In this edition of Mobile Monday, we are exploring good news for both mobile publishers and users. First, in-app spending surged over the holidays as users setup new phones and cashed in on app store gift cards. Second, the user experience on Android is about to become a bit more reliable & consistent.
In-App Spending Surges
While some retailers were still assessing mixed holiday shopping results, app developers were celebrating a much more joyous holiday season. According to data from Sensor Tower, “worldwide consumer spending on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps grew 12.3 percent” over 2016 numbers for Christmas day.
In one day alone, in-app spending reached nearly $200 million, growing to $196 million from 2016’s still impressive $174 million. While much of the revenue was driven by games, much of the growth was driven by non-gaming apps, as shown below:
It is worth noting that these figures do not include any spending in retail apps. It purely illustrates the growth of in-app purchases on the App Store and Google Play for digital goods and services, from in-app items to subscriptions & premium downloads. Sensor Tower projects that in-app spending will continue to be elevated throughout January as users continue to use gift cards they received over the holidays.
Of course, once those gift cards are consumed, publishers can also expect that some users — having acquired a taste for the premium offerings within these apps — will continue to make in-app purchases over and above what they had prior to receiving a gift card.
New Requirements on Google Play
Historically, submitting an app to Google Play has been an easier process than submitting to Apple’s App Store. The requirements were less stringent, allowing developers to get by with apps created for much earlier Android versions. However, a recent announcement is changing this.
In short, Google will start “setting a minimum API level that new and updated apps will be required to use,” a change that will have interesting ramifications. First, old code will no longer get approved, a change that will be most felt by indie publishers whose development resources are more limited.
Albeit an annoying change for some developers, what’s more important is the positive impact it will have on the user experience. While API updates typically offer a host of performance improvements, adoption has historically been slow. Indeed, according to Ars Technica, the majority of apps are often running on APIs that are a year old or more.
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Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday? Tweet it to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.
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