The reporting on this topic made me think of an imagined Yogi Berra quote: “Nobody downloadsapps anymore, it’s too crowded.”
Let’s start with the facts. The real numbers are amazing — we are in an unprecedented era of growth when it comes to revenue from apps. Revenue is hard to manipulate because it ties back to financial filings by Google and Apple and needs to be audited.
Source: App Annie
In truth, the newer apps like Uber, Airbnb and Snapchat are all growing fast, while, expectedly, most top apps that have been there for a while and have saturated the users, like Facebook, are not growing any more.
To use this data to point to the end of an app boom is somewhat misleading.
Never has it been a better time for apps
There has never been a better time to be an apps developer. Billions of users have access to cheap new smartphones, data plans are becoming available globally and the app store owners like Apple and Google are being more generous than ever.
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Apple is supporting lower fees on subscription revenue — going from 30 percent to 15 percent in year two onwards.
As a SaaS guy, let me tell you this is an amazingly insightful decision by Apple — if most developers can be nudged to think subscriptions, in turn making consumers pay more per month, you end up with a very long-term, sticky revenue base. Even more importantly, this revenue is cheaper and results in a virtual lock-in as consumers with more subscriptions are much less likely to switch ecosystems.