willing to pay $7 per app
Market opportunities for Arabic apps
High-income earners are willing to pay more than $7 to purchase a mobile app, according to a study prepared by local ArabNet, in collaboration with On Device Research.
The report said that this represents an opportunity for app developers and publishers to create higher-value, high-priced apps to cater to this market segment.
The most common amount paid for in-app purchases is between $1 and $4.99. More than 40 percent of respondents said they make one-off in-app purchases to obtain additional content.
There is a substantial demand for mobile apps in the MENA region, which is a major market for most Lebanese app developers. The study revealed that 42 percent of respondents said they download more than five apps a month.
The study showed that around 54 percent of users download Arabic-language apps. Rami Moughabghab, Business Development Manager at FOO, a digital services provider, said that even if local digital game companies cannot develop costly apps, they can still adapt international apps to Arab tastes using the Arabic language.
The study advised app developers to avoid head-on competition with important global players, instead to target the less crowded market segments. “Market opportunities exist for developers to create new, improved and relevant Arabic apps in the underserved categories that users are looking for—in particular eSports, photography and videos, education, health and fitness, and lifestyle category apps,” the report said.
Elie Habib, co-founder of Anghami, a digital music provider, said that although his company cannot compete with big players in foreign songs, it still has a big advantage in Arabic music. “We have a much broader repertoire of Arabic songs than our international competitors and most people in the Arab world prefer to listen to this kind of music,” Habib said. He said that another advantage is the close relationship the company has with Arab artists, who prefer to deal with Anghami. Local digital music companies can also compete at the price level. Moughabghab said that powerful 3D game apps need significant initial investment and annual outlays of almost $10 million.
Gaby Deek, vice-president of the Internet Society, Lebanon Chapter, said local app developers could compete in the games category if they choose apps that do not require very powerful platforms. There are very successful Lebanese game app developers who are making enormous profits, he said. Games top the list of downloaded apps, with 60 percent of users in the MENA region downloading this variety.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Nov 24, 2015