Data & Research

Market shifting towards niche app stores as number doubles to 50 in 2011, reckons research2guidance

Rise of customer-driven channels

Market shifting towards niche app stores as number doubles to 50 in 2011, reckons research2guidance

A common misunderstanding about advertising is that all marketeers crave after slots with the biggest audiences.

In truth, it's the cheaper spots on smaller channels with a more unique, targeted userbase that can prove the most fruitful.

In the same way, a report released by research2guidance suggested that 'niche app stores' – marketplaces aimed at a limited number of handsets, a specific usergroup or tied to a specific title – are on the rise, and could serve as a more useful tool for many developers.

Small stores, big news

Indeed, the firm claims the number of niche app stores available hit 50 in 2011, up from half that number the year before and around 10 in 2009.

"The growth of niche app stores has been partially fueled by back-end service providers," the firm says of its findings.

"These service providers enable white label app stores for any company which would like to run its own app store and monetise, for example, the website's traffic."

Time to target

More important than any logistical reasons, however, is what the rise of niche app stores – and the slump in the number of bigger players, according to research2guidance numbers – represents.

"The growth of niche app stores also reflects a shift in the market from a platform-driven service offering, to a more sophisticated customer segment-driven one," the firm adds.

"In the past, the priority for device owners was to look for stores which provided apps that were compatible to their handheld devices. As the number of apps has now dramatically expanded, customers face increasing difficulties in locating specific apps due to the volume of items within these stores.

"As a result, device owners are now looking for stores which provide them with more streamlined, targeted app selections and results."

[source: research2guidance]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.