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Uber, Lyft and Airbnb Are Winning the App Download Battle

@djpeltier

Aug 04, 2014 6:30 am

Skift Take

Uber and Lyft have the advantage that they are travel apps that, like Google Maps, many people use every day. More travel apps should find a way to be relevant more often.

— Dan Peltier

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Sharing economy apps like Airbnb were heavily downloaded travel apps in June. Skift


It’s no surprise sharing economy apps were downloaded the most in the U.S. in June for travel and transportation.

It’s the fact that only a few of these apps are driving two-thirds of downloads that’s noteworthy.

Based on App Annie rankings, Uber was the most popular travel and transportation app across both Apple’s App Story and Google Play. Combined with Lyft, the car-sharing services accounted for the majority of downloads of travel apps.

App Annie splits its travel apps into three categories: Airlines, Ground Transportation, and Hotel and Lodging. With Uber and Lyft in ground transportation and Airbnb, HomeAway and Dwellable in hotels and lodging, the sharing economy apps were responsible for driving two-thirds of downloads in the top ten lists of their respective categories.

According to App Annie:

“In June, peer-to-peer sharing apps dominated App Annie’s Ground Transportation and Hotel & Lodging rankings. In Ground Transportation, leaders Uber (#1) and Lyft (#2) accounted for more than two-thirds of downloads among the subcategory’s Top 10. Similarly, in the Hotel & Lodging subcategory, peer-to-peer vacation rental apps Airbnb (#1), Homeaway VRBO (#3) and Dwellable (#8) drove almost half of Top 10 downloads. The rate at which these services are taking market share from traditional travel businesses is remarkable.”

Non-sharing economy apps were in the majority of the most downloaded list for all travel apps, but the sharers had the most downloads.

Booking sites such as Expedia, Kayak and Priceline all ranking in the top 10 for the month. The apps of United, Delta and Southwest also made the list.

A year ago Uber ranked in the top 200 app downloads in the iOS app store, this year it ranks in the top 50. Airbnb ranked in the top 600 last year, and now ranks in the top 300.

“Users love the frictionless experience created by apps like Uber and Lyft, and other publishers in the travel and transportation industries are taking note,” said Marcos Sanchez, App Annie’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications. “Aggregator and hotel apps in particular are developing new features to appeal to today’s customers’ desires for automation, simplicity and self-sufficiency.”

Sanchez points to Hilton’s revamped app as an example of how some hotels are starting to offer personalization in their apps which users find attractive with Airbnb and Uber.

“There is still room for growth, peer-to-peer apps have started to make strategic moves to appeal to businesses,” he said.

Both Uber and Airbnb recently announced partnerships with Concur, an expense account and travel booking management company, to make it easier for business travelers to use the apps.

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