Indians love apps and not just developing apps, but also downloading and using them. According to App Annie’s latest report — State of Mobile 2020 — released on Thursday (January 16), India, Brazil and Indonesia fuelled the app economy across Google Play Store, App Store and other app stores between 2016 and 2019.
Interestingly, in the span of three years, India witnessed 190% growth from 2016 to 2019, which is a fastest among the top five app economies of the world, with China at 80%, followed by Indonesia (70%), Brazil (40%), United States (5%) and others (45%).
Out of 204 Bn total apps recorded in this time worldwide, Indians downloaded around 40 Bn apps across various categories, including social, video streaming, fintech, retail gaming and entertainment among others.
High Engagement But No Revenue
App Annie further highlighted that, on average, a user spends about 3 hours 40 minutes per day on their smartphone, globally. India also witnessed strong growth with the average user spending 25% more time on mobile each day in 2019 compared to 2017. China topped the charts with an average user spending 60% more time than the world average. Currently, the most time spent on mobile apps by Indian users is for games such as PUBG MOBILE, Garena Free Fire: Winterlands, Coin Master, Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade, and Last Shelter: Survival.
According to an Assocham India report, the number of smartphone users in India is expected to rise by 84% to 859 Mn by 2022 from 468 Mn in 2017. With smartphones becoming intrinsic to daily life, India’s average time spent on mobile is bound to rise.
However, when it came to average revenue per user (ARPU) among newly released games in 2019, App Annie said that India generated “zero” revenue. While the actual revenue might not be zero, the report highlights the disparity between the number of downloads and the number of users that actually pay to use apps or make in-app purchases. It must be noted that Dream11 and other fantasy sports apps which involve real money may not have been counted in this tally, due to them being downloaded outside the Play Store on Android.
Moreover, App Annie also stated that South Korea led in terms of ARPU among newly released games in the same year, followed by Japan and China.
Fintech App Usage Goes Up By 80%
With India’s future growth trajectory centred around $5 Tn economy by 2025, the Indian government is banking on the digitisation of financial institutions. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data recently revealed that its real-time payment system recorded INR 2.1 Tn in December, a 7.37% MoM growth from 1.22 Bn transactions recorded in November 2019.
In line with this, App Anne’s report in the financial application category showed an 80% increase in user sessions in banking and fintech apps compared to 2017. India witnessed an increase in average monthly active users (MAU), where banking apps and fintech apps saw 30% and 60% year over year (YoY) growth in 2019, respectively. The report indicates the rise in fintech startups disrupting in the ecosystem alongside the gradual shift in the traditional-led banking system to a digital model of banking.
Google Pay had a great year in India, adding 36 Mn new downloads, a 50% growth YoY, the report added. Some of the other breakout fintech and banking apps in 2019 according to App Annie included CashBean, KreditBee, PhonePe and YONO SBI.
Similarly, some of the standout apps in the ecommerce or shopping category in included Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Myntra and Club Factory. In video streaming, Indians downloaded MX Player, Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and JioTV the most.
In social apps category, TikTok stole the show with 1.5 Bn downloads on App Store and Google Play Store. According to Sensor Tower data, India is one of its fastest-growing markets, accounting around 31% (466.8 Mn) of unique installs. Some of the other social apps that made breakout last year include Helo, Hago, VMate and WhatsApp Business.