Seven months into the year and the app industry has never been stronger – global app spending climbed nearly 25% to reach upward of $64.9 billion, and mobile habits picked up over the past year are set to stay.
In terms of performance, Gaming remains the undisputed leader in both consumer spend and downloads but among the non-gaming apps, a number of categories are enjoying their fair share in the spotlight.
While categories such as Business, Health, Social and Entertainment continue to enjoy the momentum generated last year, we are also beginning to see renewed interest in sectors like Travel and Navigation, Dating, and Productivity as vaccination rollouts in different countries pick up tractions.
However, the mobile landscape has always been as dynamic as they come – the dust has yet to settle on the pandemic front and consumer behaviour will shift with every passing month. So while the first half of the year had the industry by the edge of our seat for the habits and trends that will form part of the new industry normal, there are now clear signals of what is to come and developers looking to stay competitive will need to start acting on them.
Alternative is the name of the game
Mobile, and apps in particular, are now a cornerstone of consumers’ daily lives and businesses who do not have a presence on a platform will be the ones who will struggle the most, regardless of vertical. Furthermore, users are becoming increasingly discerning about the products and services they use, and are more likely to explore competitor apps to satisfy needs for services that best suit them. This means that developers need to look at participation in alternative platforms – such as various app marketplaces – is becoming critical for discoverability of smaller companies in particular. Bringing their brands to different app storefronts means high chances of building additional touch points with new and existing customers to their businesses.
In light of this, developers will need to identify tools and processes that can streamline their approach to the maintainability of their multi-platform presence. Between delivering their own app brand and participating in multiple app storefronts, the different processes add up to a maintenance headache. The more a developer can re-use their infrastructure and processes across multiple platforms to deliver a common feature-set, the easier they will be able to scale and the more resilient their business will become.
Connectivity set to take centre stage
The popularity and adoption of connected devices have surged over the years and consumers’ expectations are shifting in tandem with this trend. Mobile users are now looking towards a new level of seamless connectivity between their devices and favour apps that are compatible with their ecosystem of choice. This bias is particularly prevalent within the Health vertical where apps belonging to connected devices such as Peloton and Fitbit lead their competitors in terms of consumer spend.
The potential for developers integrated into an ecosystem is almost limitless – the compatibility means that the app is able to fully leverage the hardware capabilities to unlock more extensive features that their competitors would not have access to.
Furthermore, the rollout of 5G technology can further propel the popularity of apps integrated within the ecosystem through its vastly enhanced latency and bandwidth. These capabilities empower greater and better connectivity between devices and apps integrated with the ecosystem are able to contribute to a significantly smarter and more seamless environment. This advantage will then help these apps pull ahead of their competitors in the long run.
Navigating the future with symbiotic collaboration
Given the growing need to maintain presence across alternative channels, publishers need to look towards platforms that can offer them not only a quality and sizable user base, but also strategic growth opportunities. This means focusing on the big picture and prioritise setting up shop at alternative app marketplaces.
With the growing distrust between developers and traditional app distribution platforms, the industry should expect to see an increasing number of bigger gaming companies attempting to set up their own storefronts. However, these channels are likely to be equally problematic as there may be some trust and fairness implications due to the same entity being both the distributor and the developer. Therefore, developers should instead consider existing app distribution platforms such as Huawei’s AppGallery which can offer not only extensive technical and operational support, but also a well-established ecosystem and userbase of over 540 million active users globally.
AppGallery offers developers a wide suite of tools, capabilities, and resources, empowering them to achieve the best return on investment in the shortest period possible. To achieve this, the platform offers every developer a full spectrum of developer support from technical integration to overseas market expansion, facilitating exponential growth and app innovation.
Furthermore, developers onboarding the platform will gain access to the powerful HMS (Huawei Mobile Service) Core, a rich array of open device and cloud capabilities. It allows developers to introduce unique ground-breaking technology to their apps and integrate them into the all-encompassing HMS ecosystem at the same time.
Between the comprehensive level of developer support and unwavering commitment to partner success, AppGallery is the ideal platform for businesses looking to navigate the dynamic second half of 2021 and the future.
If you are interested in learning more about Huawei and its solution, visit the Huawei developer website here: https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/
Written by: Gavin Kinghall Were, Global Head of BD Solutions, Huawei Consumer Business Group
Azerion Announces Proposed Changes to its Supervisory Board
Since the start of 2022, Azerion has seen a period of significant transformation and growth including its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the completed sale of the Youda card games portfolio and the recently announced placement of EUR 165 million of senior secured floating rate bonds.
Following their successful stewardship throughout this period, Azerion now announced the decision of Peter Tordoir (Chairman) and Derk Haank to step down from Azerion’s Supervisory Board. Both decisions to step down are expected to take effect as from the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be convened as soon as is reasonably practicable to appoint the proposed new Supervisory Board members described below.
As Azerion prepares for the next stage of its growth plan and the business continues to scale into becoming one of Europe’s largest digital advertising and entertainment media platforms, Azerion welcomed Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as proposed new Supervisory Board members. Further details relating to both proposed Supervisory Board members and the arrangements for the EGM are expected to be published shortly. A new Chairperson will be appointed by the Supervisory Board in due course.
Umut Akpinar, CEO of Azerion, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Tordoir and Derk Haank for their invaluable contribution to the success of Azerion and, in particular, during its initial phase as a listed company. We will be pleased to welcome Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as new Supervisory Board members bringing additional commercial, industry and capital markets experience to the Board.”
Background on Proposed New Supervisory Board Members
Zafer Karataş brings extensive experience in Business Management, M&A, Reorganizations and Financial Audit. He is currently Chairman of the Board of technology company MeritGrup and a Supervisory board member of DVA Bilisim and Most Teknoloji.
Wim de Pundert has been active as an investor and entrepreneur since the early 1990s, including through the use of buy and build and market consolidation strategies. De Pundert founded HTP Investments, a shareholder of Azerion, together with Klaas Meertens. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Knaus Tabbert AG, a European manufacturer of caravans and mobile homes listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Entain Provides Update on Current Trading and FY23 Guidance
Entain plc has provided an update on current trading and FY 2023 guidance, as well as plans to update shareholders on the progress of ongoing actions to accelerate operational performance and drive shareholder value.
Post the summer, Online Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) has been mixed across the Group, but in aggregate, softer than anticipated. Q3 Online NGR growth is now expected to be up high single-digit percent, and down high single digit percent on a proforma basis. Key drivers include:
- Adverse sporting results impacting sports margins during September
- Group wide implementation of industry leading safer gambling measures and ongoing regulatory headwinds persisting longer than expected, particularly in the UK
- Slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy
- Good underlying Online growth (ex-regulatory impacts) as evidenced by further strong proforma growth in active customers across the quarter
- Strong performance from recent acquisitions, particularly SuperSport in Croatia
- Robust performance across Retail
BetMGM in the US continuing to perform well: on track to deliver positive EBITDA in the second half of 2023; FY2023 NGR at the upper end of $1.8-$2.0bn guidance; and the successful rollout of Single Account Single Wallet, as well as online sportsbook enhancements supporting strong start to the NFL season.
Entain now expect Group Online NGR for FY2023 to be up low double-digit percent with proforma NGR down low single digit percent. The company reiterate their expectations for FY2023 EBITDA to be in the range of £1.00bn-£1.05bn supported by robust operational controls.
Actions to Accelerate Operational Strategy and Performance
Over the last three years Entain has undergone a significant strategic transformation, improving the quality of earnings and aligning operations to ensure the Group is positioned as strongly as possible to deliver long term shareholder value.
Alongside the Q3 trading update on 2 November 2023, management will share more detail on how these actions are being implemented to accelerate performance and delivery, including:
- A comprehensive market review focusing on long-term sustainable organic growth
- The simplification of Group structures and operations to improve operational leverage and reduce costs
- A plan for the migration of acquired businesses on to the Group’s industry leading technology platform
- Optimising our capital allocation priorities
- Progress on delivery of the Group’s Online EBITDA margin target of 30%
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We continue to see good underlying growth in our online business and are reiterating our EBITDA guidance for the year despite softer than expected revenue growth in Q3 and the ongoing roll-out of industry-leading safer gambling measures. We continue to attract more customers than ever before to enjoy our products and services. BetMGM remains on track to deliver positive EBITDA in H2 and a full year NGR performance at the top end of our expectations, and we are particularly excited about the product improvements that we are rolling out over the NFL season.
“We have made significant changes to the Group over the last three years. Our focus now is on accelerating the actions we are taking to drive sustainable organic growth, expand our margins, capitalise on the US opportunity and deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on the vast opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more detail about the changes that we are making alongside our Q3 trading update in November.”
Holland Casino Identifies New Groningen Casino Site
Holland Casino has chosen Business Park Ter Borch as the new location for its Groningen casino. Holland Casino selected the location at the gateway to Groningen for its accessibility and construction opportunities. Business park Ter Borch, on the edge of the municipality of Tynaarlo, offers Holland Casino the best opportunities to build a casino that meets the company’s architectural and sustainability requirements. Moreover, the location at the gateway to Groningen is easily accessible for guests and there is ample parking.
CEO Petra de Ruiter said: “We are happy that the decision has now been made. If the Tynaarlo municipal council is as enthusiastic as the board of Holland Casino, we can enter the period of planning and construction. I’m looking forward to that and especially to the moment when the new Holland Casino Groningen is open. That is not only good news for our guests, but also for our employees.
“They will soon be able to optimally welcome guests from a new building and offer the hospitality that can be expected from us.”
Spatial planning councilor Jurryt Vellinga of the municipality of Tynaarlo said: “The location makes sense because of the good accessibility and the space that the business park offers. For us it is a sign that the municipality of Tynaarlo and the region are still popular for companies. This location offers employment opportunities and is a great boost for tourism in our municipality.”
Attention has also been paid to the former Holland Casino location on Gedempte Kattendiep in Groningen. The casino was destroyed in a fire in 2017, with Holland Casino operating a temporary facility since 2018.
“Holland Casino offers the municipality of Groningen every cooperation to ensure that something beautiful comes back to the city center. We are grateful to everyone involved for all the cooperation and support we have received in recent years. We are very grateful to Groningen and Tynaarlo for the efforts made to find a suitable location,” Ms. de Ruiter said.
The new branch of Holland Casino, Holland Casino Groningen, is expected to open in 2027.
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