Size of health app market in Great Britain

Health apps are part of the explosion in app growth over the past three years. But how big a part of that market are they?

A very useful indicator of market share is Priori’s monthly AppMarket Report, which measures the top 150 apps by downloads for four devices: Android, iPad, iPhone and Zune Marketplace devices.

Priori’s rankings are based on number of downloads, which differs from app store ranking that may adjust their lists to drive sales or increase visibility. Each Priori report has an FAQ that explains the methodology in detail. “We believe that the primary indicator of an app or publisher’s success remains the number of downloads. Specifically, it is an indicator for the number of times an app was installed on user devices, and therefore of its popularity.”

With that in mind we took a look at download figures for Great Britain published on 9 August covering for the period 8 July – 9 August 2013.

Size of the app market in Great Britain

The total downloads for the period (see graphic below) was a whopping 143.8 million in Great Britain (both free and paid apps). Divide that by the size of the population (63.7 million) and you get about 2.23 apps per person. The split between free and paid apps is a hands down win for free apps with 141 million versus 2.9 million. Although 2.8 million downloads isn’t bad!

Size of the health app market

Health and fitness related apps make up a rather small proportion of the market: about 1.4 million  downloads. That is about 1% of all downloads for the period (free and paid).

Taking a closer look inside that market segment a few things stick out. The first is that within the juggernaut that is the free Android app market there are no health related app downloads (at least not based on Priori’s app classification).  In comparison, free health related apps are split as follows: iPhone 78%, iPad 18% and Windows 4%. See chart below for a visualisation of Priori’s data.

The numbers seem odd. What makes this even less clear is that for Android paid apps, health apps represent 12% of downloads. We asked Priori for clarification and will post an update as soon as we hear from them.

What the data shows very clearly is that Apple leads the health app market share, and iPhone rules the roost. It accounts for 78% of the free app downloads and 60% of paid apps. Put bluntly, the money is in iPhone paid health apps.

About Colby Benari

Colby has been running District Health since the summer of 2013. Her background is in biomedical science and support of academic research infrastructure.

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