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Latest Report Highlights Games And Apps ‘Most Downloaded’ Are Not ‘Most Revenue’ Generating

January 28, 2015 - Written By John Anon

We have already heard this morning the main findings of App Annie’s retrospective look back of 2014. For those that missed our earlier report, the overall findings suggest sub-industries such as the ‘sharing economy’, messaging and ‘super casual games’ saw the biggest growth in 2014 and are likely to continue in 2015. Those were the overall main headlines, but to look in to what actually did well, individually, we have to delve into the rankings. These rankings consist of overall scores across both the android (Google Play) and iOS (Apple).

In terms of worldwide ranks, we see some a lot of familiar faces making the top 10’s in 2014. In terms of games, the number one downloaded game was Candy Crush Saga. This was followed by Subway Surfaces, My Talking Tom, Farm Heroes Saga (same makers as Candy Crush) and one of the new entries, Clash Of Clans. You will notice a lot of these titles revolve around the same type of game content, clearly indicating the popularity of these sorts of games, over the last twelve months. Likewise, the top non-game Apps of 2014, followed a similar homogenous pattern. In at number one was Facebook Messenger. Probably not surprising this made the number one spot in terms of downloads, as this was only released in 2014 and instantly had Facebook’s entire userbase to hit the download button. Following on from Facebook Messenger though, was actually Facebook. This was then further followed on by WhatsApp Messenger (starting to notice a trend?). Coming in fourth and fifth place was Instagram and Skype respectively. So there can be no doubt that in the non-game sphere, social media apps were the biggest apps by download.

That said, downloads do not equate to revenue and that certainly seems to be the case when you look at the actual top apps and games of 2014 by revenue. On the game front, the number one game by revenue, was actually Clash of Clans. Which if you remember came in fifth, in terms of ‘number of downloads’. This was followed in second place by Puzzle and Dragons, which actually did not make it into the top 10 of download numbers at all. The most downloaded game (Candy Crush Saga) comes in at third place, in terms of revenue and is followed up the rear by Monster Strike and Game of War – Fire Age in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Likewise, the non-game apps seem to show a similar trend with only one of the top five ‘top downloaded’ apps, making the top 5 revenue-generating apps. Ironically, it was also fifth in both lists, with Skype being the fifth top app for revenue. Edging past Skype into fourth place was dating app, Zoosh. This was then beaten to third by LINE Play. For those who have yet to encounter, is an avatar social media based app which can be linked to your LINE, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Beating LINE Play to second place was Pandora Radio and taking the very top spot for non-game apps by revenue, was LINE. As you have by now probably guessed, this is the main app to which you can link your LINE Play (the third highest revenue app) to.

As such, LINE seem to have done extremely well in 2014 with their range of LINE apps. In fact, for informational purposes, LINE also had the seventh app in terms of revenue for their LINE Manga app. With three in the top 10, LINE were by far the standout publisher, taking the number one Publisher spot for revenue. They also managed to get one of their games (Disney Tsum Tsum) in the top 10 revenue games (number eight). The success of LINE does highlight the interesting correlation between downloads and revenue. While we consistently hear of how many downloads certain apps achieve, it seems that does not always equate to a successful revenue app. LINE were the number one publisher for non-game revenue, had three apps in the top 10 non-game list and one in the top 10 game list. Yet, none of their apps made it on to either the game or non-game top 10 downloaded lists. Interesting!