The latest report from App Annie was released this morning and is one which looks to identify not just how well the Google Play Store is currently doing, but also to identify the top 10 apps available on Google Play by download number and by revenue. In terms of the wider market, App Annie notes that following Google Play's passing of the iOS App Store (in terms of downloads), Google Play continues to climb in its worldwide number of downloads and the level of revenue that can be attained from Google Play apps. While this is a continued trend of late, what is interesting is App Annie found that between 2015 and 2016, the countries which showed the highest level of market share growth (in terms of Google Play downloads) was India, Vietnam and Pakistan.
Moving on to the top apps (excluding games) determined by App Annie’s analysis and much of the top 10 will contain very familiar titles. Taking the top spot is Facebook, which is followed by WhatsApp Messenger, which is also followed in third place by Facebook Messenger. Instagram takes 4th, while Clean Master comes in at five. Skype is in sixth place while LINE is number seven and Viber takes the number eight spot. Closing out the top 10 list is Twitter in nine and Flashlight by Surpax in tenth position. While some of these are likely to be extremely predictable top 10 titles, when looking at the top apps based on worldwide revenue, the story is quite different with only one of the top 10 downloaded apps making it into the top 10 revenue list. The app in question is LINE and in spite of being the sixth top app based on downloads, it is the number one app based on revenue. However, that is not the end of the LINE story as the LINE developers also secure second and third place in terms of revenue, with their LINE PLAY and LINE Manga apps, respectively. Marking a dominance of the top three based on all time worldwide revenue. Number 4th on the revenue list is Pandora Radio, while KakaoTalk comes in at fifth and GREE in at six. Pokemini takes the number seven spot while Dragon Quest X Adventurer's Convenient Outing Tool takes eight. Closing out the list is LOVOO in nine and Tinder at ten.
There are some notable observations which can be made from these latest results and while the difference between the top download and top revenue apps seems quite contrasting, it is not as strange as it might seem. Firstly, the difference between the download and revenue top 10s is partly due to the function of the apps. For instance, the clear emerging winners of the app download category was communication and social apps. Both of these categories did well and highlighted a preference by Android app users for apps which offer more of a communication and networking-based experience. In contrast, the revenues generated came more often than not from titles which were more gaming in nature. Most likely an indication of the success of the in-app model and especially in relation to casual games which attract a wider audience than just gamer-focused games.
While LINE occupy the top three revenue generating apps, App Annie does note that this was an effect of revenue which was primarily driven by Japan alone. In fact, six of the top 10 revenue apps were largely fueled by Japan, which adds to the larger observation by App Annie that part of Google Play's future growth will be dominated by non-US users. In contrast to iOS (where the majority of revenue emerges from the U.S. market), the Google Play Store is seeing a far wider reach of its apps and more importantly for developers, revenue generated from apps. A trend which the App Annie expects to continue going forward. Further evidence of this comes from the top 10 download list which highlights that only six of the top 10 downloaded apps were apps from companies who are headquartered in the U.S. Again, highlighting that while the U.S. still does lead the Google Play revenue market overall, it is one which is not as nearly as concentrated as it used to be.