Developers are increasingly publishing apps to multiple app stores in order to maximise their potential audience, app store analysis company Distimo said.
The company noted: “multi-platform publishing is increasingly becoming a need for publishers, because one platform is not sufficient if you want to reach the majority of your audience.”
However, the choice of which stores to support varies depending on the aim – for example whether driving volume through free apps, or maximising revenue through paid-apps and in-app purchases.
Volume versus revenue
According to Distimo, Google Play delivers the highest number of free downloads, with the average daily download volume among the top 100 most popular free apps in the US at 4 million.
The average free volumes of the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad are 82 percent and 20 percent of the Google Play total, respectively.
The volumes for newer players such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace and Amazon Appstore are “fairly small compared to the millions of downloads in the other stores,” at 2 percent and 10 percent of the volume of Google Play.
It noted that while in most categories, the largest volume of free downloads is generated by Google Play, the App Store for iPhone still wins in some – including the dominant ‘games’ category.
However, when it comes to revenue, the split is different. The largest store is Apple’s App Store for iPhone, with a daily turnover among the top 200 highest grossing apps of US$1.9 million. The App Store for iPad reaches 64% percent of this total, with Google Play reaching just 29 percent.
Cross store strategies
The company notes that depending on a developer’s strategy, the stores to target are different. For example, for a developer targeting volume Google Play is the obvious starting point, while for revenue, the App Stores for iPad and iPhone lead the way.
Things are also different for developers working in certain niches. Educational and News apps fare well in the iPad store; while in contrast, personalisation products are not available for iOS devices. Google Play performs well for widgets.
While the catalogues of the six major app stores is around 1.3 million, there are only 980,000 applications. This means that on average, each title is published to 1.3 stores.
When looking at the top 300 apps, the cross-store ratio is “much higher.” For example, 89 percent of the top 300 free and top 300 paid apps for iPad are also available for the iPhone.
For the top 300 free and top 300 paid apps in Google Play, 222 (37 percent) are also available in the App Store for iPhone.
As would be expected, some stores overlap more than others. For example, Apple’s iOS stores (for iPhone and iPad) are “highly interconnected,” as are Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Android.
There are also strong links between Google Play and BlackBerry App World, which Distimo said “might be an effect of the Port to Playbook programme”.
Unsurprisingly, Distimo’s rating of the top 10 most successful cross-store publishers consists of a raft of familiar names: Rovio, OMGPOP, Gameloft, EA, Google, Microsoft, Apple, ZeptoLab, Disney and Adobe.