App revenue to reach nearly £70 billion annually by 2019

By 2019, mobile apps will earn their creators £67 billion every year, new research has shown.

A study carried out by Juniper, called Apps & App Stores: Market Trends & Forecasts 2015-2019’, found that games are still the biggest money-maker in the mobile apps business, and will continue to do so for the next five years.

However, there are other sets of apps breathing down the necks of games makers – lifestyle apps.

Online dating has been mainstream for quite some time now, and dating sites like Tinder, Match.com, Zoosk and Plenty of Fish are now in the top 20 grossing UK iOS apps in early-2015.

The report argued that with online dating now mainstream, most net growth in the sector is likely to occur via smartphone usage.

Meanwhile, the research observed that navigation apps continued to buck the trend towards freemium and use a PPD (Pay Per Download) model, with many apps charging a high ($50 plus) one-off price. However, it argued that even here the model was expected to transition to a subscription-based model, with features including live traffic updates allowing for ongoing revenue streams.

The research also confirmed that network operators can’t compete with the likes of Google and Apple in terms of content distribution.

While a few network operators still maintained app storefronts, these now accounted for less than two per cent of app downloads worldwide.

"Operators have finally recognised that they cannot compete with Apple and Google from a content distribution basis. If they are to monetise content, that revenue has to come from bundling content into subscriptions or through leveraging the billing relationship,” said research author Dr Windsor Holden.