There may be 1m apps apiece on the app stores of Apple and Google, but how much money are they making? Mobile analytics company Distimo has published its latest estimates, claiming that on a typical day, the 200 top-grossing iOS apps generate around $18m a day globally.
That compares to around $12m for the 200 top-grossing apps on Android’s Google Play store. The latter is growing faster though: Distimo suggests that Google Play app revenues grew by 51% in the last six months, compared to 12% for Apple’s App Store.
There’s a lot more trendspotting to be done in Distimo’s report, which makes it clear that a lot of Android’s growth in revenues is coming from Asia: South Korea, Japan and China were the three countries with the highest market growth (in terms of app revenues) in 2013.
Also key to the way apps made money in 2013 were in-app purchases (IAP) and “freemium” business models: in November, Distimo estimates that 92% of revenues for apps in the top 200 grossing charts on Apple’s App Store now come from IAP, with the figure rising to a startling 98% on Google Play.
Music companies have spent a lot of time puzzling over how to make money from apps, but the report makes it clear that the most lucrative category by far remains games – 63% of all iOS revenues apparently, with the 10 top-grossing iOS apps in November coming from that category.
There’s some insight into music though: it was the fourth most lucrative app category in Apple’s store in November, with 65% of music app revenues coming from free apps with IAP, 31% from paid apps, and 4% from paid apps with IAP.