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The Apps Winning the Battle For Our Attention

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The Apps Winning the Battle For Our Attention Span

The Apps Winning the Battle For Our Attention Span

With the smartphone as the centerpiece of the new global consumer economy, how we allocate our screentime between the myriad of apps that exist is becoming a very telling statistic.

After all, the companies that win the battle for app mindshare will have unfettered access to billions of consumers, as well as the economic opportunities that emerge from that access.

The Duopoly vs. Everyone Else

Most know that Facebook and Google, the two tech giants that are lovingly referred to as “The Duopoly” by advertising executives, are already capturing $0.60 of every dollar spent on advertising online.

And now, through acquisitions, The Duopoly is showing that they are able to stay ubiquitous as consumers spend even more time on their smartphones.

According to recent data from Apptopia, the global app ecosystem is dominated by Facebook and Google owned apps. Together, among the top 100 apps, their products account for 54% of all screen time.

What’s up with WhatsApp?

In particular, Facebook’s showing is impressive here: users spend an average of 79 minutes per day in its apps.

What’s even more interesting is that this is mainly due to the success of WhatsApp, a company that Facebook successfully acquired for $19 billion in 2014. WhatsApp has a user base well beyond 1 billion people, and in the last three months it saw 82.21 billion hours of time spent on the messaging app – more than any other.

Here are the 10 top apps, in terms of screen time, as estimated by Apptopia:

  1. WhatsApp
  2. WeChat
  3. Facebook
  4. Messenger
  5. Pandora
  6. YouTube
  7. Instagram
  8. Twitter
  9. Google Maps
  10. Spotify

Note: May-July 2018. Data is global and includes iOS and Android. Excludes third-party app stores.

To understand the dominance of WhatsApp, keep in mind the top-viewed game over this May-July 2018 period was Clash of Clans, in which users spent 3.83 billion hours. Compared to WhatsApp’s 82 billion hours, that’s just a drop in the bucket!

Facebook owns three of the top four apps, even though the company isn’t the base of any ecosystem like Google or Apple. The question it does face however, is how it will monetize WhatsApp and Messenger, each apps with over 1 billion users.

Most Downloaded Apps

In 2017, WhatsApp was downloaded a whopping 924 million times.

Here’s how that compares to other top apps in different categories based on 2017 data:

CategoryApp# of Downloads (2017)
SocialWhatsApp924 million
Music and AudioSpotify299 million
GamesSubway Surfers190 million
TravelUber189 million
EntertainmentNetflix118 million
ShoppingAliExpress81 million
DatingTinder58 million
Food and DrinkSubway35 million

As you can see, WhatsApp (and other social apps) blow away the competition from all other categories.

It’s something that Facebook is likely quite happy about, though for now it’s still hard to put a number on the value of WhatsApp to the mother company.

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Chart of the Week

The eSports Boom, and the Numbers Behind the Sector’s Explosive Growth

Everything you need to know about the eSports Boom, including the sector’s rapid growth, massive prize pools, and the most valuable eSports companies today.

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The oldest professional sport teams can trace their start back to the mid-19th century, a period when casual past times such as baseball or football transitioned into more organized leagues.

Since this tipping point, pro sports has thrived around the world, and the business of sports has evolved into a multi-billion dollar ecosystem for teams, leagues, players, merchandisers, sponsors, broadcasters, and event spaces.

Today, this evolution still continues – and it is being driven by the emergence of eSports (electronic sports), an exciting frontier for fans and business alike.

eSports Extravaganza

Today’s chart breaks down the eSports boom, including data on the sector’s rapid growth, prize pools, and the most valuable eSports companies today.

Visualizing the eSports Boom, and the Numbers Behind Its Explosive Growth

Despite having a reputation in the media and in popular culture as being on the fringes, it is clear that gaming is now a truly mainstream phenomenon.

In fact, the global gaming industry has now eclipsed $135 billion in revenue worldwide – a figure that is twice as much as the film and music industries combined.

With hundreds of millions of avid fans around the world, demand to watch the most elite gamers has reached a fever pitch – and now, it’s not uncommon to see sold-out arenas, big name sponsorship deals, and massive prize pools in the name of eSports.

Defining the eSports Ecosystem

Like any professional league, eSports creates the foundation for an entire ecosystem of opportunities.

Players
Players are central to the ecosystem, since they are the stars and they have their own personalities. One famous star is Kuro Takhasomi (KuroKy), who has brought in a whopping $4.2 million in prize money from Dota 2 tournaments so far. He has earned more than any other player in eSports.

Teams
Because the games played are mostly team-based, there is a crucial element of teamwork involved. eSports franchises are currently selling for millions of dollars. It’s worth noting that these franchises don’t just employ players – they also hire staff that can better ensure the success of players, such as coaches, trainers, and personal chefs.

Games and Developers
Some of the most important games in the eSports world right now include: Dota 2, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Call of Duty.

Competitions
Leagues and tournaments can offer massive prize pools for players. The biggest single pool so far was $25.5 million, offered for a Dota 2 tournament in 2017 (“The International”). It’s the second-largest prize pool offered in any kind of sport, behind the U.S. Open (tennis).

Organizers
Running eSports events is big money, and organizers of events can tap into sponsorship and fan revenue. Sometimes game publishers will organize the events, but third-party ones also exist in the ecosystem.

Sponsors
Sponsors like Coca-Cola, Intel, and Mercedes-Benz have shelled out millions of dollars to sponsor events and reach the massive audiences associated with eSports. In more recent news, SAP signed a deal to sponsor one of the biggest names, Team Liquid.

Broadcasters
Broadcasters, both traditional and online (YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitch, etc.), are also in to get a part of the action. Recently, game developer Blizzard signed a broadcasting deal with Disney to broadcast Overwatch League playoffs on ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD.

What do you think is the most exciting part of the eSports boom, and why?

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Chart of the Week

Visualizing the Unicorn Landscape in 2019

Breaking down the world’s 326 unicorns – privately-held startups valued at over $1 billion – by country, sector, and valuation.

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Visualizing the Unicorn Landscape in 2019

It was only six years ago that venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the term “unicorn” to describe any privately-held startup worth $1 billion or more.

At the time, such valuations were so rare that they deserved a special name – but since then, it’s fair to say that the landscape has shifted dramatically. The startup boom intensified, and capital flowed into private companies at an unprecedented pace.

In recent times, unicorns have multiplied more like rabbits, and investors have propped up the combined value of the world’s 326 unicorns to the tune of $1.1 trillion.

Breaking down the World’s 326 Unicorns

Today’s chart uses data from the Unicorn Tracker created by CB Insights, and it breaks down the unicorn landscape by sector, valuation, and country.

Let’s start by looking at the biggest unicorns currently in existence:

RankCompanyValuation ($B)CountrySector
#1Toutiao (ByteDance)$75ChinaMedia
#2Uber$72United StatesOn-Demand
#3Didi Chuxing$56ChinaOn-Demand
#4WeWork$47United StatesOther
#5JUUL Labs$38United StatesOther
#6Airbnb$29United StateseCommerce
#7Stripe$23United StatesFintech
#8SpaceX$19United StatesOther
#9Epic Games$15United StatesOther
#10GrabTaxi$14SingaporeOn-Demand
Note: data is current as of May 3, 2019

ByteDance is the world’s largest unicorn at a $75 billion valuation. The company owns Toutiao, a popular machine-learning enabled content platform in China that customizes feeds based on a user’s reading preferences. It also owns video sharing platform Tik Tok.

Experts are estimating that over 100 unicorns could IPO in 2019, including Uber and Airbnb from the above list.

So far this year, Lyft and Pinterest have already hit the public market – and another recent unicorn to IPO was conferencing platform Zoom Video, which has seen shares increase 120% in price since its impressive mid-April debut.

Unicorns by Sector

The two most common sectors for unicorns are Internet Software Services and E-commerce.

Sector# of UnicornsValuation ($B)
Total326$1,086 billion
Internet Software Services82$153
e-commerce44$129
Fintech32$94
Healthcare30$76
On Demand23$200
Hardware14$56
Data analytics12$27
Social11$27
Autotech11$23
Media8$89
Travel Tech7$11
Cybersecurity7$15
Other45$186
Note: data is current as of March 2019

However, as you can see, the segment most valued by investors is On-Demand, which includes companies like Uber, Didi Chuxing, and DoorDash.

Unicorns by Geography

Nearly half of the world’s unicorns come from the U.S., but China also has an impressive roster of highly valued startups.

Country# of Unicorns%
Total326
USA15647.9%
China9428.8%
UK175.2%
India134.0%
Germany82.5%
South Korea61.8%
Rest of World329.8%
Note: data is current as of March 2019

Strangely, outside of the six major countries listed above, the rest of the world only combines for a measly 32 unicorns – less than 10% of the global total.

Unicorns by Valuation

Seven unicorns – including Uber, WeWork, Airbnb, and ByteDance – account for almost 30% of all of the value of the entire landscape.

Valuation Range# of UnicornsValue ($B)% of Value
 Total326$1,086
$20+ billion7$32129.5%
$10-20 billion13$15113.9%
$5-10 billion26$15314.1%
$1-5 billion280$46142.5%
Note: data is current as of March 2019

The bottom of the pyramid ($1-5 billion in valuation) holds 280 companies. Added together, they are worth $461 billion, which is equal to 42.5% of the unicorn total.

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