Google Play revenue catching up with App Store

Google Play revenue catching up with App Store

30 MAY 2013

Distimo used its May 2013 report to address the “myth” that despite impressive download volumes, developers are still struggling to monetise their apps via Google Play when compared to Apple’s App Store.

Using data from April 2013, the company found “clear examples of applications and publishers that made more money or at least a similar amount of revenue in Google Play as they did in the Apple App Store”.

Level playing field

Using DeNA’s Mobage social gaming arm as an example, Distimo noted that the company gained “similar revenue numbers” in the App Store and Google Play in the US, at $5.6 million and $5.1 million respectively (a 52/48 spilt).

Getting an even US sales distribution is significant as it’s the largest market in terms of combined revenue for the two stores.

In Mobage’s home region of Asia, Distimo adds that the company’s revenue in Google Play is “sky high”.

One Mobage title, Blood Brothers, generated more revenue from Google Play than the App Store in the US, with 61 per cent of its $1.8 million total generated by Android users, and 39 per cent attributable to iOS device owners.

The company’s Rage of Bahamut generated $2.3 million in both stores combined, in this case with 44 per cent coming from Google Play and 56 per cent from the App Store.

Distimo also said that Gameloft’s World on Arms generated more revenue in Google Play than the App Store in the UK, Germany, Spain, Finland, India, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Israel, Ireland and Hong Kong – a mix of Asian and European markets.

And this is not unusual – Square Enix’s Final Fantasy III sees Google Play leading the way in even more countries, although Distimo noted that “the world map looks completely different”.

Interestingly, World at Arms is a freemium game while Final Fantasy III is a premium paid ($15.99) title without in-app purchases. “This suggests that for both monetisation forms there appears to be room for generating revenue in Google Play”, the report said.

Continued strength

While the balance is shifting between the stores, this is not the same for all applications and publishers – and especially not in the US.

The daily revenue generated by all applications in the top 200 grossing in the App Store for the US was $5.1 million in April 2013. This is still 4.6 times higher than the 200 best performing apps in Google Play, which had daily revenue of $1.1 million.

An example of an app which performed significantly better in the App Store than Google Play is The Simpsons: Tapped Out by EA. This title generated $4.8 million in the App Store and Google Play combined, with 79 per cent coming from the Apple portal – although this still means that it made more than $1 million from Google Play.

The Simpsons - Total Revenue April 2013

Shifting balance

Google Play’s share of the total revenue pie has increased notably in recent months. In November 2012, only 19 per cent of combined revenue came from Google Play, which increased to 27 per cent in April 2013.

Distimo said that the Japanese and South Korean markets were the main growth contributors.

Market Development Google Play vs Apple App Store


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

Read more