From social media sharing to personalized push notification, 2017 saw a flurry of activity as media companies focused their attention and investment on making changes and improvements to their mobile app presence. This is aimed at extending the life span of their app or increasing user engagement. It’s a smart strategy, but it falls short in today’s hyper-competitive app economy in which the sheer volume of apps coming online every month can make any app marketer anxious. A raft of recent market reports and forecasts from app market data provider App Annie puts this growth into perspective. The app economy will be worth a whopping $6.3 trillion by 2021.
Think about it. The app economy is on track to grow to the size of a nation state. App marketers who are determined to acquire and retain users in this crowded and competitive marketplace have a choice: They can either come up with more ways to compete for users’ attention, or they can pursue a Blue Ocean strategy to target markets where opportunity is untapped and the market is uncontested. The latter—which borrows from the business book of the same title from two INSEAD professors—gets my vote. Embracing this mindset allows app marketers to prepare for an inevitable future.
Currently, the app marketplace is dominated by a duopoly, but it won’t always be that way. App Annie data shows that downloads from the combination of Google Play and third-party Android stores will eclipse Apple iOS in 2017. Downloads in 2017 for Google Play and third-party Android stores are set to reach 114 billion and 70 billion respectively. This translates into $21 billion in revenues for Google Play, with alternative app stores a close second at $20 billion.