9 billion App Downloads Expected In India in 2019, Innovative Monetization Needed to Drive Operator Revenues

9 billion App Downloads Expected In India in 2019, Innovative Monetization Needed to Drive Operator Revenues
India's 1.27 billion population and an estimated 815 million mobile connections translate to a country with a growing demand for mobile data services. The use of smart mobile devices has led to the popularity of apps or applications that are downloaded on devices such as smartphones and tablets for access to a wide range of services that span calls, messaging, music streaming, video streaming, gaming, location based services, navigation and maps as well as offline applications such as photo albums, photo editors, phone books, sketchbooks, offline games and diaries.  
Based on the figure shared by ASSOCHAM and Deloitte in a study entitled 'Digitization & Mobility', the number of app downloads in India is expected to experience arapid growth of 75% CAGR, increasing from 1.56 billion per annum in 2012 to 9 billion in 2015. According to the study, one of the notable time periods that saw a surge in the use of apps was during the last election campaign that saw 227 million interactions on Facebook and 60 million tweets from 29 million people.  

The study listing the following major areas where the use of apps is expected to rise steadily:

Mobile Gaming - Popular games include Angry birds (Rovio), Candy Crush (King), Clash of Clans (Super cell) and Line. Other gaming apps popular in India include the apps from Apple's Game Center and Window's Xbox Live.

Mobile TV - With 400% growth rate in viewership for India's operators, Mobile TV is becoming a well known entertainment alternative for Indians. Pay-TV and Internet TV operators are moving to offer more content and access on mobile devices via their own apps,for example, the DishOnline apps for Dish TV. In addition, YouTube apps is also hugely popular, accessed by 35% of smartphone users while Apple's iTunes comes out top for the Music segment. 

Messaging and Social Networking - Popular IM services include Apple's iMessage, BlackBerry's BlackBerry Messenger, Window's Live Client and Android's WhatsApp and Snapchat. For enterprises, real-time collaboration is taking place via apps such as Yammer and SalesForce Chatter as well as Microsoft Lync. Google+, Skype, Facebook and Twitter Apps continue to be the top league players in this segment. 

The study also listed a number of challenges for monetization, which include device compatibility, price points and bandwidth issues. The limited coverage of 3G and 4G, the high power consumption needed for mobile TV viewing and the price sensitivity among Indian consumers require more innovative approaches to improve monetization for network operators as well as content providers and apps makers.  

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at tara.neal@thefastmode.com.

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