The App Superstar Economy: Dissecting the Global App Store Marketplace

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 (Data Points Are Removed From This Preview Summary)

  • The mobile app marketplace is a superstar economy, with 50 app companies accounting for X% of the 700 top app placings, while just X companies account for all 700
  • 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 X% of the top apps
  • X% of the top app companies are from North America while X% are from the European Union (EU), with Sweden and Finland accounting for X% 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 X% of the top EU apps in North American stores
  • The US, Sweden and Japan are the three most successful app company countries, accounting for X% of all top apps
  • Music packs a weak app punch: only 2 music apps register in the top 50 and global music app store revenues only amount to $X million, a little over X% of total app store revenues
  • Utility, Production and Instrument apps are the most successful music apps

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

Price includes excel dataset