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UK app revenues soar

News, 19 February 2015

LONDON: App revenues are growing around six times as fast as downloads in the UK, as consumers with smartphones seek news and entertainment while on the move.

The Financial Times reported research commissioned from App Annie, the app measurement specialist, which showed the number of downloads had risen 5% during 2014, but the revenues being generated were up 30%.

While games are the most popular app, more and more people are using media apps for reading newspapers, watching TV or listening to music.

For example, among the top ten non-gaming apps, by revenue, were three broadsheet newspapers: the Guardian, Times and Telegraph.

The FT has also recently noted a rise in news industry apps that are introducing new ways to pay for content, whether buying individual articles or a single subscription for a number of magazines.

"Media apps do particularly well in the UK as well as apps that help stream video, TV and music," said Olivier Bernard, European vice-president of App Annie. "But there are starting to be more retailers using apps well, such as Just Eat, Tesco and Adidas."

Figures from another app research business, VisionMobile, suggest that the UK app economy could be worth as much as £31bn by 2025.

The market is "still near the beginning in terms of how mobile computing will change things", according to Mark Wilcox, senior analyst at VisionMobile.

"There's phenomenal growth still to come for the app economy," he said, noting that the long-term presence of the research and development centres of major smartphone manufacturers had produced a depth of mobile experience in the talent pool.

This view stands in contrast to a report from Deloitte last summer which stated that the UK app market had reached saturation level, as fewer people were downloading apps.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff