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Study shows top-ranking photo apps win with new use cases

With the number of photo and video apps on the market still rapidly growing (currently at 78,000, more than twice as many as two years ago), the question is: what competitive advantages characterize the current breed of top-ranking photo and video apps? Who are they, what is their main use case, their user rating, how long have they been on the market, and what media types do they support?

To answer these and other questions the new Suite 48 Analytics Photo/Video App Market Study analyzed the top 20 photo and video apps listed in the US Google Play and Apple iTunes stores on January 1 as free Android, paid Android, grossing Android, free iOS, paid iOS, or grossing iOS apps.  Supplemented with the top 20 apps recorded for the previous two months, the study provides an in-depth analysis of a total of 146 photo and video apps.

The popularity of Combine apps signifies that smartphone photographers’ needs have surpassed plain photo editing or capture.

The study reports that the most frequently addressed use case among top-ranking photo/video apps is what it calls “Combine” – functionality that enables the user to combine photos with other photos, video clips with other videos, or photos with videos. Combine apps also include apps that facilitate combining photos or videos with other objects, such as text, frames, stickers, or clipart. 29% of the top-ranking photo/video apps currently have Combine as the main use case, followed by 18% that primarily offer Photo Editing features.

Not only are Combine apps the largest use case category among top-ranking apps, the study’s cross-tab analysis also reveals that Combine apps differ significantly from other use case categories in that, for instance, they have a larger portion of 4.5 or higher user ratings than any other use case category.

According to Hans Hartman, President of Suite 48 Analytics, the popularity of Combine apps signifies that smartphone photographers’ needs have surpassed plain photo editing or capture.

“As photos have rapidly become a prime communication medium through chat, messaging and other photo-centric communication tools, smartphone users increasingly make pragmatic decisions on how to maximize the visual impact of their photos, whether they combine them into a collage, mix them with video clips, or add text or graphical elements.“

The 59-page report includes cross-tab analysis to determine statistically significant differences for the core segments within the following variables:

§  Main use case

§  Age

§  App rating

§  Pricing

§  In-app purchasing options

§  Top-ranking on multiple OS platforms

§  Geo of developer

§  Size of developer

§  Operating system

§  Paid/free offering

 The multi-user premium version of the report includes an addendum with the listings of all 146 apps analyzed for this study, links to their store description, as well as the location and estimated size of their developers.

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Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is a highly influential and visionary leader in visual tech, with 20+ years of experience in licensing, tech innovation, and entrepreneurship. He is the Managing Director of MelcherSystem and has held executive roles at Corbis, Stipple, and more. Melcher received a Digital Media Licensing Association Award and is a board member of Plus Coalition, Clippn, and Anthology, and has been named among the “100 most influential individuals in American photography”

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