App Annie Looks at Google Play Growth
June 26, 2014
By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer
Just in time for the Google (News - Alert) I/O 2014 conference, analytics firm App Annie released a special report detailing the growth Google Play has experienced in the past year.
Referencing previously-published reports from Venture Beat and Mashable, App Annie first indicated that Google has seen an explosion of growth in the past year and that, in the last six months, its growth has been exceptional. Last year, it says, Google Play had nearly 800,000 apps, and during the last six months, the company has experienced the addition of 200,000 more apps.
Most notably, it states, Google Play app revenue has more than doubled from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. Those numbers alone “[represent] a massive opportunity for app publishers,” the App Annie site claims. In addition, it notes that games in the Google Play take the lion's share of overall revenue at 90 percent in Q1 2014; that is up from 80 percent in Q1 2013. Furthermore, it says freemium apps in Google Play now account for 98 percent of its worldwide revenue.
Tech Crunch provides an outsider's analysis of the report. The tech news site states that App Annie stands in an interesting position among fellow analysts: it is a customer of Google's products and not a company Google pays or sponsors.
Google has traditionally fallen behind other app stores regarding the possibility for increased revenue. Developers want to create apps for platforms that will provide them with the greatest chance for making money, and the Amazon Appstore and iOS have always significantly lead Google in this area. But the App Annie report shows that Google may be gaining grounds on those leaders.
Regarding that issue further, it is important to consider the discrepancy between revenue and the number of app downloads. The growth in games-related revenue shows a discrepancy that may be valuable to potential developers. Although, as this article previously noted, revenue of games has increased from 80 percent to 90 percent in the past year, the number of downloads those games represent accounts for only 40 percent of total app downloads. Basically, games are producing maximum revenue with minimum downloads.
That said, App Annie also shows that the number of downloads for apps in other categories is also growing. The communication, social, music and audio, tools, entertainment, and photography categories are the top six, concerning growth, outside the games category.
Lastly, it appears that Google Play is showing regional significance in a number of countries. Tech Crunch reports that South Korea has dropped to the number three spot with respect to the amount of app revenue it generated in Q1 2014. It led the pack in 2013, but now the top five revenue leaders, in order from highest to lowest, are: Japan, U.S., South Korea, Germany, and U.K.
Edited by Maurice Nagle