3D printing is one of the most buzzed about tech developments in the last year. From 3D printing candy to guns, it seems that the possibilities are endless. Yet, a new report titled Consumer 3D Printing & Scanning: Service Models, Devices & Opportunities 2014-2018 estimates sales of consumer 3D printers to not exceed one million units until 2018, up from the roughly 44,000 estimated sales by the end of this year. Like most nascent tech, consumer education and a lower price point will be critical to adoption. While we’ve seen some novel executions from the likes of Hasbro and Hershey’s which let consumers print their own versions of toys and chocolates respectively, more utilitarian use cases will catalyze uptake.
Apps are not suitable for every brand and service and new forecasts from Gartner drive that point home. Based on their predictions, only .01% of apps will be considered financially successful by their developers by 2018. While that is a subjective value, it is clear that most apps are not breadwinners, failing to attract an audience for advertising and unlikely to spark in-app purchase. In fact, Gartner is also forecasting that 94.5% of downloads will be free in 2017, further driving that point home.
A brand may not necessarily develop an app to generate new revenue streams as they seek engagement and awareness. That said, branded apps still need to provide utility or at the very least entertainment. More importantly, they must sustain engagement ruling out the possibility for campaign-specific apps.
Based on an estimated 120% increase in spend from 2012, mobile looks to be garnering some serious budgets while desktop spend is slowing to a halt with a 1.69% growth from the year prior. Based on this trajectory, eMarketer anticipates mobile spend will surpass desktop in 2017. It appears after initial grumblings of “small screen size” and “fleeting attention”, marketers are starting to treat mobile as the next playground given its intimate connection to our lives. Expect interesting location-based engagements leveraging GPS, wifi and now bluetooth location data to increase in mobile, while custom sponsorships and branded content are likely to compete for a larger piece of desktop spend over the next year as well.