Attention App Developers, things are not getting any easier for you in terms of monetizing your creations. As though it weren’t hard enough already, an analysis by Gartner predicts that through to 2018 less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers. A few major reasons, among others, are cited for this prediction:
- Crowded playing field
- Reliance on app recommendation
- Stiff competition
Both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android stores now each have more than one million apps available. How many apps do you get to scroll through in a day? In Zambia with limited access to wireless internet, one also has to consider the amount of data they are willing to sacrifice in order to browse through the app stores. Therefore, it is no surprise that people have become power-users in the sense of downloading apps. Gartner notes in its forecast that app users are increasingly turning to recommendation engines, friends, social networking or advertising for app discovery, rather than sorting through the thousands of mobile apps available.
On the other hand, freemium app business models which rely on monetizing a free download after the fact via in-app purchases (IAP) will continue to grow in importance for developers. App advertising is also expected to grow. Digest this – when it comes to pay-to-download applications, only 90% of paid apps are being downloaded less than 500 times per day in the whole world— and making less than $1,250 per day. “This is only going to get worse in the future when there will be even greater competition, especially in successful markets,” says Gartner’s Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst, in a statement.
So far, a challenge that has been identified in relation to the techies in Zambia, is their failure to monetize their ideas. Therefore, what does all this mean for them? Just yesterday, I was trying to download the swype keyboard from the Google PlayStore but the only free version was only available for a 30 day trial after which I needed to buy it at US$3.99. No thanks, I’d rather stick to my default keyboard than shell out over K20 which is worth 50MB of data! Thus, I’m sorry Nuance Communications Inc. but I will not be adding any revenue to your stocks this time.
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