Top Global Apps April 2014

April is the first month of Q2 2014 and we were excited to take a look at the app stores, curious to find out if there were any significant changes after the mostly stable global performance during Q1 2014. 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 April 2014 on a globally aggregated level.

Top Free Apps

After the ‘flappy’ trend from February, two more new apps were so popular that a lot of developers showed their appreciation in the form of imitation. Far ahead of all, 2048 led the free field of the Apple App Store. Over 80 percent of the downloads were generated on the iPhone platform, and the United States was the leading country, followed closely by China. Rank two represented the other popular imitation topic of April: Piano Tiles, being similar to Don’t step the white tile. Pleasing for Chinese developer HU WEN ZENG, most downloads were generated in China.
The bike racing game Trials Frontier raced up to rank three, being likewise supported by Chinese fans, who downloaded the game most during April 2014.
The fourth ranked app was Supercell’s Boom Beach, which surprisingly also generated most downloads in China during April. The game was made available globally in late March, after being soft-launched in only a few selected countries before, such as Canada and Australia. In the first weeks of the more global availability, the download volume in China was higher than the United States, which speaks for China as being one of the nations who explore new games the quickest.
Behind these top performers, the number three app from March, YouTube landed on rank five in April.

Top 5 Free Apps in the Apple App Store Publisher
1. 2048 Ketchapp
2. Piano Tiles HU WEN ZENG
3. Trials Frontier Ubisoft
4. Boom Beach Supercell
5. YouTube Google, Inc.

On Google Play, Instagram continued its upward trend from March and reached rank four. As only remarkable change, Skype – free IM & video calls returned to the top five free apps, ending the presence of Clean Master (Cleaner) – FREE in the top five which had lasted for the first quarter of 2014.

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

Frozen Free Fall (Kindle Tablet Edition) ‘fell free’ one rank down to rank two, making room for ZeptoLab’s Amazon version of Cut the Rope 2. Candy Crush Saga did not move from rank three, but Sonic Dash had to give way to Viewer+Downloader vTube for YouTube.

Top 5 Free Apps in the Amazon Appstore Publisher
1. Cut the Rope 2 ZeptoLab
2. Frozen Free Fall (Kindle Tablet Edition) Disney
3. Candy Crush Saga King
4. Viewer+Downloader vTube for YouTube Voyage Apps
5. Sonic Dash Sega of America

Top Paid Apps

In the Apple App Store, Minecraft – Pocket Edition celebrates a half year of being the number one paid title. Monjang’s adventure game has been leading the paid global charts on iOS since November 2013, even though in April 2014 a new competitor got close: the beautifully designed adventure-puzzle game Monument Valley by ustwo™ showed a strong initial month of April, reaching global paid rank number two. Rank three showed a familiar face with Heads Up!, reentering the top five again. Maybe due to his ‘web-sling skills’, Gameloft’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 landed in the global paid charts on rank four, after only being released in late April. This sleek performance caused Afterlight to move down to rank five.

Top 5 Paid Apps in the Apple App Store Publisher
1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
2. Monument Valley ustwo™
3. Heads Up! Warner Bros.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Gameloft
5. Afterlight Simon Filip

Taking a look at the Google Play paid global charts, we can report, that not only for the first quarter, but also for the complete first third of 2014, the following titles remained in the same positions, presenting a very stable situation on Google Play.

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

The paid section of the Amazon Appstore continued with two familiar names, but also featured some new names in April again. Similar to the Apple App Store and Google Play Minecraft – Pocket Edition kept the leading position in the Amazon Appstore. The newer title Card Wars – Adventure Time from February 2014 fought its way up to rank two while on rank three Plex proved to play a successful strategy of a price change. A price drop for a selected date range during April from $4.99 to $0.99, resulted in rank number three for the Entertainment app. Plants vs. Zombies (Kindle Tablet Edition) on the other hand, lost to ranks and settled on rank four during April. Rank five was conquered by the newly released puzzle game Tipping Point by Barnstorm Games. Notable about this performance is that the downloads only came from the United Kingdom, where the app is priced at £1.49, but this was still enough to capture the global rank number five.

Top 5 Paid Apps in the Amazon Appstore Publisher
1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition Mojang
2. Card Wars – Adventure Time Cartoon Network
3. Plex Plex, Inc.
4. Plants vs. Zombies (Kindle Tablet Edition) PopCap Games, Inc.
5. Tipping Point Barnstorm Games

Top Grossing Apps

After the past five months from November 2013 to March 2014, the Apple grossing charts did not offer much to report about. The month of April has stirred things up. While the big two players Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga remained in their long-term leading positions, but Japanese Puzzle & Dragons made a move up to rank three. In the Japanese store the game received several features in categories such as ‘Great Role-Playing Games’ or ‘Great Free Games’. Game of War – Fire Age caught up as well, still behind Puzzle & Dragons, being a close follower since five months. Supercell’s Hay Day could not keep up with these competitors in the top five during April and dropped out to rank six. Instead it looks like Supercell’s Boom Beach stepped into Hay Day’s shoes. After the global launch in late March 2014, Boom Beach steadily gained ground in the grossing charts, accompanied by various Apple App Store features, in categories such as ‘Best New Games’, ‘Great Free Games’, and even got its own feature category: ‘Boom Beach’. All this resulted in an additional title within the global top five grossing apps in April 2014 for Supercell.

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

On Google Play, Supercell remained as well in the lead with its top grossing app: Clash of Clans. In line with the move in the Apple App Store, パズル&ドラゴンズ(Puzzle & Dragons) also showed an upward trend. On Google play though, this push was strong enough to conquer global grossing rank number two, before Candy Crush Saga.
クイズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ, which just re-entered the top five last month, further increased its position to rank four and switched ranks with Supercell’s Hay Day. Boom Beach is not available on Google Play, yet. If it does become available, it will be interesting to analyze its impact on Hay Day’s Android performance.

Top 5 Grossing Apps on Google Play Publisher
1. Clash of Clans Supercell
2. パズル&ドラゴンズ(Puzzle & Dragons) GungHoOnlineEntertainment
3. Candy Crush Saga
4. クイズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ COLOPL, Inc.
5. Hay Day Supercell

The month of April apparently not only brings changes to the weather. With lots of new apps and different trends on established apps, even the grossing charts showed some movements.

Market Growth in April 2014

Continuing the high-level analysis on the major app stores, April shows a different picture from March. The graph below covers the past six months, showing the development of the relative market shares in terms of revenue for the Apple App Store and Google Play.*


The whole market grew by about 1.5 percent from March to April. At this point one may also note that April is a one day shorter month compared to March, with only 30 days. But still, both stores showed a positive growth. For the first time, since we have been doing this analysis though, the market share of Google Play did not increase steadily – compared to March 2014, it even dropped by 1 percent point. The current market share distribution is at 39 percent for Google Play, while the Apple App Store increased its share to 61 percent. This result is in line with a stronger growth of the Apple App Store during April:
2 percent vs. only 1 percent for Google Play.
Apple’s stronger growth was partially supported by a revenue increase in Australia and South Korea during April. In Australia, this was mainly caused by new apps such as Zynga’s new FarmVille 2: Country Escape, but also by Supercell’s Boom Beach.
Boom Beach had as well an impact in South Korea, next to new Kakao titles such as
블레이드 for Kakao and 불멸의 전사 for Kakao.
Considering both stores in terms of market share relative to November 2013, Apple led with 63 percent compared to Google Play with 37 percent. Over the past six months the market shares hence did not change much. Looking at the separate stores in terms of growth during the past half year, the Apple App Store increased its revenue by over 27 percent, while Google Play showed a gain in revenue of around 38 percent.

* 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