Burgeoning apps economy now bigger than Hollywood

23 Jan 2015

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Apple’s App Store has overtaken Hollywood in terms of revenues, with the entire apps ecosystem going through tremendous growth.

US$10bn was paid to iOS developers, by Apple, in 2014, creating a total of 627,000 jobs in the US since iOS apps started being created.

In fact last year’s iOS app revenues represent 40pc of all app sales since the App Store opened in 2008 – this is because billings increased by half over the twelve months.

According to research by Asymco, it’s not slowing down, either, with US$500 million spent on iOS apps in the first week of this year.

Considering 70pc of app payments go directly to the developer (30pc goes to Apple), it means that certain developers do, in fact, earn more than Hollywood actors.

Ecosystem offers immense opportunities

Also, in comparison the whole ecosystem is easier to get into, far more of a meritocracy and open to a wider range of people. This is clearly implicated by Hollywood employing over 250,000 less people than iOS jobs.

There’s far more to the apps economy than you might think, too. It includes Android and ads and service businesses and custom development.

iTunes content payments

Evidently app sales have grown significantly. Via Asymco.

“This view of the payments to ecosystem contributors shows how apps are now a bigger digital content business than music and TV programs and movie rentals and purchases put together. Put another way, in 2014 iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from box office in the US,” says Asymco's Horace Dediu.

Interestingly, this doesn’t look like a statistical anomaly, either, with iOS app billings skyrocketing since 2012, overtaking US box office revenues almost a year ago.

The gap is likely to be even greater in 2015, with box office taking remaining fairly consistent, and the mobile industry growing exponentialy.

App Store revenue rise

Stark rise in App Store revenues sees it overtake Hollywood box office takings. Via Asymco.

App Store image via Shutterstock

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Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com