Google Play Worldwide Rankings Highlight Why Google Still Trails Behind Apple In Spite Of More Downloads


This morning, App Annie released their yearly look back on 2014, highlighting what was happening in the app world and what apps were doing well. We have already heard from the report that the sharing economy, super casual gaming and messaging apps were all big hitters last year. Not to mention that we also heard how the top apps for both download and revenue fared against each other. Interestingly, LINE seemed to be the publisher (and app) to beat last year.

Moving on from the actual apps, it is now time to take a brief look at Google Play, in general. We already know from previous reports that the Play Store has surpassed Apple's App Store in terms of sheer download numbers. Yet, like the app download/revenue report we saw this morning, we also know that the Play Store's higher number of downloads did not stop Apple from generating more revenue from their downloads. But how does the Play Store compare across the world


Well, According to App Annie and their top 10 countries for Google Play findings, the interesting comparison between download and revenues continue. The number one country for downloading Play Store apps in 2014 was the United States. Interestingly, the U.S. was followed by Brazil in second place and India in third place. Closing out the top 5 was Russia and South Korea respectively. But These rankings were only for 'number of downloads'. Interestingly, none of the top 5 'download' countries maintained their position when it came to revenue. For instance, in fifth place for revenue was Taiwan, who never made the top 10 for downloads at all. In fourth place for revenue was Germany who managed to creep into top 10 for downloads, in 9th position. In third place for revenue was South Korea who did make it into the top 5 for downloads but only in fifth place. Which brings us to the number two country for revenue, who were the most consistent in regards to the download/revenue ratio. The Unites States came in second place for revenue although, as there were the number one country for actual download numbers, it would be expected that they would chart high. The big surprise though, is the number one spot for revenue was taken by Japan. In spite of Japan being the highest revenue country for Google Play apps, they did not factor into the top 10 'number of downloads' at all.

Japan's status of number one revenue country for Google Play makes for some interesting observations. As they did not enter the download top 10 at all, it seems the apps they are downloading are the ones which cost and generate actual money. In contrast, it seems countries like Brazil and India (2nd and 3rd respectively for 'number of downloads') are boosting overall download numbers, but not in any monetary meaningful manner. Neither Brazil nor India made it into the top 10 revenue countries. This point in general, seems to be the problem for the Play Store. While their 'number of downloads' easily surpasses iOS, they are not generating anywhere near the same level of revenue. As 2015 continues, we are likely to see this trend continue with the emergence of Android One in newer markets like India. As such, we probably should start to see more reports on Google continue to dominate the app download market, but not actually compete when it comes to revenue from those same apps.

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Freelance Contributor

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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