The top 25 developers in Google Play and Apple’s App Store for iPhone took home around half of the revenue generated in the US during the first 20 days of November, according to analyst firm Canalys.
During the period, the top 25 grossing developers generated revenue of more than US$60 million from paid apps and in-app purchases across both storefronts, according to data gathered by the firm.
All but one of the top 25 grossing developers were game companies, with only the Pandora music app coming from a different category.
The successful developers included a number of cross-platform developers as well as mobile game specialists, with high-profile names including Zynga, EA, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu and Gameloft.
Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones said successful developers often have multiple titles generating revenue. For example, Zynga had an average of 15 titles in the top 300 grossing iPhone apps every day and nine titles in the same list in Google Play.
Through the use of discounts, special offers and ability to cross-promote within their app portfolios, Jones expects this dominance of the biggest-grossing developers to increase during the Christmas period.
During the period, on average 145 of the top 300 paid apps in the App Store and 116 of the top 300 paid titles in Google Play were games, with 94 of the top 300 free apps in the App Store and 110 in the top 300 free Google Play titles also falling into this category.
Canalys said this shows the challenge facing makers of other types of apps both in terms of visibility and monetisation.
Senior analyst Tim Shepherd said non-game developers should look at how they better promoting their titles through social media, sales promotions, branding tie-ups and targeted in-app advertising.