Netflix was the world’s top earning non-game mobile app in 2017, dethroning Spotify which led the way in 2016 and the Line messaging app in 2015, Sensor Tower reported.
The streaming video company generated gross subscriber revenue of approximately $510 million in 2017, compared with $215 million generated in 2016. Netflix was the highest-grossing non-game app on Apple’s App Store, though on Google Play it came in sixth place behind HBO Now (dating app Tinder topped the Google Play ranking).
In April Sensor Tower reported Netflix’s gross revenue on iOS devices grew 256 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2017 to hit $120 million.
Another non-gaming app which performed well in 2017 was Tencent Video, which went from number 14 in 2016 to number five overall (and third place in the App Store). Tencent Video didn’t rank in the top-ten non gaming apps on the Play Store because Google’s platform is not available in China, Tencent’s home market, Sensor Tower obseved.
As for non-gaming app downloads, Facebook-owned WhatsApp ruled the roost, taking the place of the core Facebook app which occupied the top spot in 2016. While Facebook apps continued to dominate the top of the overall and Google Play download charts, YouTube broke its hold in the App Store coming in at number three.
Despite user growth lagging, Snap ranked in sixth place for non-game downloads: Indian operator Reliance Jio ranked ninth in the category thanks to the MyJio app.
Mixi’s Monster Strike was the world’s top grossing mobile game and the highest earning mobile app overall for the third year in a row during 2017. Tencent’s popular title Honor of Kings came in second place, but could have been number one if Google Play was available in China, the game’s largest territory, Sensor Tower noted.
Pokemon Go didn’t make it to the overall or App Store top-ten in terms of revenue “despite sustained efforts by publisher Niantic to reignite the frenzy of 2016 with new Pokemon and other content”, but it did appear at number nine on the Google Play chart.
Subway Surfers was the most installed mobile game worldwide in 2017, a distinction held by Pokemon Go in 2016. It was also Google Play’s most downloaded game, while Honor of Kings topped the table on the App Store. The game was released in western markets in December, badged as Arena of Valor, as Tencent looked to expand the audience of a game with approximately 200 million monthly players in China.
Overall, when it comes to both non-game and other apps, Tencent was the world’s top-earning mobile publisher in terms of revenue. The company’s profit rose 69 per cent year-on-year during Q3 2017, with smartphone games making up a significant chunk of its revenue and its messaging app WeChat hitting 980 million monthly active users.