An estimated 51,700 Canadians are employed directly and indirectly in the development of apps. In my research that I conducted with my colleagues at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), an emerging sub-sector that we found very intriguing was Canada’s app economy. Apps are finding their way in every facet of our daily lives, and yet, there does not appear to be a wide understanding of the app universe.
During the course of 2012, smartphone users in Canada will exceed 13 million, from 9.1 million in 2011.The more the smartphone users, the bigger the app economy becomes.
In the first study of its kind, this ICTC study paints a preliminary picture of the apps economy in Canada. Our findings indicate that hundreds of millions in revenue are flowing to entrepreneurs and businesses engaged in the development of apps by a diversity of enterprises across the country. During the course of 2012, smartphone users in Canada will exceed 13 million, from 9.1 million in 2011. The more the smartphone users, the bigger the app economy becomes. Apps are, without doubt, a significant contributor to the digital economy in Canada.
For this study, we gathered evidence directly from scores of Canadian app-enterprises and app-makers.
To the many, many app entrepreneurs who took their time to discuss with us in great detail the various opportunities and challenges facing Canada’s app economy, thank you!
Information gathered directly from the app enterprises was then complemented by secondary data research collected from broadly available information sources including those of Statistics Canada, Service Canada, and other app-related data sources. Multiplier effects of the tangential and induced economic activities were also taken into account. We explore:
- The economics of app creation: The costs associated with developing apps, funding mechanisms of app enterprises, opportunities and challenges to funding app initiatives;
- The total expenditure on apps and related products and services by Canadians;
- The various avenues of revenue generation and the total revenue generated by the Canadian app-makers;
- The growth potential of the app economy and estimated job creation in this segment as a result of companies and developers looking to build new apps for the growing number and variety of devices coming to market;
- Various technical and non-technical occupations engaged in app creation as well as their composition and direct employment in the app economy; and
- Consideration of the potential policy measures that may be beneficial to increasing the contribution made by apps developers to innovation and productivity in Canada.
ICTC’s app economy survey is still open and app-enterprises and app-makers are welcome to complete it from the following link:
We will integrate the new information and evidence as those are received and issue periodic updates as part of our ongoing effort to map the app landscape in Canada.