Google Play Revenue Grew 82% in Q4 2016 YoY; Line and Tinder Dominate Revenue Charts

Google Play Revenue Grew 82% in Q4 2016 YoY; Line and Tinder Dominate Revenue Charts

Apps on our smartphones are essential ingredients of what makes our phones smart in the first place.  Apps and App Stores are big money too. The sheer popularity and usage of smartphones and applications have driven up our needs and as a result, the revenue streams of people involved behind popular apps.

App marketing agency Sensor Tower have released their ‘Top Apps of 2016‘ report, giving us insight into the current top dogs in terms of downloads and revenue. This data is also presented on a combined as well as individual basis.

The report notes that Q4 2016 was a healthy period for app and game developers for iOS and Android who chose to distribute their offerings through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This period saw an increase of 67% in net revenue worldwide year-on-year, growing from ~$5.2 Billion in Q4 2015 to ~$8.7 Billion in Q4 2016. Individually, the 60% growth rate for the Apple App Store was lower compared to the 82% growth rate for the Google Play Store, but actual revenue still stood higher for App Store at $5.4 Billion versus the $3.3 Billion for Play Store. A whooping 19.2 Billion downloads were also completed across both the platforms just in Q4 2016!

For the Top Earners of Q4 2016 within the category of “apps” (non-games), the crown is held by popular messaging app LINE. LINE’s revenue streams evolve from its core messaging use to a wide gamut of add-on services like sticker packs, social games and even a music streaming service. LINE is the top earner overall and in Play Store, and ranks in on number 2 on the App Store. The second spot on the Play Store is held by Tinder, the popular casual ‘dating’ app. Apple App Store’s highest earner is Netflix, which surprisingly comes out at number 9 on the Play Store. This divide is likely caused by the differences in revenue sharing with Apple and with Google as the Apple App Store is a lot more restrictive on the mediums that apps can use for monetization.

Top Downloads of Q4 2016 are unsurprisingly, some of the most common apps that one can see around. Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat hog the top few spots. Some of the entries on the top list of the Google Play Store should not ideally be as popular due to their borderline-malware nature and detrimental use-case scenarios. Also (not so) surprisingly, MyJio grabs a spot on the list. MyJio is the app needed to get a free Jio sim card in India (you need to generate a barcode for the sim card request, through the app). This is in line with the vast demand that Reliance Jio did see in India post the demonetization move in the country.

The situation of Q4 2016 with regards revenue and downloads largely extends on to the entire year of 2016. For Google Play download numbers, it’s worth noting that pre-installed apps and their subsequent updates are not counted, which is why we do not see any Google-made app not making it to the Play Store top charts list from Sensor Tower.


The insights provided in the report shed light on how the platforms differ from each other and how tightly/loosely they are controlled by the companies in charge. App Store users usually downloaded social media based apps, while Play Store users install vile apps like CM Security and Clean Master, apps that can do more harm than good under the pretext of improving devices. Says a lot, doesn’t it?

What are your thoughts on the report? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Sensor Tower

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