But only a few app publishers will benefit. (Revised blog post)
Android Market is the fastest growing app store today, although it had a slow start when it was launched. In December 2010 it finally overtook the Apple App Store in terms of new application uploads.
29,000 new mobile apps submitted in April
Currently it shows growth rates more than twice as high as Apple’s App Store. In April Android added 29,000 new apps, whereas Apple lagged behind with 23,500 apps. Each market leader adds more apps to his store every month than other platforms have in total.
At the end of April 2011 the Android Market had already featured an impressive number of apps, 200,000. 64% of these apps are free, which is above average for one of the major app stores.
64% free apps
The “free” culture of the Android Market has been one of the main characteristics of the Android ecosystem since its launch. Over the last few months there has been a tendency for publishers to try to shift the balance by submitting more paid apps. In April, the share of free apps submitted to the store slightly decreased to 60%.
This trend towards paid business models is underlined by an increase in the average selling price of 2% over the last month to reach $3.23 in April.
Highest app growth rates
The Android Market is clearly the most dynamic app market today with the highest growth rates in terms of app numbers, but this does not necessarily mean that the chance for an average developer to generate revenue on that platform has grown as well. On the contrary, the success of an app store is negatively correlated to the success of an average developer.
All analysis on the early months of an app store including the Android Market shows that average download numbers decrease dramatically after the first months or even weeks after the launch of the store. The long tail gets longer and longer while the top 5% gets richer and richer.
Promoting apps becomes more difficult
There are still niches in the Android Market, but it is becoming more and more difficult to find them. A “go niche” strategy will become critical for all publishers who don’t have the marketing muscles to promote their apps with e.g. in–app advertisement campaigns or by leveraging existing marketing channels. “Go niche” could mean for the Android Market:
- Go niche category: Don’t submit your app to a category with hundreds of new adds per week
- Use niche promotion: Make use of specialized Android sub market places which allow direct sponsoring possibilities within the store
- Go niche independent stores: Make use of independent app stores to increased reach and to place your app in a less numerically competitive environment
- Localize: Concentrate on a specific country with the service the app is offering
- Be the first to know: Changes in the market will create new opportunities for those who are aware of them, and can make the most of them before competition jumps on the bandwagon.
What are your strategies in a highly competitive and dynamic Android app market?
Free Android Insight report
From April onwards we invite you to stay updated on the key developments on the Android Market with our free monthly Android Insight report research2guidance Android Market Insights, powered by AndroidPIT.
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