apps2_commons_Sean MacEnteeGrowing consumer uptake of lifestyle apps, such as those for dating and navigation, along with growth in demand for eBooks will fuel mobile handset and tablet revenue growth in coming years, according to a new Juniper Research report.

Games continue to generate the most revenue of any app category, and Juniper expects that will continue to be the case over the next five years. Lifestyle applications will be the fastest growing category of apps, however. Overall mobile app revenue will reach $99 billion by 2019, according to Juniper’s “Apps & App Stores: Market Trends &-Forecasts: 2015-2019.”

Mobile use of dating applications is on the rise, Juniper points out: four of the top 20 grossing iOS apps in the U.K. – Match.com, Zoosk, Tinder and Plenty of Fish – in early 2015 were dating apps.

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Mobile App Forecast
Navigation app providers meanwhile have been shifting from “freemium” to pay per download (PPD) business models. Many navigation app providers now charge a high one-time price – as much as $50 or more – to download their apps, according to Juniper. The market research company expects navigation app providers’ business models will shift again, this time to subscription-based business models “with features including live traffic updates allowing for ongoing revenue streams.”

Other highlights of Juniper’s latest app research report include:

  • More than 235bn apps will be downloaded worldwide this year;
  • Baidu is now the second-largest storefront behind Google;
  • Barely 1% of applications are now paid for at the point of download.

Turning to app storefronts, the vast bulk of network operators have concluded they can’t compete with Apple and Google. Network-operator app storefronts accounted for less than two percent of worldwide app downloads, according to Juniper.

“Operators have finally recognized that they cannot compete with Apple and Google from a content distribution basis. If they are to monetize content, that revenue has to come from bundling content into subscriptions or through leveraging the billing relationship,” Dr. Windsor Holden, author of “The App Landscape Today,” was quoted in a press release.

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