The report further emphasised the potential Asia has as a money-making app market. According to Distimo, 41 percent of the total revenue generated on app platforms throughout the world sees 41 percent being attributed to Asia. North America and Europe, on the other hand, accounted for 31 percent and 23 percent respectively. Revenue in the region also grew by 162 percent when comparing December 2012 and December 2013.
For revenue generated on the iOS (iPad) and iOS (iPhone), China happened to see a surge of 264 percent, taking the top of the list, according to data from December 2012 and the same period in 2013. Google Play, on the other hand, saw Hong Kong grow the most in terms of increase of revenue generated through the platform at a whopping 2053 percent.
In addition, the freemium model has been proven to be the “dominant business model” in the region. China, especially, saw apps generate 96 percent of revenue through in-app purchases. The Northeast Asian country’s neighbour Japan and South Korea, however, are on its tail with 94 percent and 91 percent of total revenue from in-app purchases respectively.
Distimo also checked out the top 300 apps in the region, to see how they rank in each country. The report states, “If an app was only ranked in one Asian country, we defined it as locally popular.” This should not be mistaken for local apps, which refers to the production and development of the app. While Singapore claimed the lowest proportion of locally popular apps (between 10 and 13 percent), Japan managed to score the highest proportion (60 to 72 percent).
A quick look at Japan’s App Store and Google Play ranking will reveal that Naver Japan’s LINE chat app has maintained its spot as the top grossing app on iOS Top Charts, and GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons as top grossing app on Google Play. What’s the similarity between both apps? They were both produced by Japanese companies in the country.
To download the full report, click here.
UPDATE: Distimo held a webinar to discuss app trends in Asia. Here are some additional findings:
From the slide, it is evident that while a good portion of consumers in the US will pay for apps when purchasing it off the App Store, an even more significant percentage of revenue still comes from in-app purchases. The trend is accentuated in countries like Japan.
In Asia, consumers are seen to have a preference for paying in game apps, followed by social networking and communication tools. This is especially so in the case of popular chat apps like Kakao Talk and LINE.
What’s interesting to note here is that while free game and communication apps might stand a chance in generating revenue via in-app purchases, a lot of Asians still pay a one-off fee for medical, business and reference apps.