Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

The appeal of monetizing apps through subscriptions has become an established strategy for developers looking for financial gain. On the other hand, the topic of how standard subscription-based income models are in applications and games remains fascinating. The disclosure of this information provides insight into the extent to which subscriptions have infiltrated the App Store marketplace.

The scope of subscription-based revenue across the iOS ecosystem was explored using Explorer, a market research tool. While the current study is limited to the App Store due to the lack of a similar filter for Google Play, it comprehensively summarizes subscription patterns in the iOS sector.

Currently, as many as 232,000 applications and games on the App Store have at least one recurring in-app purchase, which functions as a subscription. According to this figure, 15% of all applications and games available on the App Store use subscription-based revenue models. This demonstrates the widespread use of this monetization strategy, highlighting its success in monetization.

An intriguing problem arises: how many of these subscription-based apps are paid? Contrary to popular belief, the solution indicates a larger number. The frequency of premium applications with subscription models is greater than expected. This dynamic introduces a fascinating new dimension to the monetization environment that calls for more research.

Going deeper into the analysis, the revelation that the games category commands the lion’s share of subscription apps is noteworthy. Games exceed expectations, accounting for a significant 31% of all subscription apps on the App Store. The prominence of games in this space can be attributed to their intrinsic engagement and the resulting revenue streams that subscription models can generate. With several top-grossing games integrating subscriptions, the games sector has emerged as a suitable location for this business model.

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Looking back at this trajectory, it’s clear that a major shift took place when the games industry discovered the potential of subscriptions. The increasing use of subscription models in games marked the beginning of a transformative moment, propelling gaming to the forefront of the subscription landscape. Notably, nearly 1,500 games in this category have earned more than $100,000 in net revenue in the past month, demonstrating the financial sustainability of subscriptions.

Next to the games category, the education sector emerges as the second largest category, with subscription prevalence at 13%, followed by utilities at 7%. Health and fitness, entertainment, productivity, lifestyle, photo and video, and social networking are contributing with single-digit subscription views.

Surprisingly, business, often thought to be the leader in subscription usage, ranks 10th with only 3% attendance. This surprising attitude is explained by the fact that many business apps operate as clients for web platforms that operate primarily on subscription models.

Looking ahead, the topic of subscription-based app growth becomes critical. Forecasts for the year ahead spark curiosity in a year marked by an infusion of 3,000 to 4,000 new iOS applications (and games) per month, prompting reflection on potential shifts and expansions in this environment.

Finally, an unusual discovery emerges: 7,500 applications are a combination of paid apps and subscription offers. This category is again led by games, education and utilities.

These insights come from the App Intelligence platform, which provides revenue and download estimates, as well as information about installed SDKs. These metrics show how much information is available to developers, influencing strategic decisions and providing useful insight into industry trends.

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As the iOS app ecosystem evolves, examining subscription-based revenue models provides a comprehensive view of the dynamic interplay between monetization tactics and user preferences. This research is a useful benchmark, highlighting potential areas for future app development and providing a roadmap for navigating the complex world of app monetization.

Exploring the iOS app subscription landscape: revealing trends and insights

H/T: AppFigures

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