Top Global Apps – December 2013

Following up on the 2013 Year in Review publication and the recent blog post on the Christmas spike we have been excited for the analysis for the complete month of December. In the beginning of the New Year 2014, Distimo proudly presents the top performing applications for December 2013 in this blog post. We highlight the leading free, paid, and grossing apps for the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore. The charts in this blog post are based on Distimo AppIQ data, covering the full month of December 2013 on a globally aggregated level.

Top Free Apps

The global free charts in the Apple App Store for December 2013 showed in general a lot of Christmas related apps and holiday versions of established games in high rankings.
Apple itself led the free charts in December with its Christmas gift app 12 Days of Gifts. This Christmas promotion included among songs, books, movies and other content, also a few apps. Two paid game apps that were part of this feature experienced a spike in downloads, after being gifted for free, Tiny Thief on December 27th and more recently, Mr. Crab on January 5th. For both apps it is interesting to see how the revenue developed even after the price change event of the free featured day. Next to being paid apps, both of these games also offer in-app features.

Following the gift app, Rovio could continue its race to the top charts with Angry Birds Go! on rank two, specifically well performing on iPad. The following ranks three to five were dominated by YouTube and Facebook. One possible explanation behind these top positions might also be the setup of new “iDevices” as Christmas gifts, as the download volumes mainly peaked around these days.

Top 5 Free Apps in the Apple App Store Publisher
1. 12 Days of Gifts iTunes
2. Angry Birds Go! Rovio Entertainment Ltd
3. YouTube Google, Inc.
4. Facebook Facebook, Inc.
5. Facebook Messenger Facebook, Inc.

On Google Play, the global top five free apps remained mostly the same. In line with the Apple App Store, Facebook was also dominantly present on Google Play. The Facebook Messenger app moved up another rank to position number three, leaving the only game in the top five: Candy Crush Saga behind on rank four. As the fourth social networking/ messaging app, Skype – free IM & video calls entered the top five, at the expense of Instagram. After an increase during the Christmas days, Skype – free IM & video calls showed an even higher download volume on January 1st, implying lots of Happy New Year calls. Following the United States, the Android Skype version was mostly installed in Brazil, Russia, India, and Germany.

Top 5 Free Apps on Google Play Publisher
1. Facebook Facebook
2. WhatsApp Messenger WhatsApp Inc.
3. Facebook Messenger Facebook
4. Candy Crush Saga
5. Skype – free IM & video calls Skype

Contrary to the downward movement on Google Play, Candy Crush Saga once again remained at the number one position in the Amazon Appstore. In line with the other two stores though, Facebook scored rank number two in December. Following close on rank three we found Netflix with a peak in downloads around Christmas day. While Despicable Me: Minion Rush gained one rank at position number four, the Kindle Tablet Edition of Subway Surfers completed the top five free charts for the Amazon Appstore.

Top 5 Free Apps in the Amazon Appstore Publisher
1. Candy Crush Saga
2. Facebook Facebook
3. Netflix Netflix, Inc
4. Despicable Me: Minion Rush Gameloft
5. Subway Surfers (Kindle Tablet Edition) Kiloo

Top Paid Apps

While Minecraft – Pocket Edition remained on rank one of the paid charts in December, rank number two was occupied by the sequel Cut the Rope 2 leaving Angry Birds Star Wars II out of the top five. Cut the Rope 2 was released in the second week of December and showed an extraordinary performance, achieving top rankings around Christmas. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was another newly released paid app, ranked three. Showing a significant pickup in download volumes over Christmas, Heads Up! moved up from rank five to four. Similar to this, Infinity Blade III also experienced a Christmas spike, leading to rank five.

Top 5 Paid Apps in the Apple App Store Publisher
1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
2. Cut the Rope 2 ZeptoLab UK Limited
3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Rockstar Games
4. Heads Up! Warner Bros.
5. Infinity Blade III Chair Entertainment Group, LLC

Google Play’s top paid apps showed just one change in December. Minecraft – Pocket Edition moved one rank up to rank two, trading places with Titanium Backup PRO Key ★ root on rank three. The other top titles remained in the same positions as in November, with SwiftKey Keyboard at the top position, also resulting in the top paid app for the complete year of 2013 on Google Play.

Top 5 Paid Apps on Google Play Publisher
1. SwiftKey Keyboard SwiftKey
2. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
3. Titanium Backup PRO Key ★ root Titanium Track
4. Nova Launcher Prime TeslaCoil Software
5. Poweramp Full Version Unlocker Max MP

Mojang’s Minecraft – Pocket Edition was still the most popular paid app in the Amazon Appstore in December, as well as for the complete year of 2013. Rank two and three also switched, resulting in rank number two for Warner Bros’ Scribblenauts Remix. Rank four showed an app from an unusual category for the Amazon Appstore: the Productivity app OfficeSuite Professional 7 more than doubled its download volume in December compared to November, which shows that also non game apps have potential for success in the Amazon Appstore. Following close was another Kindle Tablet app: THE GAME OF LIFE (Kindle Tablet Edition) on rank five.

Top 5 Paid Apps in the Amazon Appstore Publisher
1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
2. Scribblenauts Remix Warner Bros
3. Plants vs. Zombies (Kindle Tablet Edition) PopCap Games, Inc.
4. OfficeSuite Professional 7 Mobile Systems, Inc.
5. THE GAME OF LIFE (Kindle Tablet Edition) Electronic Arts Inc.

Top Grossing Apps

The top grossing apps in December didn’t show new names when compared to November. Unlike in the free charts there were not that many changes, it just seems as if the holidays had a bigger or smaller influence on the already well performing apps. In the Apple App Store, the Christmas spike in downloads and revenue was clearly visible for the number one in December: Clash of Clans once again switched places with Candy Crush Saga. Both games increased their revenues during the holidays, but for Clash of Clans the increase was large enough to re-conquer the leading grossing position. Ranks three to five remained unchanged.

Top 5 Grossing Apps in the Apple App Store Publisher
1. Clash of Clans Supercell
2. Candy Crush Saga Limited
3. Hay Day Supercell
4. Puzzle & Dragons GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.
5. Game of War – Fire Age Machine Zone, Inc


Google Play also just showed a few changes in the order of the top five grossing apps, but the leading titles did not change. Candy Crush Saga took the lead for December in front of Supercell’s Clash of Clans. Getting out of the way of the long lasting battle between these two apps, that now also seems to start on Google Play, パズル&ドラゴンズ(Puzzle & Dragons) moved down to rank three. Furthermore, 몬스터 길들이기 for Kakao and LINE Pokopang traded ranks and complete the grossing charts for December on rank four and five.

Top 5 Grossing Apps on Google Play Publisher
1. Candy Crush Saga
2. Clash of Clans Supercell
3. パズル&ドラゴンズ(Puzzle & Dragons) GungHoOnlineEntertainment
4. 몬스터 길들이기 for Kakao CJ E&M corp.
5. LINE Pokopang LINE Corporation

Top Grossing Apps – Full Year 2013

For the purpose of a complete overview, we would like to include the Top 10 global grossing charts for the full year 2013 (including December data) in this post. With the developments in December including the holiday influence, a few changes took place in the Top 10, as we also showed in our Webinar for a few examples.

Apple App Store – Full Year 2013

Even though the yearly top 10 titles remained the same, as reported in the December publication, Minecraft – Pocket Edition and The Simpsons™: Tapped Out were able to perform so well during December, that their grossing position over the complete year 2013 increased by one rank. This caused a move for Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North ® down to rank seven and for Modern War to rank nine.

Top Global Apps 2013, Grossing – Apple App Store Publisher
1. Clash of Clans Supercell
2. Candy Crush Saga Limited
3. Hay Day Supercell
4. Puzzle & Dragons GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.
5. The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth Kabam
6. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
7. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North ® Kabam
8. The Simpsons™: Tapped Out Electronic Arts
9. Modern War Funzio, Inc
10. Big Fish Casino – Free Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and More! Big Fish Games, Inc

Google Play – Full Year 2013

Including December data, there were even more changes visible on Google Play. Two other titles entered the top 10 for the full year, based on their December performance. While LINE WIND runner and Anipang for Kakao showed a slightly lower revenue, this gave room for クイズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ to enter the year top 10 on rank eight and 모두의마블 for Kakao on rank nine respectively. Moreover, 쿠키런 for Kakao moved one rank up to rank five in front of LINE POP.

Top Global Apps 2013, Grossing – Google Play Publisher
1. Candy Crush Saga
2. パズル&ドラゴンズ(Puzzle & Dragons) GungHoOnline
3. LINE: Free Calls & Messages LINE Corporation
4. 윈드러너 for Kakao WeMade Entertainment
5. 쿠키런 for Kakao Devsisters Corporation
6. LINE POP LINE Corporation
7. LINE Pokopang LINE Corporation
8. クイズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ COLOPL, Inc.
9. 모두의마블 for Kakao CJ E&M corp.
10. プロ野球PRIDE COLOPL, Inc.

Market Growth in December

Distimo Market Growth December 2013
In line with our ongoing market analysis, the graph above displays the past six months, showing the development of the relative market shares between the Apple App Store and Google Play*.

While the relative market shares hardly changed in December, the Christmas spike we reported on, was clearly visible in the revenue growth of both stores. The month of December, including the holiday business, led to a revenue growth of 18 percent for the combined revenue from the Apple App Store and Google Play compared to November. Relative to July 2013, the combined revenue grew by 38 percent. Looking at the app store level, both graphs show a clearly steeper slope. This increase translates into a growth in revenue of 17 percent for Google Play and an even stronger 18 percent for the Apple App Store from November to December 2013.
After the slower growth of the previous months it was great to see the influence of the Christmas spike and resulting developments in December.

* This analysis is based on comparing the revenue generated from the app stores of the following 34 countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey,
United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. These countries are chosen for this analysis, as revenue is generated for both stores in each country.

For those of you interested in data about the most popular free, paid and grossing applications on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, Distimo’s leaderboards are a great resource for further research. These leaderboards list applications and publishers per country and per category for the Apple App Store for iPhone, the Apple App Store for iPad, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Combining the data from the monthly leaderboards across all countries with enriched Distimo AppIQ data allows us to analyze the most successful apps worldwide as presented in this blog post.

Christel Schoger