App Annie’s Comparison of App Downloads and Revenue on Google Play and the App Store

Sarah Perez, TechCrunch:

Smartphone adoption in emerging markets just delivered the highest number of app downloads Google Play has ever seen in a quarter. According to today’s report from App Annie, Google Play app downloads topped 19 billion in Q4 2017, a new record. That also makes Google Play’s download lead over iOS its largest ever, at 145 percent.


iOS, as is typical, led Google Play by a wide margin – nearly a 2x lead – with $11.5 billion in worldwide consumer spend in the quarter, the report found. This was driven in large part by the U.S, which was number one in consumer spend market share in Q4 2017 across iOS and Google Play.

If you keep in mind that App Store downloads were less than half of Google Play downloads, that means that the earnings per app download are close to five times greater on the App Store.

Apple themselves announced several weeks ago that they saw record App Store revenues in the holiday quarter and across 2017 as a whole. That, and this report from App Annie, should mean that the App Store is a good place for developers to make money. But the money doesn’t seem to flow to independent developers; based on App Annie’s report, it seems to be going primarily to game developers in the form of in-app purchases, and subscriptions to media services like Netflix and Spotify.