UK app economy expected to be worth £31b by 2015
Revenues generated by the growing number of UK app downloads have climbed by almost a third in the past year as the boom in smartphones has led to a huge demand for entertainment and news on the go.
According to research by App Annie for the FT, the number of downloads in the UK grew five percent in 2014 and revenues generated rose by a huge 30 percent. As the app market reached maturity in Britain as a way to watch, read, listen and play games, the number of users spiked dramatically.
Games remain the most popular type of download in the UK. Candy Crush Saga, developed by UK-based King, took the crown as the most popular app. Aside from games more people are watching TV and listening to music through media apps such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and Spotify. And of course, in today’s tech driven world, more and more people are using apps to search for love. Match.com was the most popular non-gaming app by revenue in the UK in 2014.
Smartphone users are also as happy signing into a newspaper app as they would be taking out a subscription, as the Guardian, Times and Telegraph are among the top 10 highest grossing non-gaming apps.
“Media apps do particularly well in the UK as well as apps that help stream video, TV and music,” said Olivier Bernard, European vice-president of App Annie. “But there are starting to be more retailers using their apps well, such as Just Eat, Tesco and Adidas.”
The boom in app consumption comes alongside data showing the state of the UK app economy is similarly robust. The UK is the largest app-development market in Europe by revenue ahead of Germany and France - and fifth biggest in the world behind the US, Japan, China and South Korea.
The industry employs about 110,000 people in the UK, and there are 61,100 developers producing apps for Apple alone. Many are working from their bedrooms; a fifth of UK app developers are under 25 and about 4,000 developers are still at school, according to research group Vision Mobile.
Revenues generated from British app development exceeded £4 billion in 2014, says Vision Mobile, which predicts that the app economy will grow to almost £31 billion by 2025. It estimates that at least 8,000 companies in the UK are engaged in mobile-software development.
Mark Wilcox, senior analyst at VisionMobile, said that the market was “still near the beginning in terms of how mobile computing will change things. There’s phenomenal growth still to come for the app economy,” he predicts. “Most of the major smartphone manufacturers have had R&D centres in the UK for many years, producing a depth of mobile experience in the talent pool. There’s also a strong games-development heritage in the UK and games are a very visible part of the app economy.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”