India has become the world’s fastest-growing market for mobile applications on both the Apple ioS and Google’s Android Play Store, with a sharp spike in revenue in the first quarter of 2018. The country also leads in the most number of mobile apps download across both platforms according to app market data and insights company App Annie.
The thirst for content among Indian mobile phone users is fuelling rapid growth, with video streaming apps proving to be the most popular downloads. Three of the top ten apps downloaded in the country fall in this category unlike both China and the US where just one streaming app finds a place in the top 10.
“India is the fastest growing of any market, its Q1y-o-y growth was 41%,” said a representative for App Annie. Indonesia ranked second with revenue growth of 24%, while Albania came in third at 23%.
“India was the number one market globally by combined downloads on iOS and Google Play, ahead of the United States (2nd), and China (3rd, iOS only),” the App Annie spokesperson told ET.
The two most popular applications in India by revenue were content streaming service Netflix and dating app Tinder. Chinese apps UCBrowser, SHAREit and Hypstar, now called Vigo Video, rank in the top ten, based on combined downloads, as do three apps from the Facebook stable – social network Facebook, messaging app WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
According to data from the department of telecom, the average data usage per subscriber grew 25 times from 62 MB per month in 2014 to 1.6 GB per month in 2017.
To be sure, while the rate of revenue growth is rapid, the country ranked 29th in terms of absolute revenue generated from sale of mobile apps estimated at $47 million. Based on the combined iOS and Google Play revenue in Q1 2018, US stood first with a spend of $3.2 billion, Japan was second with $2.7 billion of revenue, while China was third at $2.4 billion (iOS only).
Sreedhar Prasad, partner and head consumer markets and internet business, at KMPG India said “Price of smartphones is coming down and the adoption is very high in India. The sub-Rs 10,000 market is really growing in India. So, the number of people using a phone and who are downloading apps are on a rise, which grows the base”.
India had an estimated 281 million daily Internet users in 2017, of which approximately 30% are women, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. 62% of all internet users are in urban areas, the report said.
“People are willing to pay for games and there is slowly a subscription culture coming to India,” said Prasad.
While video streaming apps — JioTV, AirtelTV and Hotstar — proved to be popular downloads, there are no gaming apps in the top 10 in India whereas China has two — Travel Frog and PUBG Mobile — and the US has one — PUBG Mobile, according to App Annie data.
The US data company had in its 2017 Retrospective Report put India behind China in number of downloads, but ahead of the US, as it also includes third party app store data in its annual retrospective ranking.
Globally, 2018 has emerged as the strongest quarter the app economy has ever seen, breaking records set in the last quarter of 2017, in terms of both consumer spend and downloads.
Shopping apps experienced a big year-over-year growth in market share of downloads in Q1 2018 across both stores.
Consumer spend on Google Play grew 25% in Q1 2018 year on-year, while iOS saw 20% year-on-year growth.