European app economy: State of play, challenges and EU policy

24-05-2018

Ten years have passed since the app economy was launched. Since then apps have evolved to play an increasingly important role in the life of citizens and became crucial to the success of many industries. Growing connectivity and availability of portable devices ensure that this trend will continue. The European app economy is rather successful and accounts for just under a third of revenues in the global market. Clusters of app developers exist in a few western European and Nordic Member States creating well-paid jobs, value and innovation in the digital economy. However, some bottlenecks still exist and hamper the growth of the sector. These include limited availability of finance, shortage of digital skills, the need to constantly upgrade infrastructure, and improving access to data. The EU strives to address these issues by creating an environment conducive to growth of the app economy. The main policy actions include strengthening the digital single market, funding research and innovation, creating fair taxation rules, developing standards and interoperability, fostering consumer protection and confidence, reforming training and education systems and supporting the development of a data economy and the internet of things.

Ten years have passed since the app economy was launched. Since then apps have evolved to play an increasingly important role in the life of citizens and became crucial to the success of many industries. Growing connectivity and availability of portable devices ensure that this trend will continue. The European app economy is rather successful and accounts for just under a third of revenues in the global market. Clusters of app developers exist in a few western European and Nordic Member States creating well-paid jobs, value and innovation in the digital economy. However, some bottlenecks still exist and hamper the growth of the sector. These include limited availability of finance, shortage of digital skills, the need to constantly upgrade infrastructure, and improving access to data. The EU strives to address these issues by creating an environment conducive to growth of the app economy. The main policy actions include strengthening the digital single market, funding research and innovation, creating fair taxation rules, developing standards and interoperability, fostering consumer protection and confidence, reforming training and education systems and supporting the development of a data economy and the internet of things.