APPNATION State of the App Economy Report Forecasts App Economy to Reach $151B by 2017


In July of 2013, APPNATION announced the launch of a new research arm, APPNATION Research. APPNATION Research will regularly deliver primary, secondary and custom research to the broader marketplace.

Our first report, The State of the App Economy (July 2013), produced in partnership with Reticle Research and Paradigm Sample with contributions from analyst Billy Pidgeon, provides a robust look at today’s app economy, providing marketers, publishers and their partners with the current and longer-term forecasts and rich, timely consumer insights they need to take action today and strategically prepare for the future.

The report analyzed the state of the app economy and includes current and market sizing forecasts through 2017 for key app economy sectors including the overall US app economy, in-app advertising, app-enabled commerce, app downloads, virtual goods, and  digital downloads. 

The report also includes fresh, timely “connected consumer” behavioral and consumption data and insights based on a proprietary survey fielded to 2,500 online U.S. consumers. It also analyzes aggregated data from two key partners including a section on app usage based on data from mobile analytics company Flurry and a global appstore snapshot with data and insights from Distimo, a global analytics firm. It spans strategic and tactical concerns taking a comprehensive look at both detailed demographic breakdowns of app usage by age range across a range of 15 different genres, as well as ownership of and interest in acquiring emerging platforms.

Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research and co-author of the report, notes that “smartphones and tablets are driving the app economy today, but emerging platforms such as connected cars and smart TVs are providing new opportunities as well as raising thorny questions regarding how they will interface with apps consumers already have. For example, nearly 11 percent of U.S. consumers now have a vehicle that can support apps on a center console and three times as many consumers plan to purchase app-enabled TVs versus non-app-enabled TVs in the next six months.”

APPNATION’s State of The App Economy Report will be produced every six months with our follow-up report scheduled for release in early December during APPNATION V, the next national conference of APPNATION. We are confident this report will provide great value to you, your organization, and your colleagues as the broader app and mobile revolutions continue to transform industries of all shapes and sizes.


Our inaugural State of the App Economy Report (to be released semi-annually) includes a range of in-depth data, analysis, and insights about the exploding US app economy including market sizing and projections through 2017 for all key sectors of the US app economy, fresh “connected consumer” behavioral, consumption, and purchase intent data and insights, and added insights and findings courtesy of our partners at Flurry and Distimo, two of the leading mobile/app analytics firms in the industry.  The full table-of-contents is below.


  • From 2013-2017, the app economy will double from $72B USD to $151B USD
  • Email, web browsers, and social networks lead in usage frequency
  • By far, the largest contributor to this number will be app-enabled commerce, supplemented by forecasted revenue from downloads, in-advertising and virtual goods



I. The State of The App Economy: Market Sizing And Projections


  • US in In-App Advertising
  • US in In-App / App-Enabled Commerce
  • Total Value of App Downloads (US)
  • Total Value of Virtual Goods (US)
  • Total Value of Digital Downloads (US)

GLOBAL APP ECONOMY: The US, China, and The Rest

II. Global Perspectives: Free vs Paid App Downloads

  • Google Play vs Apple App Store: Free vs Paid App Downloads
  • Apple App Store Snapshot
  • Google Play Snapshot 

III. Appnation Connected Consumer Behavioral Insights And Usage Rankings

  • SECTION IIIA: Device Ownership & Intent
  • Device Ownership by Gender
  • Expanding Ecosystems
  • SECTION IIIB: App Discovery
  • App Discovery Methods
  • SECTION IIIC: App Usage
  • App Usage
  • Entertainment App Usage by Age Range
  • Information and Communication App Usage by Age Range
  • Commerce Apps
  • SECTION IIID: Cloud Service Usage
  • Cloud Service Usage Differences
  • SECTION IIIE: Smart TV Features 

IV. APPNATION / Flurry Deep-Dive: The App Consumer

  • Overall App vs Mobile Web Consumption
  • Apps Used Per Day (All US Smartphone Users)




Drew Ianni, Founder & CEO, Appnation
Drew Ianni founded APPNATION in April 2011 and and serves as Event Chairman and CEO. Previously, he served as the Programming Chairman, Senior Global Analyst, Event Master of Ceremonies, and Chairman of North America/Asia/Australasia at Ad:tech Expositions, LLC. He has acquired over 15 years of agency, analyst and management experience in the digital advertising, media and marketing industries. Ianni served as President and CEO of atmosphere.BBDO where he worked with clients such as Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Wireless), Wrigley, General Electric, Visa, Frito Lay, and others and served on the Board of Directors of BBDO North America. Prior to BBDO, he worked as a sell-side equity research analyst (interactive services) at Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC, a prominent boutique investment bank. He found his way to Wall Street from a position at Jupiter Communications (now a unit of Forrester Research) in New York, where he served as an online advertising analyst and then regional research director for the Asia Pacific region. Drew began his interactive career in 1995 as an Account Manager at CKS Partners, a pioneering, Silicon-Valley based interactive agency.

ross rubin

Ross Rubin, Principal Analyst, Reticle Research
Ross has more than 16 years of experience analyzing consumer technologies. Prior to founding Reticle Research, he was executive director and principal analyst at The NPD Group, where he provided analysis on a wide range of technology topics to clients and helped to launch several research products. Prior to NPD, Ross founded and developed the consumer access and technology service at Jupiter Research, where he served as vice president and chief research fellow. Ross shares commentary on the industry at Techspressive. He is also a senior columnist for Engadget, where he has written the Switched On column since October 2004, and has contributes columns to TechCrunch, CNET, and Ross has appeared on ABC, The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and Fox News and is frequently quoted by media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press and other leading publications. He has contributed to 13 books and written over 500 articles on computing and communications technologies. You can follow Ross on Twitter at @rossrubin.


Sima Vasa, Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Paradigm Sample
A seasoned entrepreneur and leading expert in mobile data collection and innovation, Paradigm Sample CEO Sima Vasa has deep and longstanding experience building and growing market-research businesses. In 2009 she co-founded Paradigm Sample. Prior to founding Paradigm Sample, Vasa was a Senior Partner at Momentum Market Intelligence, President of NPD Techworld at the NPD Group, and Vice President of the technology division at NPD. Before joining NPD, Vasa was the Program Manager of the IBM Market Intelligence Group who was responsible for all research related to PC servers. A former member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Vasa holds an MBA in finance from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BS in marketing from Drexel University.