Why App Publishers May Need to Think Differently

[responsive]android-apple[/responsive]Do you publish an app for your business, brand or service? If so, “5 key app store trends” from Thea Selby is a must-read. Understanding the stats is critical to fine tuning your app publishing plans.

In a nutshell — think Android, think internationally, and think female.

“Google Play downloads have been greater than Apple’s for some time. The difference this year is that the rate of app downloads is also increasing, giving Android a distinct advantage for downloads,” Selby writes.

Google’s revenue share is increasing too, Selby notes.

“What this means is that while Apple is still getting 70% of the total app revenue (down from 85% just a few years ago) Google is becoming a player in app revenue as well. Part of the reason for that is Android’s profusion internationally. With China making up the #3 spot in most app revenue behind the United States and Japan, and the Chinese consumer being an Android consumer over Apple (although the Chinese market was a growth market for Apple in Q4 of 2014, helping lead to their beating revenue and profit projections).”

The U.S., Japan and South Korea offer the highest app revenue, but Western Europe and the so-called “BRIC” countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are converting at a much higher rate. Selby’s recommendation?

“Move to the BRIC countries if you have already reached out to Western Europe, Japan and South Korea. Their highest revenue growth of all groups portends higher conversion rates for your products.”

Another trend of note is that women are the primary downloaders for the majority of categories, so be aware of this in your outreach and marketing. While game apps still skew to the male user, social, photo and video apps are largely being downloaded by women.

Selby also reminds us that, as phones get bigger (and morph into “phablets”) we can expect iPad sales to continue to drop.

“If you launched purely for iPad, you were missing up to 30% of your sales simply by not showing up on the iPhone last year. In 2015, it’s more important still that you consider designing for smartphones and phablets not as an afterthought but as your primary sales driver,” Selby advises.

As the market is “nowhere near” saturation for app downloads, the key now is to more fully understand your specific audience and where they want to use what you offer. Make sure your app publishing strategy is fully informed by the facts.