The amount of revenue generated by in-app purchases will pass pay-per-download revenue in 2012, according to a new report from ABI Research. However, the company says Android’s relatively slow adoption of application billing processes could result in this being a short-lived phenomenon.
Mark Beccue, senior analyst for mobile services at ABI Research, said “As a revenue model, in-app purchase is very limited today. The vast majority of current in-app revenue is being generated by a tiny percentage of people who are highly-committed mobile game players. We don’t believe the percentage of mobile game players making in-app purchases will grow significantly, so for in-app purchase revenues to grow, mobile developers other than game developers must adopt it. Google is literally holding back the growth of mobile application monetization. We are keying many of our mobile app revenue forecasts around our guess of Google’s plans.”
Total mobile app revenues from pay-per-download, in-app purchase, subscriptions and in-app advertising are expected to grow from $8.5 billion in 2011 to $46 billion (£29 billion) in 2016.