Mobile App Usage Forecast: Consumers Will Spend More Time, Money In 2015

Brands must con­tin­ue inno­vat­ing if they want to ensure long-term loy­al­ty and rev­enues.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

App usage and rev­enues are grow­ing to record-break­ing lev­els on all the major mobile plat­forms. How­ev­er, research has revealed telling sen­ti­ments from con­sumers who are begin­ning to use and pur­chase cer­tain apps less, show­ing that brands need to ensure they aren’t annoy­ing con­sumers, and instead to deliv­er con­tin­ued inno­va­tion with app prod­ucts in order to win long-term loy­al­ty.

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant pieces of mar­ket­ing data to emerge in 2015 was that Apple’s App Store rev­enues rose a stun­ning 50 per­cent in 2014 alone, with end of year rev­enues top­ping $10 bil­lion (to put this fig­ure into con­text, total App Store earn­ings in the pre­vi­ous five years num­bered $15 bil­lion alto­geth­er). New Year’s Day 2015 inci­den­tal­ly, broke the record as the sin­gle biggest day ever in App Store sales his­to­ry.

Put sim­ply, the app mar­ket is boom­ing not just in pop­u­lar­i­ty, but in the num­ber of apps that are win­ning rev­enues.

The change is affect­ing mar­kets on both sides of the Atlantic: accord­ing to eMar­keter, More than 80 mil­lion con­sumers in the U.S. will pay for mobile apps at least once this year, rep­re­sent­ing 33.3 per­cent of all mobile users. In the UK, research by app devel­op­er Con­jure, sur­vey­ing 2,000 British adults on their app usage, habits, and per­cep­tions, has revealed valu­able insights on what con­sumers are expect­ing from the apps they are using.

Mobile App Revenues Key Stats

Mobile smart­phone and tablet usage is still grow­ing, accord­ing to eMar­keter:

  • 93 per­cent, or 80.1 mil­lion U.S. smart­phone users, and 90 per­cent of tablet users will down­load and install at least one app this year.
  • 35.8 per­cent of all U.S. smart­phone users will pur­chase apps in 2015, a fig­ure which totals 65.2 mil­lion peo­ple.
  • 44 per­cent of U.S. tablet users, 60.9 mil­lion peo­ple, will pur­chase apps in 2015.

Con­jure’s sur­vey, which account­ed for the entire­ty of the UK pop­u­la­tion, revealed that:

  • The aver­age Brit spent 24 per­cent more on brand­ed apps in the 12 months pre­ced­ing Novem­ber 2014, amount­ing to a total aver­age spend of of £89 annu­al­ly, ris­ing from the £72.30 they spent in the pre­vi­ous year.
  • iOS users once again pro­vide to be the biggest spenders. Con­sumers who only used iOS had high­er over­all spend­ing, at £89.36 annu­al­ly.
  • Con­sumers who only used Android spent £62.80 annu­al­ly – a dif­fer­ence of £26.56.
  • Devel­op­ers, how­ev­er, would be wise to work on apps for the Android plat­form, with the sur­vey reveal­ing the OS to be the dom­i­nant plat­form, with 49.6 per­cent of the over­all mobile OS UK mar­ket share.
  • iOS still had a healthy mar­ket share of 38 per­cent, while Win­dows Phone showed healthy gains with 15 per­cent of the over­all mar­ket share.

Smart­phone and tablet down­load stats:

  • In 2014, UK con­sumers down­loaded an aver­age of 5.5 apps, slight­ly less than 2013’s 5.85 apps, indi­cat­ing a mar­ket that is start­ing to focus on improve­ment rather than growth.
  • Tablet pen­e­tra­tion in the UK has con­tin­ued strong­ly, with 61 per­cent of the UK pop­u­la­tion now own­ing a tablet.
  • 10.3 per­cent of UK con­sumers now own a smart­watch.
  • For Lon­don­ers that fig­ure was much high­er at 17.8 per­cent. (this fig­ure will prob­a­bly be much high­er with the release of Apple Watch).

What Do Consumers Expect From Branded Apps?

Approx­i­mate­ly 1 in 4 con­sumers spent more time using brand­ed apps on their devices in the 2014:


Image Cred­it: Con­jure

Just 11 per­cent of con­sumers spent less time on their devices using brand­ed apps, and over­all this is a pos­i­tive sig­nal, show­ing brands are improv­ing in their abil­i­ty to keep con­sumers engaged via apps.

Brands would do well to heed the feed­back of dis­sat­is­fied con­sumers, those who were spend­ing less time on brand­ed apps:

  • 19 per­cent of dis­sat­is­fied con­sumers cit­ed repet­i­tive or irrel­e­vant push noti­fi­ca­tions as one of the pri­ma­ry rea­sons why they were using an app less.
  • 11 per­cent of dis­sat­is­fied con­sumers find apps less excit­ing, inter­est­ing, and inno­v­a­tive.


Image Cred­it: Con­jure

Innovation And Revenues

One area that has seen been devel­op­ing in recent years has been in the paid/freemium mod­els, as a means of mon­e­tiz­ing app down­loads.

Many devel­op­ers have test­ed the paid down­load mod­el against the var­i­ous iter­a­tions of the free model—namely in-app pur­chas­es, sub­scrip­tions and in-app advertising—and on the whole, they’ve found the lat­ter approach to be more lucra­tive,” eMar­keter report­ed.

It shows that app devel­op­ers must con­tin­ue to evolve their prod­uct to adapt to chang­ing con­sumer sen­ti­ments.

With the app mar­kets like­ly to con­tin­ue their mon­u­men­tal rev­enue growth in 2015, these sig­nals from users being turned of app usage should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed. Brands need to con­tin­ue to improve and inno­vate in the app space to engen­der long term cus­tomer loy­al­ty and engage­ment. After all, inno­va­tion is the ingre­di­ent that has been key to the mete­oric growth in the app space.

Brands still need to think about how they can take advan­tage of the wide range of instru­ments stuffed into the mod­ern smart­phone to wow their users,” accord­ing to Con­jure’s report.

You can down­load Con­jure’s full Apps and Brands Bench­mark Report 2015 here.

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Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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