In the past few years we’ve seen a significant move toward focused apps, in-app purchases, and increasing encroachment of the mobile advertising space. Today it is even more important that we finally take serious steps toward shifting from desktop to mobile networking and devices. In 2013, gross revenues in mobile apps and mobile advertising industries totaled $38 billion —quite impressive, and the number will only continue to grow. If we tease out revenue for mobile apps only, it’s projected to be about $70 billion annually by 2017 . Let’s look at some of the key mobile apps and mobile advertising market players that we should be watching.

  1. App Annie is the leading service for tracking user activity and app usage. It has recently earned enough investment to outship but one of its main competitors, and its growth is accelerating: at the moment 600,000 apps are using App Annie, along with 270,000 developers.

Front Rank Mobile App Industry Players to Follow

Above: The cartoon mascot for App Annie.

Image Credit: App Annie

2.     Flurry was originally a mobile app analytics company, but at the present it’s using its acquired information to run a network for mobile advertising. Word-of-mouth helped Flurry to receive some essential investment funding and grow their customer base. This is how Flurry Marketplace emerged: they decided to use their collected app session information to connect the right content publishers to the right advertisers. Just as in desktop advertising, you can bid to buy real-time ads and target your perfect audience on mobile. I personally use a lot of their reports for great insights on what’s happening in the mobile apps market. At the end of 2013, 150,000 companies with 500,000 apps were reported to be Flurry customers.

3.     Have you heard about MoPub? It’s Twitter, trying to enter the mobile apps and ads sphere. The company works to match advertisers and mobile users in real time using personal preferences, interests, and demographic characteristics.

4.     Adobe Digital Publishing has also entered the mobile apps market space, offering custom mobile apps on demand that are produced in a matter of weeks. The use cases show that the interactivity of mobile apps makes it a truly immersive digital channel.

Front Rank Mobile App Industry Players to Follow5.     Appsflyer is a traffic aggregator that collects visitors directly from app developers to create a huge network of more than 450 app publishers, including Appnexus, Facebook, and Tapjoy. The installs are also covered by the analytics. Agencies can use a new service that introduces mobile campaigns for clients willing to grow their download numbers, with complete control over the installs, ROI, and costs.

6.     Fetch is a London agency specializing in mobile ad placements. Its mobile ad targeting system has worked out great for StubHub, eBay, and Supercell due to its strong play in the market. Front Rank Mobile App Industry Players to Follow7.     WhatsApp is famous for being bought by Facebook for more than $16 billion. Consequently, the number of users has grown to 450 million, and the customer base is said to be growing even more with the help of underdeveloped countries.

8.     KikMessenger remains the leading private messenger app since WhatsApp was taken off the market by Facebook. It has become popular due to its instant photo and short text sharing, and currently has 100 million registrations.

9.     HasOffers mobile ad analytics company is doing pretty well in Korea, even after breaking up with its major partner, Facebook.

10.    MyFitnessPal is the top health app in the AppStore, with over 50 million users. The app targets weight management and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and offers a website for user support. It’s likely that its data about eating and exercising habits will be transmitted into the healthcare system for doctors’ use in the future.

11.    Last but not the least, AdRoll offers mobile ad retargeting with clients such as New Relic, ZenDesk, and 15,000 more. Total revenues have surpassed $150 million.

What are your favorite mobile app industry companies? What market players would you like to resemble?