App Annie 2016 report: Mobile driving revenue for streaming’s old guard

App Annie 2016 report revenueMobile analytics specialist App Annie has published its 2016 Retrospective. The report tracked another year of growth for the app industry, with worldwide downloads increasing 15% from the previous year to more than 90 billion. In several major markets – including the U.S., UK, China, and India – the average consumer uses more than 30 apps each month. Total time spent in apps rose 25%, for nearly 900 billion hours worldwide. Global revenue growth rates for the App Store and Google Play exceeded their rates from 2015. Publishers saw more than $35 billion in revenue from the two app markets last year, reflecting 40% yearly growth.

App Annie 2016 report top appsMany other reports last year pointed to mobile as a key source of listeners for streaming music services, but the App Annie retrospective revealed that it can also be a big revenue driver. The top app for worldwide combined iOS and Google Play revenue was Spotify. Pandora made No. 6 on that list. Both were successful enough to be ranked among the top companies by combined revenue: Spotify at No. 3 and Pandora at No. 7. As an app category, music ranked No. 4 for worldwide revenue on iOS and rose to No. 5 for Android.

That performance by two music services is particularly noteworthy because they were on the list with two video streaming services: Netflix was the No. 3 app by revenue and Hulu was No. 10. In previous years, video seemed to be the more established subscription entertainment market and a more popular medium for music consumption. The past 12 months may have seen a tipping point where audio streams pulled even with, or in some cases surpassed, their video counterpart.

Take the Nielsen year-in-review data. In 2015, there were more on-demand music streams by video than audio at 172.4 billion and 144.9 billion, respectively. The company’s 2016 data showed audio streams skyrocketing up 76.4% to 251.9 billion, while video grew just 7.5% to 179.9 billion. As paid products for streaming music and audio have become more common, audiences may at last be getting accustomed to this subscription market.

Anna Washenko