Forecast: Consumer spending on apps to top $75B in 2017

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Consumers will spend more than $75 billion on mobile applications in 2017 according to a new forecast from Juniper Research, which credits the surge to the continued growth of the in-app purchase model as well as the emergence of new monetization models.

Juniper predicts that spending on premium app downloads will generate just 25 percent of total app revenues in 2017, forcing developers to implement business models that leverage in-app virtual goods, mobile advertising partnerships and other alternative revenue streams.

Games will continue to lead all app categories, generating 32 percent of total revenues at the end of the forecast period, Juniper said. Increasing tablet penetration also will boost developer fortunes: Tablet owners are set to spend $26.6 billion on mobile apps in 2017, surging from $7.8 billion this year.

Juniper additionally anticipates that digital marketplaces like Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone Store and Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Appstore for Android will move to challenge leaders Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) by introducing new features like improved search and discovery tools, efforts that will in turn encourage developers to build and submit apps for more peripheral stores.

"Many app stores are also implementing carrier billing to ensure that unbanked consumers are able to pay for apps, which will contribute to the strong growth in app downloads," said report author Siân Rowlands.

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