The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) recently published a study on the app economy showcasing its success and the profound societal impact that it has had in terms of making people’s lives better. Considering this study, EU40 organised a working breakfast on this timely topic bringing together the best experts in the sector, who shared their insights and contribute to a rich discussion.
The discussions were hosted by MEP Emilian Pavel (S&D, LIBE Substitute) together with other MEPs. Distinguished speakers were Eric Peters, Senior Adviser, Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, European Commission, Michela Palladino, Director, European Policy and Government Relations, Developers Alliance, Prof. Niko Haerting, Lawyer, Partner, Haerting Lawyers, Lie Junius, Director EU Public Policy and Government Relations, Google and Marcin Szczepanski, EPRS, author of the EU App Economy study.
Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007. In 2008 Apple opened its App Store, the same year Google opened its Google Play Store. Hence, the year 2018 marks the 10th year anniversary of the two most popular app stores and thereby the launch of the App Economy.
According to the EPRS study, apps have evolved since then and play an increasingly important role in the life of citizens thereby becoming increasingly crucial to the success of a variety of 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.