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The App Superstar Economy Dissecting the Global App Store Marketplace

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 Foot View

Accelerating smartphone and tablet adoption around the world is supercharging an already buoyant app store economy.  A combination of Apple’s tightly integrated ecosystem and Google’s aggressive marketing strategy are is helping propel apps further into consumers’ consciousness.  However the market is not built on entirely firm foundations, with the dominance of games and the concentration of revenues in a small number of companies raising questions about longer term sustainability.

Key Findings

  • The mobile app marketplace is a superstar economy, with        app companies accounting for        of the        top app placings, while just        companies account for all       
  • The Tyranny of Choice and the lack of effective discovery skew the app marketplace towards super hits for a small number of companies
  • The app economy is also predominately a games economy, with games titles accounting for        the top        of the top app companies are from North America while        are from the European Union (EU), with Sweden and Finland accounting for        of the EU total
  • App stores provide international access to US consumers but most EU companies have not yet tapped the opportunity: Nordic companies account for        of the top EU apps in North American stores
  • The US, Sweden and Japan are the three most successful app company countries, accounting for        of all top apps
  • Music packs a weak app punch: only        music apps register in the top        and global music app store revenues only amount to        million, a little over        of total app store revenues
  • Utility, Production and Instrument apps are the most successful music apps
  •        consumers use apps to download music for free, rising to        of        to        year olds, and        in Brazil

Companies mentioned in this report : Apple, Google, Rovio, Kiloo, Supercell, Mojang, SMULE, Spotify, Lady Gaga, Bjork, PocketTube, Instatube, mTube, Berliner Phillharmoniker

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