Even though there was a huge rise in Android app downloads from Google Play last year, Apple’s iOS App Store continues to generate more money and has in the past year increased its lead over Android’s store in terms of profitability.
A new report by App Annie shows that in 2015 Google served twice as many app downloads as the iOS App Store, but that it hasn’t resulted in greater earnings. Despite the increase in downloads, iOS earns 75 percent more than Google Play, an increase over the 2014 lead Apple enjoyed of 70 percent more trackable revenues than the Google store.
“While Android is making inroads on Apple’s U.S. market share [among trackable app downloads], its revenue lags”, the report said. “Google must continue to evolve its strategy to help drive more revenue for its developers; that said, Android market share needs to grow at the high end of the smartphone market to meaningfully drive more revenue share”.
App Annie’s download stats only include apps the firm can actually track, so downloads of Apple’s own apps (such as Garage Band and Pages) don’t appear, as don’t built-in apps like Maps, News and others.
“App Annie is used by more than 1 million apps to track their performance”, the company states, “and now has over 500,000 registered members – including 94 of the top 100 publishers”.
This fact makes it challenging to directly compare the two operating systems in overall downloads, though it shows that in terms of monetised apps tracked by the advertisers, iOS earns far more money for developers than Android currently does, even though many of Android’s apps are free ad-supported titles.
App Annie’s stats for the top ten music streaming apps makes no mention of Apple Music, for example, even though the service has reportedly attracted ten million paid subscribers.
In App Annie’s top rankings by platform, YouTube is the third most popular app for iOS, but it doesn’t show in Android’s charts as it’s built into Android.
App Annie also doesn’t report on Google Play in China, as Google has a very limited presence in the country. Conversely, Apple’s app revenue in China has doubled. China is now Apple’s third-largest App Store market in revenue and close to Japan for second place. And in download counts, China has now beaten the US to become number one.
SOURCE: App Annie.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.