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App Annie Publishes Look Back At 2014 With ‘Super Casual’ Games And ‘Share Economy’ Striving

January 28, 2015 - Written By John Anon

Periodically every month and quarter, the latest reports emerge from all the analytic companies showing us what is hot, on-trend and for the other side of the coin, failing. App Annie is no different. The company collects download data for apps and is able to rank the results in a meaningful way, which helps us to understand the app market in more general. Monthly, we get the latest figures from App Annie, however, today, the company has published its retrospective look on 2014 and there are some interesting findings. By the end of the third quarter (Q3) in 2014, we had already heard from App Annie that the Google Play Store has surpassed Apple’s App store in terms of ‘number-of-downloads’. This was also reiterated in the current report for the wider year, with Google seeing more downloads than Apple. The other major news from the report focused on what apps and games were successful over both android and iOS. First up, App Annie observes that one of the biggest changes of 2014 was the rise of what is defined as ‘super casual’ gaming. This is best understood in terms of games which require little or no time to play. You have a spare minute, you open the game. A prime example of this is Flappy Birds and this is the example App Annie use to highlight the success of this particular market. According to the figures, super casual gaming rose more than any other gaming (or app)

The other major news from the report focused on what apps and games were successful over both android and iOS. First up, App Annie observes that one of the biggest changes of 2014 was the rise of what is defined as ‘super casual’ gaming. This is best understood in terms of games which require little or no time to play. You have a spare minute, you open the game. A prime example of this is Flappy Birds and this is the example App Annie use to highlight the success of this particular market. According to the figures, super casual gaming rose more than any other gaming (or app) sub-market in general.

Following on from this, another massive trend noted from 2014 was the rise of the ‘share economy’. This is best understood in terms of companies, where customers effectively tout their services or business, based on the goods they have. Prime examples offered by App Annie of this booming market are that of Uber and Lyft. Both companies have come to prominence over the last twelve months and made massive impacts on both the App and real-life taxi world. According to App Annie, ‘on-demand transportation’ apps, in general, have particularly seen massive growth in the market and are paving the way for future share economy growth in 2015.

Closing up the main findings, App Annie also made a note of how the messaging app evolution has seen massive growth over the last 12 months. More specifically, App Annie notes, messaging apps are becoming the “de facto avenue” for any publisher (regardless of origin) looking to bring content to massive parts of the market. These apps are obtaining huge user-bases, which are then further able to distribute additional content to massive numbers with relative ease. Maybe one of the reasons as to why Facebook were happy enough to pay more than $19 billion dollars for WhatsApp at the start of last year.

Overall, the main summaries from App Annie’s look back at 2014 are in sync with what we are seeing in general and have noted over the course of last year. As such, it will only be so surprising to hear that single-tap games like Flappy Birds, or share economy services like Uber and AirBnB, or messaging apps like WhatsApp are all doing so well. All of these companies have hit the headlines over the last twelve months and their rise to prominence has not been a quiet one. That said, in spite of these findings not necessarily being surprising, they do highlight where (and what) publishers are likely to focusing on over the coming 12 months. Publishers (and funders of future apps) will look at reports such as this and come to the conclusion that sub-industries such as ‘super casual gaming’, ‘share economy’ and messaging are worth investing in. Therefore, you should not be too surprised to see more apps of this sort rolling your way in the next few months.