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App Annie is out with a forecast suggesting that consumer spend on apps will reach $139 billion in revenue by 2021 “as maturing markets see strong growth in gross app store spend per device and increases in in-app subscriptions.”

The news comes from App Annie, one of the most trusted mobile app data and insights companies, which just released its second annual ‘App Store Forecast Report.’ The report contains projections for global app store growth for the next five years.

Much of that growth will come from the five largest mature markets: the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. These countries are expected to account for 85 percent of global consumer spend in 2021.

Emerging markets, particularly India, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia, are projected to fuel downloads in mobile app stores. Global downloads across all mobile app stores are forecasted to increase 20 percent annually, reaching 352 billion in 2021.

“Apps are transforming the way consumers interact with products, services, content and brands, across verticals globally,” said Danielle Levitas, SVP of Research at App Annie. “Apps are creating an intimate, highly-personalized environment for brands to engage with users. Consumers are already spending twice as much time in apps than they did two years ago.”

Key highlights of the report include:

  • The app economy is increasingly global. App adoption of each region depends on three factors: varying consumer behaviors, cultural sensitivities and preferences, and most importantly, where the respective market sits within the App Annie App Market Maturity Model.
  • Emerging markets are expected to see a boom in downloads as nearly 3 billion more consumers are introduced to apps over the next 5 years.
  • The APAC region is projected to remain a global leader in the app space, leading by both downloads and revenue. Of the APAC markets, China is predicted to lead in both app store downloads and consumer spend. India is expected to emerge as a strong driver for downloads through 2021.
  • All Android stores combined lead in revenue by year end 2017; iOS to remain the single-most lucrative store through 2021.

“For 2017, consumer spend in Android stores is forecasted to surpass the App Store,” reports App Annie in its review of the report. “This is driven by increasing global app installs in Google Play and third-party Android stores. However, over the next five years, Apple’s comparatively affluent customer base is expected to continue to spend more revenue per device.”

App Annie’s full Forecast Report can be accessed here.

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