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A recent study by ABI Research reveals that mobile app revenues (from in-app advertising, pay-per-download, and subscriptions) will increase greatly over the next few years, growing from over $8 billion in 2011 to roughly $45 billion by 2016 (Mobile Commerce Daily). The research shows that in-app purchases are set to surpass revenues from pay-per-download, but apparently there is much more potential than what we are seeing right now.
Interestingly, the information in the study shows that despite the high amounts of revenues coming in from in-app purchases, the actual sales are coming from a relatively small number of subscribers, meaning that there is much more potential for reaching customers in-app than what we are currently seeing. Of course, as in-app payment models expand, and once Google allows in-app purchasing, the revenues from this form of monetization will become even greater (currently, iOS enables in-app purchasing, pay-per-download, in-app advertising and subscriptions, while Google only allows pay-per-download and in-app advertising, but not in-app purchases). So depending on how the in-app ecosystem evolves over the next months, it could be that those revenue estimates end up being even greater …