In-App Advertising 2011-2015 Forecast: Emergence of Postdownload Business Models’, predicts 183 billion annual mobile app downloads by 2015.
To give that figure some context, a paltry 10.7 billion apps were downloaded in 2010. Pfft. That’s only an average of 1.7 apps for every single person on the planet. (Note: facetiousness)
Presently, monetisation occurs primarily from initial app purchases, like when you go to the App Store or Android Market or whatever and buy an app. However, the shift is expected to swing to in-app purchases over the next few years.
The “freemium” model is increasingly popular in mobile gaming. Zynga, the developer behind FarmVille, is one of the biggest pioneers of the tactic, whereby the game is given away for nowt, with muchos content available to purchase within the game.
"App developers are not only focusing on ways to 'appify' just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds, they are now focusing on longer term sustainability issues," explains Scott Ellison, author of the 22-page report.
"The user sustainability trifecta of social networking, location, and the cloud are now increasingly being supported by the business model financial trifecta of application store purchases, in-app purchasing, and in-app advertising."
If you fancy reading ‘Worldwide and U.S. Mobile Applications, Storefronts, Developer, and In-App Advertising 2011-2015 Forecast: Emergence of Postdownload Business Models’ in its 22-page entirety, it’ll set you back a cool $4,500.