Thursday, November 15, 2012

App Saturation!

Last week I gave a presentation in New Orleans on mobile marketing.  I asked the audience if they knew how many apps there are worldwide.  One smart participant answered correctly, “a lot!”

Read On:
Last March Apple announced that they passed the 25th billion download which was 15 billion more apps since July 2011.  Recently they indicated that 46 million apps were being downloaded daily.  To put this number in perspective, McDonald’s has 33 thousand stores worldwide in 118 countries and serves an estimated 6.5 million burgers per day.  That means Apple downloads a little more than seven times the number of burgers McDonalds sells per day.  Apple’s counterpart Google announced in October that they surpassed the 25th billion download via Google Play.

App alert:
  • Lady Gaga’s next album Artpop will be launched via a paid-for app.  It will include chats and films for every song, Gaga inspired games comparable to her “Farmville” game, fashion updates, etc.
  •           The App du Jour everyone is buzzing about is Summly, a news condenser scanning service.  Its developer, Nick D’Aloisio who just turned 17 this month, realized that everyone only skims lengthy newspaper articles.  Consequently, the Summly app summarizes articles down to two-paragraph bullet points.
I forecast that someday in the not so distant future we will be able to buy an app to skim the skim!


  1. I have an APP for that already, Jimmy. Yes, APPS are where its at. Though if you are Microsoft, you are spinning the other way. Their new WIN 8 phones and tablets don't have any apps available, and likewise Blackberry is hampered in their growth since no one is developing for them anymore. As outlined, companies can now use APP technology to connect with their customers better...if they can convince you to download their app onto your phone. I see apps not unlike the early landscape of the web: If you had a website you were leading edge, but driving people to it became the challenge. Apps are not going away, but time will tell of their ultimate use by brands and companies.

  2. I concur with Thomas; apps are a natural part of the digital landscape, though like those old Geocities websites, it's one that everyone can create, but not necessarily well.

    Inevitably, this will self-curate as certain apps become the primary ones, while others will become more niche specific and some will be more temporal in nature (Lady Gaga's definitely will be once the commotion over her album fades).

    Of course, just like the web, that doesn't mean people won't still set up shop in the app domain and hope they can get a piece of the action.

  3. I was talking to someone from a mobile marketing agency last week. She said many companies are going the other way. Just optimizing their website for mobile instead of building apps.

    Unless the app adds value to the brand or some sort of version, companies are better off skipping it and using the money elsewhere.

  4. Interesting comments. Thank you everyone. Depending on what business a company is in, I think if designed correctly an app can be a very effective engagement tool in addition to all the other collaborative tools of Web 2.0. Just another touch point in the marketing game.