A Granular App Level Look at Revenues: Google Play vs. Apple App Store

We proudly present this month’s publication providing a granular app level look at revenues in the Apple App Store and Google Play. In this report, Distimo debunks some of the myths surrounding application level revenue in Google Play and the Apple App Store. One of those myths is that although the (free) download volumes in Google Play are impressive, developers still find it hard to monetize their apps on this platform compared to the Apple App Store. This month’s report will examine this statement by digging into the battle between Google Play and the Apple App Store.

All data mentioned in this report covers April 2013 and was collected directly from Distimo’s AppIQ , which contains download and revenue estimations on a daily basis. This publication presents data from six applications: Rage of Bahamut and Blood Brothers (RPG) by Mobage, Final Fantasy III by Square Enix, World at Arms by Gameloft, WhatsApp Messenger by WhatsApp, Inc. and The Simpsons: Tapped Out by Electronic Arts.

Some Applications and Publishers are winning on Google Play

Mobage is a developer that has gained similar revenue numbers in the Apple App Store and Google Play: $5.1M in Google Play and $5.6M in the Apple App Store during April 2013 in the United States.

Blood Brothers by Mobage generated more revenue in Google Play than in the Apple App Store in the United States. In April 2013, a total of $1.8M was gained in both stores combined; 61% of the revenue was generated in Google Play and 39% came from the Apple App Store.

Google Play vs. Apple App Store Globally

A great tool to analyze the performance of applications in different stores on a country level is Distimo’s Command & Conquer in Analytics, available through AppIQ. This feature enables the visualization of the success of an app per country on a world map. We used this tool in this month’s report to study which store is winning in which country for three applications: Final Fantasy III by Square Enix, World at Arms by Gameloft and WhatsApp Messenger by WhatsApp Inc.

In April 2013, Gameloft’s World on Arms generated more revenue in Google Play than it did in the Apple App Store in United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Finland, India, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Israel, Ireland, and Hong Kong. This list includes not only Asian countries, but also some large European countries. Moreover,  Final Fantasy III by Square Enix is winnig in Google Play in even more countries.

Extraordinary is the case of WhatsApp Messenger published by WhatsApp Inc. This messenger application is popular in Google Play and in the Apple App Store and is free in the former store and paid in the Apple App Store. Despite this monetization difference, this application made more money in Google Play than in the Apple App Store in Germany, Italy, and Spain.

The Apple App Store is still most beneficial

Although the examples clearly suggest that the balance is shifting between the Apple App Store and Google Play in terms of total revenue, this does not mean that this applies to all applications and publishers – especially not in the United States.  The daily revenue of applications in the top 200 grossing in the Apple App Store in the U.S. was $5.1M in April 2013. This is still 4.6 times higher than the 200 best performing applications in Google Play, which had daily revenue of $1.1M. However, looking at the whole store (graph above), Google Play’s piece of the pie, compared to the Apple App Store, has increased significantly over last six months. While only 19% of the combined revenue came from Google Play in November 2012, this share went up by 8 percentage points to 27% in April 2013.

Download the full Publication

In the publication you will find much more detailed information about the comparison between the Apple App Store and Google Play in terms of revenue. Please download the full publication here.
The press kit including all image files is also available.

Tiuri van Agten