When App Annie announced the launch of Forecast Intelligence last week, we discussed the shifts in revenue among mature and emerging economies that will nearly double the mobile app market from $52 billion in 2016 to $102 billion in 2020. We also highlighted a few markets that will experience exceptional growth during the forecast period.
Our mission at App Annie is to help companies build better app businesses. App Annie Forecast Intelligence was built in response to pain points customers have expressed across a range of business scenarios. Some of these include:
- Product Launches. Launching an app can raise many questions in terms of determining the addressable market. Forecast Intelligence — which is grounded in Store Intelligence used by our clients today in part to determine current market size — helps app publishers understand which market segments offer them the most opportunity for new apps in the coming quarters and years.
- Performance Goals. Once an app is launched, publishers must set targets. By analyzing projected market and category growth, marketing, sales and finance can set better performance targets. With our forecast, publishers can set benchmarks against a category as a whole to plan for their app’s future downloads and revenue.
- International Expansion. Launching and supporting an app around the globe can be an expensive proposition when it comes to potential localization needs. Given that, it’s critical to choose target countries wisely. By leveraging our country-level forecasts and categories, product managers can optimize their roadmap for global reach.
- Portfolio Management. Forecast Intelligence delivers value to developers that have multiple apps, such as game developers looking to expand their portfolio into new genres. By including projections for major subcategories, an app publisher can evaluate an opportunity in an adjacent category.
These scenarios rely on a keen understanding of local markets and app store performance. But to see a more complete picture of market opportunity, publishers and investors need to understand the prospects of the categories in which their apps participate.
There are several challenges in gauging that progress today. The two most prominent global app stores use different sets of categories and subcategories. And beyond the iOS App Store and Google Play, app publishers and investors must consider third-party Android stores from Amazon to more than 100 Chinese stores and also other platforms such as Windows 10. As we all know, the categories used across these app stores varies.
The top-level categories of Google Play (left) and iOS App Store (right) vary.
As App Annie approached the development of our forecast model, we confronted the issue of which apps to include in which categories. The Starbucks app provides an example of how the same app can appear in different categories in different stores. In the iOS App Store, it’s in Food and Drink but on the Google Play Store, it’s listed in the Lifestyle category. Uber is listed under Travel in the iOS App store. But while Google Play has a Travel & Local category, Uber is listed in Transportation there.
In addition to assessing growth by native app store-defined categories, we tapped into App Annie’s unique combination of big data, industry expertise and market information to develop a proprietary model and category landscape that reflects demand-side perceptions of apps consistently across stores and countries. Forecast Intelligence clients can view forecast data at the sub-category and country level, by App Annie’s cross-store categories or by native app store categories.
Whether clients evaluate market opportunities within our holistic categorization view or within native store classifications, App Annie Forecast Intelligence will serve as an invaluable planning tool to maximize near-term and long-term success of publishers and investors across the globe.
To learn more about Forecast Intelligence and the many ways your company can leverage these insights, contact your App Annie account manager or request a demo.