Our friends at App Annie just published a new report on the 'State of Google Play" and gives us some great insights into what is going on within Google Play's growth, downloads, revenues, what category leads in downloads and revenue and what category has broken into the top three over the past year. The report compares the first quarter of 2014 with the first quarter of 2015…a year-on-year, if you will. This past year has been an exciting time for Google and their Play Store as they continue to grow with increases in both downloads and revenues due to worldwide growth.
An increase sale of smartphones in emerging nations, such as Brazil and India, has increased the desire for Google Play apps, sparking a 30-percent increase in worldwide Google Play app downloads. Revenues from those downloads grew at even a faster rate of 40-percent, mostly due to growth in established markets – especially the US, South Korea and Japan. This increase in both downloads and revenues shows that there is an expanding market for app developers…possibly prompting more app developers to look at the Android market before the coveted iOS market, which many times gets their apps first.
While the US grew by 10-percent, the emerging markets lead the growth rate in Google Play app downloads. Brazil led with a 90-percent growth rate, followed by India at 50-percent with Russia and Mexico at 30-percent. Continued economic growth and large investments in their telecommunications infrastructure, as well as cheaper devices helped spur the growth rate in the emerging markets. Citizens are demanding better access to the internet, mobile and wireless services. Government, education and healthcare are demanding a better infrastructure as a means to compete with the outside world. As their internet services become stronger, so will the demand for smartphones and apps.
The top five countries in revenue start with Japan's appetite for Google Play apps producing the most revenue and it still increased by 40-percent. The US is in second place in overall revenues and grew by 50-percent. South Korea (home of Samsung and LG) grew by 30-percent. Germany is the fourth revenue generator and they grew 50-percent. The UK is fifth in Google Play revenue and grew by 30-percent. While Japan, the US and South Korea held on to their top three positions and generated about 70-percent of Google Play revenue, the emerging nations of India, Mexico and Indonesia continue to grow in download rankings.
It should come as no surprise that games continue to dominate revenue growth. Games and applications continued to experience large increases in downloads, and while revenues in applications stayed relatively flat, gaming revenues increase about 50-percent from last year. Outside of gaming, the top six app categories in growth were Tools, Communications, Photography, Entertainment, Personalization and Social. Tools and Communications apps continued to see strong growth and Photography apps saw strong growth jumping into third place and were led by camera apps such as 'Retrica' and 'Camera360.' Launcher apps, like 'Lazy Swipe' and 'APUS Launcher,' designed to speed up or simplify the user experience, are very popular in the emerging markets.
It is very interesting to see the differences in what users do with their time on while on a smartphone. In the US and UK we are using social media apps, in Germany they are using communication apps, while in Japan and South Korea, they are heavily into gaming. In all countries, the most time is spent outside of gaming, with a lot of time in 'Other' rather than Communications, Social and Games. Google apps dominates in the US, UK and Japan with the 10 most used apps in the US published by either Google or Facebook. Either Google or Facebook publishes eight or more of the top ten apps in the UK, Germany and India. When it comes to games, both 'Candy Crush' and 'Clash of Clans' appear in the top ten of all six countries.