What is the major cultural force in America right now? It might just be apps and the web.
While reading a self-laudatory Apple press release, the technology business analyst Horace Dediu found something remarkable: The iOS App Store distributed $10 billion to developers in 2014, which, Dediu points out, is just about as much as Hollywood earned off U.S. box office revenues the same year.
Working from that data, Dediu makes a startling provocation:
Although the totals for Domestic (U.S.) Box Office are not the complete Hollywood revenues picture, Apple’s App Store billings is not the complete App revenue picture either. The Apps economy includes Android and ads and service businesses and custom development. Including all revenues, apps are still likely to be bigger than Hollywood.
(The emphasis there is mine.)
Now, for “App economy” revenue worldwide to approach Hollywood revenue worldwide, those ads and services would have to bring in a lot of money. Though 2014 data isn’t yet available, box offices worldwide have brought in twice as much as they have in North America since 2010. In other words, the ads, services, and Android equivalents that Dediu mentions would have to bring in more than $20 billion.