Big Three Growing Mobile Categories in Japanese App Market

Big Three Growing Mobile Categories in Japanese App Market


by App Ape

This article from App Ape Lab. If you want to read original article, please check next URL. (Original Article)

At “Google Play Store”, the largest market for Android mobile apps, the popularity of the many mobile apps and the populations who use those apps are always changing. Today, we are going to use App Ape Analytics to analyze market growth of each category of apps from January 2014 to July 2015. App Ape Analytics summed up the total number of activations for apps of each category. In this report, we discuss three findings from this analysis that especially stand out.

1. Steady Growth of Comic Reader Apps in Japan

In Japan, where comics are the very heart of pop culture, we have started seeing more TV commercials for comic reader apps. “Comico”, released by NHN Playart, is a free publishing app for original “manga”. Growth in the number of users has greatly exceeded the target of the app’s designers.

How are comic reader apps actually doing in the mobile app market? We created the graph shown below to help visualize the change in the number of activations of apps from Google Play Store’s comic category.

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    Data: AppApe Analytics (using data from about 30,000 domestic Android devices.)
  • Activated Number: number of app activations within the targeted categories (Converted data per 10,000)

The changes in the graph above let you see clearly the growth in the number of app activations in the comic category at Google Play Store. More people are becoming interested in the comic category. As a result, you can see the change in the number of app activations.

The “Comico” app from NHN has been purchased mostly by young women in their 20s and was ranked first place in the comic category in August 2015. Buyers of “LINE MANGA” from LINE Corporation, which ranked second, have a profile similar to “Comico” buyers. In order to develop and become mature, the comic reader app market needs more content that appeals to male users.

2. Which Game Genres in the Mobile Game App Category Should We Keep an Eye On?

Let’s take a look at game category apps versus apps from all categories. The graph below shows the number of app activations in the game category and the number of activations in non-game categories.

Game Category Activations Increased by 22%

App activations in the game category have increased gradually. During the year between July 2014 and July 2015, there was a 22% increase. During the same time period, the overall number of app activations in other categories decreased by 11%. Let’s take a look at gaming app activation numbers as a proportion of the market as a whole.

Market Share of the Game Category has Shown a Marginal Rise.


Game category activations stood at 26.4% of all mobile app activations in July 2014. A year later in July of 2015, that number had changed to 33.4%. The game category has a large share of the Google Play Store market and the trend suggests that the market share of the game category will increase over time.

5 Game Genres Shows Growth in Japan

Within the game category, the genres showing the most steady growth are “Action” “Role-playing” “Adventure” “Simulation” and “Puzzle.” We conducted research to determine the reason these genres are growing. In each genre, growth is broadly based; in no case is it the result of activations of a single, dominant app spiking up the activation numbers for the entire genre.

3. Flea Market Apps Gather Strength

During the last three years, many flea market apps such as “Mercali” have entered the Japanese market. From this, we can assume that the number of users visiting the shopping category in Google Play Store has increased as well. Let’s take a look at the graph below.


The Number of Shopping Category App Activations Has Increased by 16%

According to the graph above, shopping category activations increased by 16% between July 2014 and July 2015. Although there have been up and down variations from year to year, the overall trend is one of increase. We can expect this market to continue growing bigger.


Our analysis using data from App Ape Analytics finds that the “comic”, “game” and “flea market” categories are three Google Play Store app categories that are growing. We are excited by the possibilities these categories have to grow in the future. Of course, there is also the possibility of new fast growth markets emerging.

If you would like more details or specific information about the data discussed in this brief report, please contact App Ape Lab.