NUI Galway shows EU app economy worth billions of euro

13 Feb 2014

App production contributes billions of euro to the European economy and nearly 2m jobs, initial findings from a European-wide EurApp report reveal.

The report has been conducted with the help of both NUI Galway and Gigaom Research and is the first report of its kind to go into detailed analysis for 2013 regarding the estimation of economic value in terms of economy, employment and innovation in the app-development industry.

The findings also examine some of the main bottlenecks that exist in the EU that prevent developers from reaching their full potential, whether they are political, legal or financial.

As it stands from the findings in the report, the worth of app development to the EU is substantial. In 2013, EU developers will take in €17.5bn in revenue in 2013 with scope for a future increase to €63bn in five years.

Indicating the wider scope for how apps influence modern businesses, €11.5bn of this revenue was generated from contract labour, ie, freelance app developers contracted to create apps for businesses who want to integrate their operations into marketing apps.

However, the majority of app developers have still not opened themselves for third-party app development, with fewer than half of the independent developers the team surveyed said were offering services for hire.

An area of significant growth

The report also shows the EU app developer workforce will grow from 1m in 2013 to 2.8m in 2018. Additional support and marketing staff result in app economy jobs of 1.8m in 2013, growing to 4.8m in 2018.

The European Commission’s vice-president, Neelie Kroes, and the CEO of Rovio Peter Vesterbacka, whose company is behind the game Angry Birds, are to officially launch the report.

As one of the leading members of the research team, NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin says the survey was extensive in finding the best overall picture of app development in the EU.

“Throughout the past year, the Eurapp team have interviewed a variety of stakeholders in the EU app economy, and surveyed hundreds of companies that are producing apps, both big and small.

“Some of the main bottlenecks facing app companies in the EU were sourced in these interviews and workshops, followed by crowdsourcing challenges, where nearly 100 innovative solutions were submitted to address those bottlenecks.”

Apps image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic