The iOS and Android apps are typically rated on respective stores according to the three main criteria: free, paid, and grossing apps. Top free apps are the ones that come free of charge and have the largest number of downloads. Top paid apps are the topmost downloaded apps that charge a fee per download. The topmost downloaded apps with the highest total revenue (before any deductions for expenses and taxes) fall into the top-grossing category.
Bytecraft has reviewed and put together a list of top-grossing apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play to see how user preferences compare and contrast depending on a mobile platform they use.
So let’s explore the five top-grossing Android apps in the USA, as per App Annie. Like most free apps and services, these applications drive revenue from in-app purchases.
A game by King Digital Entertainment was initially released for Facebook in 2012 and is now available on Android as well as iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows 10. The game is a three-match puzzle – the players are supposed to swap two adjacent candies until they match the third one with the same shape and color. As of 2019, the game’s overall user base has reached 293 million players, which currently makes it the most-played game of all time. The game achieved its wow effect in 2013 when total downloads have exceeded 500 million. In the first quarter of 2019, the app has earned $391 million of revenue globally across both Google Play and the App Store, and its number of all-time downloads has reached 1.34 billion.
Coin Master is yet another top-ranking Android game based on the slot machine concept. As the players progress through the game, they collect slot machine spins. This allows them to win coins and upgrade their village; they can also raid and attack other players. Released in 2010 by Israeli publisher Moon Active, its user base currently exceeds 50 million. In the first quarter of 2019, Coin Master was downloaded over 43, 874, 275 times from Google Play Store, generating revenue of $62, 903, 899, with a combined income from Android and iOS players exceeding $103 million. In June 2019, it generated $ 197.5 million in net revenue (as per Priori Data), with 78% of revenue driven by Google Play Store.
Hailed as the major disruptor of the social casino scene, the app has won global recognition in 2019.
Created by the namesake publisher in 2000, Pandora is a streaming music, radio, and podcasts application. Currently available in the United States only, it has a user base of over 68 million. In 2017, the app generated $1,466,812 in total net revenue. During the second quarter of 2019, its users (belonging mostly to the 35-44 age group) spent about 441 million U.S. dollars on in-app purchases. As of 2019, the app has a total number of 38,121,000 downloads. Being one of the oldest streaming music services, it has gained publicity in 2016, after introducing advanced features available on subscription and becoming a direct competitor of similar streaming service Spotify.
Google One is expanded cloud storage with advanced capabilities. It lets users manage storage settings for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos and offers a family plan, membership benefits, and 24/7 tech support. Released in May 2018, Google One now has over 10,000,000 downloads. Almost immediately after the release, Google has started updating its Google Drive users to Google one, and the app use base is currently expected to reach $1 billion. Although Google does not publicly reveal the information about Google One revenue, it clearly accounts for a large percentage of the company’s billion-dollar earnings. Google One received wide publicity in August 2018, straight after its U.S. release.
Released in 2016 by Niantic in partnership with Pokemon company and Nintendo, this game attributes much of its hype to an innovative augmented reality technology. The game uses GPS to locate and hunt virtual creatures (Pokemon) only visible to those who have downloaded the app. By 2018, the number of the game’s monthly active users has exceeded 147 million. As of 2019, there are over 480 of different Pokemon types, and the number of the game’s all-time downloads has reached 1 billion, accounting for a revenue of over $3 billion.
The Apple App Store has different apps topping the grossing category, although some positions overlap.
As of 2019, YouTube (owned by Google) is a #1 app in the top-grossing iOS app store category, retaining its 2018 position. Streaming music, live events, personal recommendations, as well as a plethora of social features, keep attracting a vast number of viewers. YouTube’s monthly rate of active users currently exceeds 2 billion. With the total number of Internet users estimated at 4.4 billion, YouTube is currently used by 45% of the worldwide web population and is the world’s second-largest social network and search engine (after Google).
Launched as a website in 2005, YouTube had become prominent in 2006, the exact year it became the property of Google and got the functionality it has now: comments, rating, content algorithms, live streaming, etc. In 2018, YouTube grossed $9.5 billion, according to e-Marketer (although Google may not be revealing the actual figures).
Owners of Apple devices are also active Tinder users. Created in 2012 by TInder, Inc., this dating app had made it to the top 25 social networking apps list in 2013. It would be no exaggeration to say that Tinder has revolutionized the concept of online dating: it currently accounts for over 1 million of dates each week. The app shows you profiles of registered users in your area. By swiping right, you choose someone you like; swiping left excludes whom you don’t like, and swiping up marks those whom you “super like”. The app tracks mutual likes and makes a match. The overall number of Tinder users currently exceeds 50 million. The app grossed $1.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to earn $535 million in the third quarter of 2019.
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter game franchise of Activision Publishing, Inc. Released in 2003, this video game initially unfolded in a Web 2.0 setting, but consequently began to feature modern settings and futuristic worlds. The game is currently one of the best-selling video games on the planet. It runs on a wide number of platforms, including Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox; its iOS and Android versions were released on October 1st, 2019.
Call of Duty: Mobile is a real-time multiplayer shooter game that combines the features of Black Ops and Modern Warfare COD versions. It also has a variety of multiplayer modes, including “battle royale,” supporting up to 100 players simultaneously. During the first month following its mobile release, Call of Duty was downloaded over 100 million times, according to Activision, and generated $2 million in revenue.
A brainchild of King Digital Entertainment and the #1 app in the top-grossing Android apps section, Candy Crush Saga is also favored by iOS owners. A simple game of matching candies has been recognized as one of the world’s most rewarding and addictive experiences and is played by 33% of smartphone owners worldwide. Following its release in 2012, the game has generated a total of $6.37 billion in revenue and has 293 million monthly active users.
One more top-grossing position which overlaps with Google App Store is a streaming music, radio, and podcast app Pandora with a total number of 38, 212, 000 downloads across Android and iOS platforms. Pandora has been around since 2006, but grew big in 2016, after introducing some of its more advanced functionality on a subscription basis. In 2018, Pandora reported about 7 million subscribers, with the revenues during the second quarter of 2018 reaching $384.8 million.
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