App Annie Index: Apps – Pandora’s box opens up on iOS

In the iOS App Store, Pandora becomes new top-grossing app and publisher based on revenue excluding games in April 2013

In this Apps Index, we bring to you the top-performing publishers and apps outside of games across both the iOS App Store and Google Play this month. To find out what’s happening in game apps, please check out our Games Index.

April has brought us a new top-grossing app and publisher in the iOS App Store, as Pandora continued its climb to the top of the rankings based on revenue excluding games. Elsewhere in the Apps Index, we continued to see an abundance of social networking and communication apps published primarily by United States and Asian companies, as we have in previous months. While top-ranking apps in this Index tend to be more established and stable than those in the fast-moving games space, a few standout apps in April included:

  • Snapchat and Vine, which combine aspects of both social and photo & video, were the big movers in the iOS download rankings this month
  • MLB.com At Bat ranked among the top 5 grossing apps across both iOS and Google Play in April as the United States baseball season got underway

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesiOS April 2013
  Publisher Rank Change
vs March 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Google United States 32
2 Apple United States 19
3 Out Fit 7 1 Cyprus 69
4 Facebook 1 United States 6
5 Twitter 10 United States 2
6 Snapchat 4 United States 1
7 Microsoft 1 United States 50
8 LINE N/A* Japan 86
9 Tencent 4 China 115
10 Yahoo! 22 United States 102
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 
* As mentioned in last month’s Index, NHN has split its subsidiary NHN Japan, which developed hit messaging app LINE, into LINE Corporation and NHN Japan Corporation. Starting with this April 2013 App Annie Index, LINE and NHN Japan have now been removed from NHN publisher totals, and all three publishers are being reported separately. NAVER Japan numbers are being reported under the publisher LINE. As a result, rank change vs. March 2013 is not available for these three publishers.
** iPhones and iPads come with a number of built-in apps from Apple. Since built-in apps are not downloaded from the iOS App Store, they do not count towards Apple’s downloads rankings above.

Google and Apple continued to occupy the top two slots in the April rankings, as they have over the past few months. Publishers that moved up in the rankings in April were:

  • Out Fit 7, as downloads spiked for its Talking Larry the Bird iPhone and iPad apps, initially released back in 2010. Normally priced at $0.99 and $2.99, these apps were made available for free from April 12 to 25, during which time their rankings rose
  • Twitter, which jumped up ten spots to become #5. The publisher’s growth was driven mostly by its social video-sharing app Vine and partly by its namesake app, Twitter.
  • Snapchat, which continued to rise up in the publisher rankings on the strength of a single app.
  • Yahoo!, which jumped 22 spots to round out the top ten. Its new Yahoo! Weather app melds weather forecasts with relevant photos from Yahoo!’s Flickr service and has seen impressive downloads around the world. Accompanying the app’s launch were promotions as a New & Noteworthy app on the iTunes Home Page across numerous countries from launch date through the rest of the month.

As footnoted in the table above, LINE is being reported on its own in the Index now. It came in at number eight primarily due to its flagship messaging app LINE, but also from others such as photography app LINE camera and avatar app LINE PLAY.

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesGoogle Play April 2013
  Publisher Rank Change
vs March 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Facebook United States 5
2 Google United States 71
3 GO Launcher 1 China 356
4 WhatsApp 1 United States 2
5 Microsoft 2 United States 29
6 Outfit 7 Cyprus 32
7 LINE N/A* Japan 79
8 Adobe United States 15
9 NHN N/A* South Korea 56
10 Twitter 1 United States 2
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


* Please see the NHN footnote listed with the first table in this Index.
** Some apps published by Google come preinstalled on some Android devices. Since preinstalled apps are not being downloaded from Google Play, they do not count towards Google’s downloads rankings above.

Rankings in April were, as a whole, fairly similar to those from last month, with Facebook leading the charts due to continued strong downloads of its Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps. Now that LINE and NHN are being reported separately, we see LINE at #7 in April. As on iOS, the company benefited on Google Play from the success of LINE, LINE camera, LINE PLAY, and other apps. Meanwhile, NHN came in at #9 with apps such as 네이버 – Naver (Search) and 네이버 미디어 플레이어 (Naver Media Player).

Microsoft moved up to #5 this month as downloads of its Outlook.com email app spiked. On April 16, it released a major upgrade of the app that overhauled the user interface and added various other new features.

 

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesiOS April 2013
  Publisher Rank Change
vs March 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Pandora 2 United States 1
2 Apple 1 United States 19
3 LINE N/A* Japan 86
4 MLB United States 8
5 Intuit 1 United States 23
6 comiXology 1 United States 21
7 WhatsApp 1 United States 1
8 Zoosk 1 United States 1
9 Badoo United Kingdom 2
10 TomTom Netherlands 44
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


* Please see the NHN footnote listed with the first table in this Index.

As mentioned in last month’s Index, Pandora’s revenue has been climbing steadily since it implemented fees for users who want to listen beyond forty hours a month on their mobile devices. It has now become the new top-grossing publisher based on revenue excluding games in the iOS App Store as of April. Its accomplishment is even more impressive given that it was based on just a single app. For its fiscal quarter ending at the close of April 2013, the company announced record financial results and called out its success on the mobile platform and record new quarterly subscribers.

The rest of the top 10 publishers in April were largely similar to those in March. They continued to be mostly US-based, with Japanese company LINE being the most prominent exception. Its #3 ranking was driven primarily by revenue earned from its messaging app LINE and avatar app LINE PLAY.

Seasonal influences were present in April as MLB, at number four, benefited from the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, while Intuit, which moved up one spot to number five, benefited from the end of tax season.

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesGoogle Play April 2013
  Publisher Rank Change
vs March 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 LINE N/A* Japan 79
2 GREE Japan 130
3 Kakao 3 South Korea 8
4 Pandora 4 United States 2
5 MLB 5 United States 2
6 GO Launcher 3 China 356
7 SwiftKey 3 United Kingdom 4
8 comiXology 1 United States 2
9 WhatsApp 4 United States 2
10 FoxFi Service 2 United States 1
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


* Please see the NHN footnote listed with the first table in this Index.

In the Google Play publisher rankings, LINE took the top spot. As with the iOS App Store, its revenue on Google Play came primarily through the LINE messaging app and LINE PLAY avatar app.

GREE kept its second spot from March. Its revenue continued to come mainly from Japanese users of its namesake GREE app, which the company moved out of the Games category into the Social category earlier this year.

Kakao moved up to #3 in April as its KakaoTalk messaging app steadily gained revenue in its home base of South Korea. Meanwhile, the company has been actively working to expand to other countries. It also has been making efforts to strengthen its home position with the recent South Korea launch of KakaoHome, a launcher app that customizes the home screens of Android devices.

Chinese publisher GO Launcher remained in the top ten for another month, as it saw continued demand for its Android home screen customization apps, Next Launcher 3D and GO Launcher EX app.

Pandora and MLB turned in strong performances across not only in the iOS App Store, but also in Google Play, where they rose up to #4 and #5, respectively.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesiOS April 2013
  App Rank Change
vs March 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 YouTube Google United States Photo & Video
2 Snapchat 3 Snapchat United States Photo & Video
3 Google Maps 1 Google United States Navigation
4 Vine 21 Twitter United States Social Networking
5 Find My iPhone 1 Apple United States Utilities
6 Podcasts 3 Apple United States Entertainment
7 Instagram 1 Facebook United States Photo & Video
8 Find My Friends Apple United States Social Networking
9 Twitter 3 Twitter United States Social Networking
10 Spotify 6 Spotify Sweden Music
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


** iPhones and iPads come with a number of built-in apps from Apple. Since built-in apps are not downloaded from the iOS App Store, they are not included in the downloads rankings above.

More than half of the top ten apps in April were in Photo & Video or Social Networking, two hot growth areas for the app stores today. A number of the apps even combine elements of both. For example, Snapchat’s app allows users to share pictures that automatically self-destruct, while Twitter’s Vine app allows users to share six-second video clips. Facebook’s Instagram has further demonstrated that combining filters and friends is a recipe for long-term success.

Google’s YouTube and Google Maps apps remained within the top three in April. Meanwhile, Snapchat continued its recent momentum in the United Kingdom to become the new #2 app on iOS. By the end of April, Snapchat also had become the #1 downloaded app overall in the United Kingdom.

Coming in at number four was Vine, which gained momentum in the United States in April. The app is currently available on iOS only, but the creators have indicated that they will expand to the Android platform soon.

Fast-growing Vine climbs up to #4 in April 2013

 
Music streaming service Spotify broke into the top 10 in April, driven by its expansion to eight new countries mid-month. It also saw growth in the United States, where it initiated a referral campaign late in the month.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesGoogle Play April 2013
  App Rank Change
vs March 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Facebook Facebook United States Social
2 WhatsApp Messenger WhatsApp United States Communication
3 Skype Microsoft United States Communication
4 Facebook Messenger Facebook United States Communication
5 Instagram Facebook United States Social
6 LINE LINE Japan Communication
7 Twitter 1 Twitter United States Social
8 Viber 1 Viber Media Cyprus Communication
9 Google Translate 4 Google United States Tools
10 Adobe Reader 3 Adobe United States Productivity
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


** Some apps published by Google come preinstalled on some Android devices. Since preinstalled apps are not being downloaded from Google Play, they are not included in the downloads rankings above.

This month’s rankings were generally similar to last month’s, with the top 10 continuing to be dominated by established apps in the Social and Communication categories.

Google Translate was the biggest mover in these April rankings, with growth across numerous countries. On March 27, Google released a new version of the app that added offline language translation – particularly helpful for international travelers without their usual Internet access. Additionally, from April 5 to 12, the app was featured as a Staff Pick on the Google Play home page in over forty countries.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesiOS April 2013
  App Rank Change
vs March 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Pandora Radio 1 Pandora United States Music
2 MLB.com At Bat 2 MLB United States Sports
3 LINE 2 LINE Japan Social Networking
4 TurboTax 2012 2 Intuit United States Finance
5 WhatsApp Messenger 3 WhatsApp United States Social Networking
6 Comics 1 comiXology United States Books
7 Zoosk Zoosk United States Social Networking
8 Pages 5 Apple United States Productivity
9 Badoo 1 Badoo United Kingdom Social Networking
10 Grindr Xtra 2 Nearby Buddy Finder United States Social Networking
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

April has brought us our our first new top-grossing iOS app since November 2012. Pandora continued its revenue gains from March and remarkably, became both the new top-grossing app and the new top-grossing publisher based on revenue excluding games in the iOS App Store in April.
 

Pandora became new top-grossing iOS app and publisher based on revenue excluding games in April

 
Not far behind Pandora were a couple apps that received strong boosts in April from seasonality trends:

 

 

  • The TurboTax 2012 iPad app became the #1 grossing app overall in the United States on April 14 and 15, as Americans endeavored to meet the tax filing deadline, and then it declined afterwards.

 

 
Throughout the rest of the chart, Social Networking apps proved to be a solid revenue generator. LINE was once again the top-grossing iOS Social Networking app worldwide. The company recently announced that about 80% of its Q1 2013 revenue came from Japan, though it also has strength in Thailand and Taiwan, and has been growing steadily in Spanish-speaking countries this year. (On the topic of Social Networking apps, note that Badoo has now changed its app category back to Social Networking in late April, after being categorized under Lifestyle for about a month.)

 

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesGoogle Play April 2013
  App Rank Change
vs March 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE LINE Japan Communication
2 GREE GREE Japan Social
3 KakaoTalk 1 Kakao South Korea Communication
4 Pandora 4 Pandora United States Music & Audio
5 MLB.com At Bat 4 MLB United States Sports
6 WhatsApp Messenger 3 WhatsApp United States Communication
7 SwiftKey Keyboard 2 SwiftKey United Kingdom Productivity
8 Comics 2 comiXology United States Comics
9 PdaNet+ (FoxFi) Key 1 FoxFi Service United States Communication
10 Next Launcher 3D 3 GO Launcher China Personalization
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

In April, we continued to see similarities between the iOS and Google Play top-grossing app rankings. Both stores’ top-grossing apps included a sizable contingent of Social Networking (iOS) or Communication (Google Play) apps — a category that has seen standout revenue growth over the past year. In addition, the top-ranked (non-game) apps continued to comprise mostly established apps that have been available in the app store for well over a year; this space tends not to have as many of the rapidly rising apps that are common in the hits-driven games space.

The MLB.com At Bat and Pandora apps showed strong growth on Google Play, as they did in the iOS App Store. Pandora was also featured at Google I/O (at the 30-minute mark) as a case study of how revenue can increase significantly once users are able to pay for additional services through convenient in-app purchases, rather than by leaving the app and using a web browser.
 

Next Launcher 3D remained the top-grossing Google Play Personalization app

 
For those of you who also are looking for an update on game apps, please check out the Games Index.

Get the industry’s best app store data

Want to put our app store market data behind your business decisions? Check out App Annie Intelligence.

Subscribe to the blog below, follow us on Twitter (@appannie) and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 
Notes:

  • While the Games Index covers games, the Apps Index covers everything but games. Note that the Top Publishers rankings in the Games Index are based solely on games downloads and revenue, while the Top Publishers rankings in the Apps Index are based on the publishers’ non-games downloads and revenue.
  • In the iOS App Store, an app can be categorized under a Primary Category as well as an optional Secondary Category. If an app has a Primary Category of Entertainment and a Secondary Category of Games, it is a candidate to be included in this Apps Index. If the app’s Primary Category is Games and its Secondary Category is Entertainment, then it will not be included in this Apps Index; it is a candidate for the Games Index.
  • Note that the ranking approach used in the App Annie Index differs from that used in the iOS App Store. In the latter, app rankings for a given category will include all apps whose Primary Category or Secondary Category matches that given category. So an app can appear in the rankings for more than one category within the iOS App Store or in App Annie Store Stats rankings.
  • In Google Play, an app can be categorized under only one category, so there is no double-categorization.
  • Occasionally, a publisher may decide to shift an existing app from one category to another category. In these cases, the App Annie Index will rank that app based on how it is categorized in the subsequent month. Given that the App Annie Index now has a Games report and an Apps report, the scenario where an app’s recategorization could shift it from one Index to another is if its category changes from the Games category to a category other than Games or vice versa.
  • All publishers have been grouped together under their parent publishers, where available. For example, the Instagram app is included under the parent publisher of Facebook.
  • Any non-App Annie trademarks or images used in this report are the property of their respective owners. App Annie claims no rights in those trademarks.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG

Start Analyzing
6.8M Apps Worldwide

New to App Annie?

Subscribe to our blog

App Annie Intelligence - Market Data Reports in Global App Stores

TWITTER

Follow @appannie on Twitter

Follow us on

FIND US ON FACEBOOK