updated 12:48 pm EST, Fri November 8, 2013
App marketplace may not be as crowded as suspected
Overcrowding in the Android and iOS app marketplaces may not be as big a problem as some have postulated, as new figures from app analytics company Flurry has found a growing "middle class" of apps that are not as dominant as the big names in mobile, but that have user bases strong enough to support a business. The findings run counter to claims that names like Facebook and others take too much of users' mobile activity time for smaller apps to survive. Instead, Flurry finds that the number of mid-level apps is steadily increasing, with independently-owned app developers seeing considerable growth in the process.
Flurry defines its "middle class" of apps as those apps from independently-owned developers that have a worldwide audience of more than 20 million monthly active users. Between the first quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of 2013, that class of developers grew from just seven to 32. That represents 357 percent growth in 18 months.
Over the same period, the number of app developers with an audience in excess of one million monthly active users grew from under 400 to 875. That is growth of 121 percent in 18 months.
Considering the hundreds of thousands of apps - and the thousands of developers - working for both of the major app stores, figures in the low tens and high hundreds may not seem too significant. Flurry, though, says that they demonstrate a growing space apps beyond the titans present on most smartphones and tablets. Facebook, according to some studies, accounts for 26 percent of time users spend on their mobile devices. Flurry's figures indicate that there is ample room for smaller apps to battle it out for users' remaining time.
Flurry's analyses are based off of ad impressions drawn from more than 400,000 apps. These apps are installed on more than 1.2 billion mobile devices worldwide.