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Report: App sales expected to hit $110 billion in 2018

App stores have seen unprecedented success over the last few years, but according to a new report, 2018 could be a breakthrough year, with sales expected to be in excess of $110 billion.

As a point of reference, the report, coming from app data and analytics service App Annie, said:

By the end of October 2017, the iOS App Store and Google Play had more than 2 million and more than 3.5 million apps available, respectively. Furthermore, new apps continue to be introduced at an exponential rate. During the month ending October 31, 2017, roughly 50,000 new apps launched on the iOS App Store and over 150,000 were added to Google Play.

The forecast shows that consumer spending will increase by more than 30% from this year. While games will continue to lead the way, non-gaming apps will continue to gain in popularity, with growth currently exceeding the rate of gaming apps.

Other factors pushing app growth will be the growing markets of China, Brazil, and India. China is the top market for consumer spending on the iOS store, while Brazil and India have emerged as spending leaders in paying for Android apps. The report sites that increased penetration of smartphones into areas that previously did not have them in those countries will be a big reason those countries will lead the way in their respective areas.

Also driving app sales will be revamps to the Google Play and Apple stores that should allow users to more easily find the type of apps they are looking for:

Curation and editorial content give Apple and Google a powerful platform to showcase newer and lesser-known apps from independent publishers. Since leisure time apps often monetize via in-app purchases (IAP), we expect that these improvements to app discovery will not only help boost IAP revenue overall, but also spread these gains across a broader group of publishers.

Augmented reality will be a big push as well, particularly with the planned release of Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The title should build on the huge mainstream popularity of Pokemon Go, and continue to drive developers to explore new AR content that users will want to try.

One area that will see some change is video streaming, which continues to be very popular. However, that popularity is driving more companies to explore the video streaming space. Instead of one or two streaming apps, users are expected to expand to four or more next year, as Netflix, Google, Apple, Facebook, Disney, and Snap are all expecting to build on their streaming library or start their own services.

Finally, the emergence of smart home devices, like Amazon Echo, have driven app downloads. The Alexa app, in particular, saw a huge jump in the number of downloads following the holidays in 2016, and again with the cheap Echo Dot during 2017 sales. The same trend can be expected for Google Home with the release of the Home Mini.

The report has plenty more on trends and what can be expected in app usage next year and beyond, so give it a read if app monetization interests you.

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