Revenues in the App Store and Google Play

For budding entrepreneurs out there looking to strike gold with a great new mobile app, it’s hard to know what to think sometimes.  You have a budget that will only allow for distribution on one platform, and you want to get the most for your buck.  So you do a little digging, you find out that Distimo recently released an analysis of app revenue, that App Annie did the same, and you want to read up on what people are saying about them.

And then based on different perspectives of exactly the same data, you get this:  either “Google Play Revenue on the Rise,” or “Apple’s App Store Crushing Google Play in Revenue.”

The first thing to bear in mind is that both stores have very different approaches to mobile app distribution.  On the one hand, Google Play will let you upload essentially whatever it is you’ve made and let the market sort it out, but Android customers famously hate paying for their apps.  On the other, iOS users really love their apps and are willing to pay for them, but getting your app past Apple’s gatekeepers can be a frustrating and time-consuming process at the best of times.

The fact of the matter is that both of the above headlines are true.  The App Store is crushing Google Play; in the last quarter, iOS app revenues were 2.6 times greater than those on Google Play.  But … if you combine Google Play’s and the App Store’s revenue from last November, Google Play’s slice of the pie would have only added up to 19% of the total.  Six months later, that number has up to 27% and shows no signs of leveling off.

Going strictly by the numbers then, Apple’s App Store is still probably the best bet for a new mobile app, but mobile app developers should very definitely prepare to produce an Android equivalent as soon as it makes financial sense to do so.  All that said, the mobile app marketplace is in constant flux, so make sure you keep an eye on the news when you’re in your planning stages.

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