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Analyst says iOS developers earn 64% more than their Android counterparts

By Humza · 8 replies
Jun 20, 2019
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  1. At their annual conferences, Apple and Google boast about their apps and user statistics. While Google leads with the sheer number of users on its Android platform, thanks in part to smartphones and devices for a variety of budgets and tastes, Apple's iOS is the lucrative choice for publishers and developers where the audience tends to be a lot more spendy.

    According to mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, the App Store made 64 percent more in gross income for publishers than the Google Play Store. During Q1 2019, the top 100 App Store publishers made $83.8 million, that's 64 percent more than the average of $51 million made by Google Play's top 100 app publishers.

    The report analyzes Q1 data of both platforms for the past five years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 31 percent. The individual CAGR for the App Store and Google Play stood very close at 31.3 and 31.2 percent, respectively.

    An interesting detail is the disparity of non-gaming revenue between the two platforms. The top 100 publishers of non-gaming apps for iOS earned $23.3 million on average, a huge 232 percent (or 3.3 times) more compared to $7 million on Google Play.

    There can be a variety of reasons that contribute to this figure. App quality and availability and generally extravagant consumers on iOS willing to pay for the influx of subscription based apps could be a prominent factors, among others. However, revenue for the top 100 earning publishers on Google's Play Store grew 44.4 percent as compared to 30.5 percent for App Store publishers, quarter-over-quarter.

    On the gaming side of things, the numbers still greatly favor the App Store but this time the earnings difference is less. While both stores saw CAGR of 28.5 percent since Q1 2014, Google Play grew slightly faster at 30.2 percent compared with 27.9 percent for the App Store. Once again, the top 100 game publishers fared better on the latter with an average of $70.3 million earnings, which is 48 percent more compared to $48 million on Google Play.

    The report concludes with stating Apple’s App Store as "the leading mobile storefront in terms of consumer spending from a variety of perspectives."

    Permalink to story.

  2. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 186   +114

    Well, the analyst absolutely does not say what the title says, because analyst is talking about app stores, not about platforms. And those two things are absolutely not the same, especially considering, that now some very high earning apps, like for ex. Fortnite are not sold through Play Store anymore. Which means they do not show up in the Play Store earnings data, despite actually making money for "Android developers".

    This very same analyst company has previously predicted that Google will have lost out on about ~$50 million in 2018 because of the Fortnite exodus - so that single app when added to the Play Store column of the chart, makes Android earnings way overshadow iOS earnings of last year.

    So, it seems like Android developers are actually earning more on average than do iOS developers. Please correct the title to reflect that! Thanks.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  3. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    Or not.

    The article mentions actual *quarterly* numbers while you're referencing a guesstimate of *annual* numbers.
  4. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 919   +508

    I would say the conclusion of this analyst was obvious because most apps on the Apple store are paid (or require payment after a short free trial) whereas most apps on the Play store are free (ad-supported). Therefore most app publishers on the Play store will make lots of free apps as well as paid apps and thus their income is lower. Also, because there are so many alternative free apps available, they have a smaller audience for paid apps.
    And, as noted in the article, Apple owners are conditioned to having to pay for everything. Whereas Android owners know they can shop around.
  5. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    The article doesn't say anything about Apple store apps being paid vs. Google Play apps being free. Do you have a source which shows this difference?
  6. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 564   +445

    If the app is priced decently I'd rather pay for the app than deal with ads. I have an ad blocker in my web browser for a reason, why would I voluntarily choose to deal with an app with forced ads.
  7. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 186   +114

    For one, my point was, that the analyst doesn't say what the title say. Also, Google Play numbers don't include China (while App Store number do), which makes the comparison unusable and invalid even in its own right.
  8. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 919   +508

    No source, that's based purely on personal experience. I have seen that some iOS games are free to download and let you play the first 3 levels but then you have to pay to play further - I haven't seen that with Android games.
    Your question piqued my interest and I searched online but it's very hard to find figures and what I did find was inconsistent - one said Apple had more free apps, one said Google had more. Of course it all depends on what "free" means.
    So, lacking any reliable figures, I have to go only on what I've experienced myself. Let me know if you've had a different experience.
  9. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    I wonder, were those the same games or different ones? I get targeting your audience appropriately with whatever strategy separates them from the most money, but I wonder if the same game actually targets the different platforms in different ways. That'd be some serious business savvy there if it worked.

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