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Data from the June Application Strategies’ Monthly iPhone Entertainment App Tracker – covering 150 individual countries – indicates that established entertainment brands are being outshone by less well known applications potentially creating new media powerhouses across the globe.
Of the top ten most popular free and grossing apps – based on number of appearances globally in June – only Netflix and Vine make the list as established global brands. This is partially due to the confusion about what the entertainment category actually is. The category includes streaming apps – such as Netflix and HBO NOW but also content creation apps such as Action FX and personalisation apps such as Wallpapers for iOS8.
For entertainment companies – such as HBO, Cinemax and Starz – seeking a global audience the ability to break through the noise of the category could be challenging and may account for the steep decline between the strength of the entertainment category in the free list and its weakness in the grossing list. While a well-known brand helps with customer acquisition it does not totally solve the discovery issue and could be the reason why HBO NOW and others do not appear amongst the most popular apps.
According to Joshua Martin, Chief Researcher of the Application Strategy group, “Content owners should be heartened by the strength of entertainment in the top paid apps list – especially in emerging markets. However a deeper evaluation makes it clear that entertainment means something very different globally and brands must understand this in order to find success. This could include working with established brands to gain a foothold in new markets. More importantly it may require a new category – as Apple added when it created Food and Drink in – 2012 to aid in the discovery of these global brands and their content.”