Canalys is making waves with its claim that just 25 developers accounted for 50% of US app revenues on iOS and Android in the first 20 days of November: a cool $60m. 24 of those developers make games. Meanwhile, App Annie has provided more figures to flesh out its comparison last week of iOS and Android revenues.
Canalys’ stats hammer home the notion that there are relatively few big winners in the apps world, even if there’s an exceptionally-long tail of developers generating the other 50% of iOS and Android revenues in the US. The $60m covers paid app sales and in-app purchases, but not advertising.
Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft and Storm8’s TeamLava are some of the key publishers in its top 25, with the only non-gaming company to make the list being personal radio service Pandora. Its app is free to download, but sells $3.99 premium subscriptions via in-app purchase.
Canalys stresses that the key for most of the games companies is multiple titles bringing in the money: “Zynga, for example, had 15 titles in the list of top 300 grossing iPhone apps on average in Apple’s App Store every day, and nine titles in the equivalent list in the Google Play store,” says analyst Chris Jones.
Don’t expect the ratio to change over the festive season either. “With the holiday season now underway, we expect to see many of these top game developers employing discounts and special offers, taking advantage of their ability to cross-promote within their app portfolios. This is expected to ensure that over the Christmas period in the US, the dominance of key game developers will only increase.”
While in previous years the Christmas focus on the app stores has been on deep discounts to paid titles – something that will happen again this year – Christmas 2012 is also likely to see lots of in-app deals, as freemium games look to get even more money out of their existing players.
Onto App Annie, which said last week that Android was catching up with iOS in terms of app downloads, but still lagging behind in actual money spent by those apps’ users. Now the company has provided more detailed figures to The Guardian.
“In relative value, iOS’s app revenues (including in-app sales) as recorded by App Annie have gone from 100% in January to 113% now; for Google Play, indexed against iOS, it has gone from 7% to 28%,” explains the piece.
“That’s slow progress for iOS and huge progress for Android, but there’s still a gulf between the two that speaks of a wide variance in usage – with iOS users much more likely to buy apps, and Android users less likely to.”