App Annie Index: Apps – Spring Cheer for Tax and Messenger Apps


The US tax season drives Intuit’s TurboTax 2012 app downloads. WhatsApp’s in-app purchase subscriptions catapult them to Google Play stardom.

 

In this month’s Apps Index, we bring to you the top-performing publishers and apps outside of games across both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Starting this month, we have split up the App Annie Index into two parts: a Games Index and an Apps Index (i.e. everything but games). This will provide you with more focused insight into the different publishers and apps that are leading the app stores today.

When it comes to apps other than games, social networking and communication apps have been driving much of the revenue growth over the past year. These apps continued to lead many of the rankings in February 2013, as shown further below; rankings were largely stable as compared to last month, in contrast to the larger shifts that we saw in the Games Index. A few notable apps that did rise up the charts quickly were:

  • TurboTax, as the tax season got underway in the United States
  • WhatsApp Messenger on Google Play, as users demonstrated their willingness to pay annual subscription fees for this messaging app
  • iMadeFace, which took the social networking world by storm as users adopted its cartoon faces for their avatars

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads excluding Games iOS February 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Google - USA 28
2 Apple - USA 19
3 Outfit 7 1 Cyprus 68
4 Facebook 1 USA 6
5 Tencent - China 107
6 Microsoft - USA 50
7 Keyloft  1000+ China 5
8 Jessie Tao 1 China 12
9 Baidu 5 China 45
10 Evernote 45 USA 6
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

This top 10 list contained mostly US- and Chinese-based publishers, and included a few new entrants compared to last month. Keyloft shot up the rankings to seventh place, thanks to the success of its iMadeFace app. Baidu also entered the top 10 after rising five spots. Evernote entered the top 10 as downloads of the Penultimate iPad handwriting app took off in February. At the end of January, this app received its first major new update since Evernote acquired it from Cocoa Box last year. At the same time, the app’s price was dropped from $0.99 to free and it was promoted on the iTunes home page across numerous countries around the world for one week.


Penultimate handwriting app earns Evernote a top 10 spot

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads excluding GamesGoogle Play February 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Facebook - USA 4
2 Google - USA 62
3 Outfit 7 - Cyprus 30
4 GO Launcher - China 312
5 WhatsApp 1 USA 2
6 NHN 1 South Korea 185
7 Microsoft - USA 27
8 Adobe - USA 15
9 J2 Interactive 3 South Korea 10
10 Twitter - USA 3
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

This month’s list was relatively stable compared to last month, with just one new entrant, J2 Interactive, which moved up three spots. This US-based developer provides apps that enable users to watch videos on their mobile Android devices.

Publishers that achieved top 10 status across both iOS and Google Play were Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Outfit 7 (publisher of the various Talking Friends apps).

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue excluding GamesiOS February 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Apple - USA 19
2 NHN - South Korea 183
3 Intuit 16 USA 21
4 Pandora 1 USA 1
5 WhatsApp - USA 1
6 comiXology 2 USA 19
7 Badoo 1 UK 2
8 Zoosk 1 USA 1
9 Disney 1 USA 243
10 TomTom - Netherlands 43
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

As with the other top publishers lists above, this one also was dominated by US-based publishers and mostly included the same publishers as the month before. The one new entrant vs. last month was Intuit. Taxes are going mobile as Americans are embracing the time-honored tradition in a mobile environment. Intuit is taking a lesson from the freemium model used in gaming. Rather than charging users on the front-end as they had done with their PC product, Intuit is giving users the product for free and charging them only for the completed filings. While the company’s downloads diminished in February, its revenues were strong, as Americans ramped up their tax filings.

 

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue excluding GamesGoogle Play February 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 GREE N/A* Japan 124
2 NHN 1 South Korea 185
3 Kakao 1 South Korea 6
4 SwiftKey 2 UK 4
5 Intuit 21 USA 13
6 comiXology 3 USA 2
7 WhatsApp 93 USA 2
8 GO Launcher 3 China 312
9 FoxFi Service 1 USA 2
10 TomTom 3 Netherland 25
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Previously, the Google Play apps made by publisher GREE were in the Games category. As a result, the publisher GREE did not have any rank based on non-game revenue or downloads. One of the publisher’s apps (GREE itself) has since been shifted to the Social category, however. Accordingly, the GREE app is being reported in the Apps Index. Please see the footnotes at the end of the App Annie Index for more information on app categorization.

Japanese and South Korean publishers dominated the Google Play game revenue rankings that were published in the Games Index earlier this week. They also held the top few spots in the non-game rankings above, based on the strength of their Social and Communication revenue.

Publisher GREE took the top spot above. It has moved its GREE app out of the Games category into the Social category, which allows the publisher to qualify for these non-game rankings. Note that the Google Play GREE app’s revenue comes from users making in-app purchases to acquire virtual coins that they can use across the rest of the GREE platform, which includes numerous games.

Fast-rising publishers this month included WhatsApp and Intuit, the latter of which shot up across the iOS and Google Play platforms as the United States tax filing season got in full swing.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads excluding GamesiOS February 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 YouTube 1 Google USA Photo and Video
2 Google Maps 1 Google USA Navigation
3 Podcasts - Apple USA Entertainment
4 Find My iPhone - Apple USA Utilities
5 iMadeFace N/A* Keyloft China Entertainment
6 Find My Friends - Apple USA Social Networking
7 Emoji & Unicode Icons… 1 Jessie Tao China Business
8 iTunes U 1 Apple USA Education
9 Instagram 2 Facebook USA Photo and Video
10 iBooks - Apple USA Books
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* iMadeFace did not make it into the Top 1000 apps in the previous month, so it had no rank. Accordingly, Rank Change is not available.

The top two apps continued to be YouTube and Google Maps, which are no longer preinstalled on the device starting with iOS 6. These two apps have been responsible for giving Google its #1 publisher ranking in the iOS App Store in recent months.

Meanwhile, Apple earned its #2 ranking through downloads of Podcasts, Find My iPhone, Find My Friends, iTunes U, and iBooks. As alluded to in last month’s App Annie Index, users are now prompted with the option to download those five free Apple apps the first time that they access the Apple App Store while using iOS 6.

This month’s fast mover was iMadeFace, which enables users to create cartoon-style faces easily. After a December 2012 release, the app started to gain traction in the US earlier this year, rising hundreds of places to take the number one ranking in early February.


iMadeFace made the top 5 with its popular cartoon-style faces

Instagram also entered the top 10 this month after moving up two spots.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads excluding GamesGoogle Play February 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Facebook - Facebook USA Social
2 WhatsApp Messenger - WhatsApp USA Communication
3 Skype - Microsoft USA Communication
4 Facebook Messenger - Facebook USA Communication
5 Instagram - Facebook USA Social
6 Adobe Reader 1 Adobe USA Productivity
7 Twitter 1 Twitter USA Social
8 Tiny Flashlight + LED - Nikolay Ananiev Bulgaria Tools
9 Viber : Free Calls & Messages 1 Viber Media Cyprus Communication
10 Talking Tom Cat 2 Free 1 Outfit 7 Cyprus Entertainment
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

This month’s top-downloaded apps were primarily Social and Communication apps, as they were last month. Facebook continued to have three apps ranking in the top five.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue excluding GamesiOS February 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE - NHN South Korea Social Networking
2 Pages - Apple USA Productivity
3 TurboTax 2012 22 Intuit USA Finance
4 Pandora Radio 1 Pandora USA Music
5 WhatsApp Messenger - WhatsApp USA Social Networking
6 Comics 2 comiXology USA Books
7 Zoosk app for iPhone & iPad… 1 Zoosk USA Social Networking
8 Badoo – Meet New People… 1 Badoo UK Social Networking
9 Keynote 1 Apple USA Productivity
10 Numbers 1 Apple USA Productivity
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

Among top-grossing iOS apps, iPad app Turbo Tax 2012 from Intuit was the new entrant. The Social Networking apps that were discussed in last month’s App Annie Index also continued to monetize well, with LINE, WhatsApp Messenger, Zoosk, and Badoo in the lead worldwide. Productivity apps Pages, Keynote, and Numbers from Apple all remained in the top 10.


TurboTax 2012 jumped into the top three as Americans ramped up their tax filings

 

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue excluding GamesGoogle Play February 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Jan-2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 GREE N/A* GREE Japan Social
2 LINE 1 NHN South Korea Communication
3 KakaoTalk - Kakao South Korea Communication
4 TurboTax SnapTax 18 Intuit USA Finance
5 SwiftKey Keyboard 3 SwiftKey UK Productivity
6 WhatsApp Messenger 102 WhatsApp USA Communication
7 Comics 3 comiXology USA Comics
8 PdaNet+ (FoxFi) Key 2 FoxFi Service USA Communication
9 DocumentsToGo 2 DataViz USA Business
10 VirusBuster Mobile for Android - トレンドマ… Japan Tools
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Previously, the Google Play GREE app was in the Game category. As a result, the GREE app did not have any rank among non-game apps. The publisher has since shifted this app to the Social category, though. Accordingly, it is being reported in the Apps Index. Please see the footnotes at the end of the App Annie Index for more information on app categorization.

Similar to the iOS App Store, Google Play also saw Social and Communication apps peppering the top-grossing list. WhatsApp Messenger in particular had a huge jump in February. As discussed in in last month’s App Annie Index, this app traditionally has monetized through $0.99 downloads on iOS, but implemented a subscription model for its newer Google Play version launched January 2012. The first year is free, after which a $0.99 per year fee kicks in. This app successfully began to monetize on Google Play one year after it launched, and has been moving up the ranks since . It is possible that the iOS version could shift to this subscription model too in the future for new users.

The other new entrant to this list was Intuit’s TurboTax SnapTax, which came in at #4.

Notes:

  • Starting this month, we have split up the App Annie Index into two parts: a Games Index and an Apps Index (i.e. everything but games). This will provide you with more focused insight into the different publishers and apps that are leading the app stores today. Please note that previously, we were reporting one set of Top Publishers rankings based on each publisher’s total downloads and revenue across all apps combined. With this new App Annie Index structure, we are now reporting two sets of Top Publishers rankings: one based on Games downloads and revenue and another based on 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 will be 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 would have been a candidate for the Games Index, which was published earlier this week.

  • 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.

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