App Annie Index: Market Report Q1 2013 – iOS App Store revenue 2.6x that of Google Play


In a booming global app economy, United States leads iOS App Store revenue growth, while Japan and South Korea drive Google Play revenue growth

Welcome to the new App Annie Market Index, where at the end of each quarter, we’ll review the latest download and revenue trends by stores, countries and categories. In addition to our monthly Games and Apps Index, the Market Index provides you with a macro view of the trends, helping you identify the most fertile investment opportunities in the app stores.

Key trends across stores, countries and categories
Over the past quarter, Google Play has achieved higher growth rates than the iOS App Store for both downloads and revenues. While Google Play reached close to 90% of the iOS App Store downloads in Q1 2013, the iOS App Store maintained its strong lead in monetization, earning about 2.6x the app revenue of Google Play. In comparison, the multiple was roughly 4x for Q4 2012 overall.

Within the two app stores, several countries stood out for driving growth from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013:

  • United States was responsible for much of the growth in iOS revenues, while China proved to be an up-and-coming revenue contributor and also led the growth in iOS downloads
  • Russia was a key factor in Google Play downloads growth
  • Japan and South Korea continued to drive notable revenue growth for Google Play

Across all the countries mentioned above, Games remained the leading growth driver, even more so for revenue. By Q1 2013, the category had grown to cover approximately 70% of revenue in the iOS App Store and 80% in Google Play.

There were a few other top-ranking categories, however, whose gains pushed them higher in the category rankings:

  • Photo and Video apps grew to become the third largest in iOS downloads
  • Education apps increased in iOS revenue to become the fourth largest worldwide
  • Social grew in Google Play downloads to enter the Top 5 category rankings

The Store Index

iOS App Store vs. Google Play App Downloads
Google Play downloads close to 90% of iOS App Store downloads in Q1 2013

While the iOS App Store and Google Play both had solid gains in app downloads last quarter, Google Play had a higher percentage growth rate as well as a greater gain in absolute downloads. As of Q1 2013, Google Play’s app downloads were close to 90% of iOS App Store downloads.

iOS App Store vs. Google Play App Revenue
iOS App Store generated 2.6x the app revenue of Google Play in Q1 2013

From Q4 2012 to Q1 2013, iOS App Store quarterly revenue grew by roughly one-quarter. Meanwhile, Google Play app revenue grew by roughly 90%. While Google Play had the higher growth rate, the iOS App Store gained more in absolute revenue and earned about 2.6x that of Google Play in Q1.

The Country Index

iOS App Store: Top Countries by Downloads Q1 2013
China leading the iOS App Store in downloads growth

 

Top Countries by Downloads iOS Q1 2013

Country Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 United States -
2 China -
3 United Kingdom 1
4 Japan 1
5 France -
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

Last quarter, the United States maintained a substantial lead as the top-ranking country. In recent months, however, China has started to gain momentum in the iOS App Store and was the leading contributor to the increase in iOS downloads from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013. While Games were the top category for downloads growth in China, gains were seen in many other categories as well. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and Japan have been alternating between the third and fourth ranks over the past year. All together, these four key countries have been driving roughly half of total iOS downloads.

iOS App Store: Top Countries by Revenue Q1 2013
China races up the ranks to number four. United States and Japan driving half of store revenue.

 

Top Countries by RevenueiOS Q1 2013

Country Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 United States -
2 Japan -
3 United Kingdom -
4 China 2
5 Australia 1
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

The United States and Japan remained the leaders in the iOS App Store, responsible for close to half of total store revenue. While the United States drove much of the iOS revenue growth this past quarter, with Games leading the way, China’s move up the iOS revenue ranks above is not to be missed. Just last year, China was barely inside the Top 10. Over the past quarter, it has now moved to fourth, up from sixth in Q4 2012. Games is the category that has driven the bulk of China’s revenue growth; this category has grown to represent roughly 90% of China’s iOS revenue as of Q1 2013, the highest percentage seen across all countries in the iOS App Store.


In China, it’s all about games, games and more games.
Check out the most popular games in China in our interactive chart.

 

Google Play: Top Countries by Downloads Q1 2013
Games drive Russia’s growth in downloads

 

Top Countries by DownloadsGoogle Play Q1 2013

Country Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 United States -
2 South Korea -
3 India -
4 Russia 1
5 Japan 1
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

In Google Play, the top four countries represented roughly 40% of store downloads in Q1 2013 as compared to about 50% for iOS. Russia has been rising steadily in downloads over the past year and moved up another slot to #4 this past quarter. Once again, the Games category was the key driver, as it grew to cover close to half of Google Play downloads in Russia in Q1 2013 (up from close to 40% in Q4 2012). This was nearly the highest percentage seen across the countries in the iOS App Store. South Korea and India maintained their second and third places behind the United States, representing how different the Google Play Store is compared to iOS in terms of global distribution.

Google Play: Top Countries by Revenue Q1 2013
First Japan, now South Korea leapfrog the United States

 

Top Countries by RevenueGoogle Play Q1 2013

Country Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 Japan -
2 South Korea 1
3 United States 1
4 United Kingdom -
5 Germany -
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

Japan and South Korea continued their remarkable rise in Google Play app revenue. Japan moved ahead of the United States into the top spot in Q4 2012, while South Korea moved ahead of the United States into the second spot in Q1 2013. These three countries dominate Google Play, covering approximately 70% of its worldwide revenue. And their revenues are more driven by games than any other countries’ app economies on Google Play. South Korea has now surpassed the 95% mark, while Japan has exceeded 90%.

The Category Index

iOS App Store: Top Categories by Downloads Q1 2013
Photo and Video apps surge to Top 3 in downloads

 

Top Categories by DownloadsiOS Q1 2013

Category Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 Games -
2 Entertainment -
3 Photo & Video 1
4 Utilities 1
5 Lifestyle -
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

The Games category remained the clear leader and growth driver in the iOS App Store and was responsible for close to 40% of store downloads in Q1 2013. Meanwhile, the Photo and Video category moved up the download rankings and broke into the top 3 in Q1 2013.


Apps like Snapchat, Camera+, YouTube and Instagram are part of a ‘Photo & Video’ download surge.
Check out these apps on Store Stats.

 

iOS App Store: Top Categories by Revenue Q1 2013
Games dominate, while Education apps starting to monetize better

 

Top Categories by RevenueiOS Q1 2013

Category Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 Games -
2 Productivity -
3 Social Networking -
4 Education 1
5 Entertainment 1
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

The Games category continued its explosive growth in revenue, covering about 70% of iOS App Store revenue in Q1 2013. The Education category also gained in revenue, enabling it to move into the #4 spot.

Google Play: Top Categories by Downloads Q1 2013
Google Play Store gets a little more social

 

Top Categories by DownloadsGoogle Play Q1 2013

Category Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 Games -
2 Tools -
3 Entertainment -
4 Communication -
5 Social 1
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

In Google Play, Games category downloads have been growing steadily over the past year. They represented about 40% of the store as of Q1 2013, comparable to the coverage seen in the iOS App Store. The Social category also had a solid gain in downloads and now ranks within the top 5.


Social apps are driving real downloads growth on Google Play. A snapshot of the rankings on March 31, 2013.
Click here to access this interactive chart for free.

Google Play: Top Categories by Revenue Q1 2013
Games drive an even higher portion of revenue in Google Play than in iOS App Store

 

Top Categories by RevenueGoogle Play Q1 2013

Category Rank Change
vs Q4-2012
1 Games -
2 Communication -
3 Social -
4 Tools -
5 Productivity -
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

The Games category drives an even greater portion of revenue in Google Play than in the iOS App Store. As of Q1 2013, this category has grown to cover close to 80% of Google Play revenue vs. 70% for the iOS App Store.

 

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Notes:

  • App store metrics reported in this article are based on data from App Annie Intelligence. Market-level metrics represent the aggregation of countries that were measured by App Annie Intelligence as of that data month. Up through November 2012, App Annie Intelligence for Google Play measured data across 35 key countries. Effective with December 2012 data, it measured a total of 44. The 9 countries added represented 3% of the total revenue reported in App Annie’s December 2012 data; this will make Google Play growth rate from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013 appear to be slightly larger.
  • The Indexed Downloads metric provides an easy way of comparing different downloads numbers against each other. For example, if Q4 2012 has Indexed Downloads of 100 and Q1 2013 has Indexed Downloads of 200, then Q1 2013 downloads are 200/100=2 times as high as Q4 2012 downloads. If Q1 2013 has Indexed Downloads of 80, then Q1 2013 downloads are 80/100=80% of Q4 2012 downloads. The same applies to the Indexed Revenue metric.
  • In the iOS App Store, a publisher can categorize their app under a Primary Category as well as an optional Secondary Category. All category analysis in the App Annie Index has been conducted based on the app’s Primary Category only. This approach prevents any overlap or duplication among categories, and therefore allows us to size the categories and analyze category share changes properly. It also allows us to identify the true category growth even if apps are increasingly added to secondary categories on a macro basis.
  • In Google Play, an app can be categorized under only one category, so there is no overlap across categories.
  • In both the iOS App Store and Google Play, a publisher may decide to shift its own existing app from one Primary Category to another Primary Category. This potentially may cause a trend break in app store’s category data, depending on the download or revenue volume associated with the recategorized app(s).

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  • Phil Nolan

    “iOS App Store revenue 2.6x that of Google Play”

    It doesn’t make sense to compare them when many of Androids apps
    are free with ads while the same app costs money on ios. You aren’t taking into account all of the money being made and it skews the results to make Android look bad if you post this.

    • http://twitter.com/SquaredApe Robert Cummings

      You can make numbers look bad either side ad infinitum, so give it up already.

    • Guillermo Lamphar

      Is actually the same result, isnt it? People is more willing to spend their money in Ios than in Android. There are actually people that buy stuff to remove ads when they can wich would not be the case. I think the point is clear and true.

  • p00h

    Cool stats!Looking from a developer perspective, do these numbers include ads revenue (Intelligence reports only iAds are supported?), and are store fees discounted ?

  • FilmPunk

    I”m a developer so here are some real stats. Last year iOS shipped 138million operating systems- Android was installed over 415 million times. To compare the two platforms one needs to understand that most developers don’t like android because most of their paid apps are hacked and stolen. IOS makes you ‘jail break’ your phone in order to used hacked apps. Most people are not willing to void the warranty of their phone to get the free items. Here’s an example. The makers of Dead Trigger originally sold the app for .99 on iOS and android. So many people stole the game on Android that the developers just gave it away. Google doesn’t even try to address these issues so developers like us are left to decide if we piss-off fans by not releasing on Android or limit where the game can be purposed, i.e., Kindle Fire, etc. Final item- there is no consistency among the various devices. What works on one will not necessarily work on the next. I hope that helps.

  • George

    Great Report. I do agree with FilmPunk. Our company very much focuses on IOS as do our clients. We build apps and have our own app on the iphone and another on Newstand IOS. We find our clients are only interested in IOS, they like Kindle to read stuff but Android is second string. What would be interesting is to see the Stats on the money that is make on the devices. For Example>

    IOS device = $18 in apps within 9 months of go live
    IOS device = $24 of in app purchase
    IOS device = $6.45 of Google Adwords Revenue
    IOS device = $24 of other spend outside of apple
    IOS device = $12.90 of cross sell music, video, iBooks
    IOS device – $8.34 of Gift Vouchers

    Then repeated for Android and then maybe same for each country and age group.

    I’m sure in the near future both Google and Apple will work out how to do the Buy using their “wallet” outside of their own stores. I’m looking forward to this as an online seller.

  • Vik Arggo

    useful info!

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