Why I’m more excited than ever by the future of subscription apps

To sum it up, the state of subscription apps is looking great.

State of Subscription Apps 2024
Jacob Eiting
PublishedLast updated

The past five years have been a rollercoaster for the app industry. 

Despite everything – pandemics, privacy changes, and market fluctuations – subscription apps are not just surviving, they’re thriving. Looking back at 2023, it’s clear that we’re moving into a promising phase of growth, driven by the resilience and innovation of these apps businesses

One of the most exciting developments has been the rise of LLMs and generative AI, reshaping nearly every category of consumer apps. Some say the mobile era is over, but I believe AI is actually kicking off a new phase where mobile remains at the heart of daily tech use.

AI will also create an unprecedented opportunity for consumer subscription startups to disrupt existing categories and invent new ones 

Phil Carter, growth advisor

There’s no need to take my word for it — let’s allow the data to do the talking.  

State of Subscription Apps 2024

Our latest State of Subscription Apps report dives deep into what’s working (and what’s not) for subscription apps today. 

Read and download the report

We went deeper and further than last year, breaking down more numbers across more categories to produce a report so dense only a management consultant could love it. We’ve looked at everything from pricing and packaging to conversion and retention – all to give you the insights you need to make informed decisions about your app.

Here’s a snapshot of what we found:

  • 1.7% of downloads convert to paying subscribers within the first 30 days. The gap between the top and bottom performers remains wide, emphasizing the potential for growth.
  • A year into launch, the leading 5% of apps outshine the rest, earning 200 times the revenue of those in the bottom quartile. 
  • 12% of churned subscribers come back within a year, with some categories seeing even higher rates of return.
  • Monthly subscriber retention dropped by 14%, highlighting the challenges of keeping users engaged over time.
  • Realized LTV in North America is 4x the global average, but the data points to meaningful opportunities in other markets as well.
Global realized LTV numbers (for 14 and 60 days after download) show that North America is leagues ahead of the rest of the world for earnings.

Listen to us discuss the report on the Sub Club podcast

Alongside the launch of the report and this blog, you can also listen to David and I take an initial dive into the numbers and discuss each of the key stats above in more detail.

Read the report — Join the roundtable

Ready to explore the report for yourself? It’s available to read online (and download, should you wish). 

We’re also hosting a roundtable discussion with me, David, and growth advisor Phil Carter, during which we’ll walk you through the highlights and discuss what they mean for the future of subscription apps. That’s happening on the 27th March and you can register now

It’s my hope that these insights help you stop guessing, and let you start acting.

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