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App Developers, Publishers Move to the Next Level

In-app advertising monetization models become even more popular

February 9, 2015

Mobile app penetration is high in the US. Nearly 93% of US smartphone users and over 90% of tablet users will install at least one mobile app on such devices this year, eMarketer estimates. Based on data released in January 2015 by Localytics, smartphone and tablet users aren’t just installing apps—they’re actually using them, too.

Average Monthly Opens for Mobile Apps Worldwide, Jan 2012-Dec 2014 (launches per month)

The closed-loop app analytics and marketing platform reported that “apps are becoming a larger part of everyday life.” The average number of monthly app launches each month in 2014 was 10, compared with seven times each month in early 2012.

Localytics pointed to targeting push notifications via apps as one reason for the increase in usage, and also noted that app publishers were making changes in response to consumers’ needs. Indeed, November 2014 polling by Millennial Media identified a couple shifts among mobile app developers and publishers as they looked toward the future.

Mobile App Monetization Models Used by Mobile App Developers/Publishers Worldwide, Nov 2013 & Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

For one, mobile app developers and publishers worldwide were changing mobile app monetization models. In-app advertising models grew in popularity between November 2013 and November 2014, from 73% to 82% of respondents. Meanwhile, developers and publishers had decreased usage of paid app downloads—a good thing considering US mobile users aren’t fans of paid-for apps. Instead, respondents were increasing their focus on a monetization model that focused on in-app purchases post-download.

Current and Planned* Mobile Platforms for New Apps According to Mobile App Developers/Publishers Worldwide, Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

Mobile app developers and publishers are also looking to expand their reach across operating systems and platforms. While Android remained the most-used platform, iOS was expected to see a big jump in app development. Two-thirds of developers and publishers planned to create new apps for the platform in 2015, compared with 43% who used it at the time of polling. Respondents also intended to use Windows and the mobile web more for new apps. BlackBerry was the only mobile platform studied that wouldn’t see a change in usage.

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