The total gross app and game revenue for Google Play through the first half of this year came up to $11.8 billion, according to the latest data from Sensor Tower. Global revenue across ecosystems during the same time-frame were $34.4 billion, meaning that Apple’s App Store nearly doubled Google’s revenue for the period, but total revenue for the space was up by 27.8% year-on-year. Speaking strictly of Android, app and game revenue for the Play Store were up a bit over $3 billion, which made for 29.7% year-on-year growth. Put up against Apple’s 26.8% growth in the app revenue space, this means that the Play Store does indeed have a chance of catching up, but there’s a long way to go at this rate. It should be noted that these figures are only for Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, so unofficial or third-party outlets like Aptoide, Galaxy Apps, the Amazon Appstore and Cydia are left out of the numbers. In short, this data is only representative of the top app store on each platform, and not the platform as a whole.
The initial download of an app is not necessarily a direct indicator of revenue, but users that don’t install an app can’t view ads or make in-app purchases. That said, the top app downloaded by a landslide was Facebook. It asserted its dominance in a period wherein the Play Store saw around 36 billion total first-time app installs. On the game side, Google Play saw a total of $10.3 billion in revenue, up about 26% from the same period last year. Growth here outclassed Apple by more than 10%, though Apple still won out overall with $16.3 billion.
The data makes a few things very clear. First, Android app revenues is on the rise at a fairly good rate. Second, in-app purchases are becoming an extremely viable method of monetization for apps, and some apps and games even use that tactic alongside advertising. Third, people are generally more willing to spend on games than on apps, especially on Android. Less than $2 billion of the Play Store’s total take for the survey period came from apps, and it’s not hard to figure out why, given the three top-grossing games; between Honor of Kings, Monster Strike and Fate/Grand Order, it’s quite clear that mobile gamers are plenty willing to shell out for in-game currency and to get a chance to draw rare characters and loot. If you’ve got a great idea for a game, this data makes a convincing argument that now is a very good time to bring that idea to life and put it on Android.