Top iOS apps rack up $90,000 per day

“2013 was a big year for mobile. At the end of the year, Distimo takes a look back at the top apps, publishers and developments that mattered most in the mobile app stores in 2013. Even though the year is not completely over yet, major trends and top performances in the main app stores could already be identified,” Christel Schoger, Distimo analyst, reports in Distimo’s 2013 Year in Review report. “The typical holiday spike in terms of download volumes and app revenue, as seen in previous years over the holidays, is still ahead of us, leaving room for even further notable events in 2013.”

“In November 2013, Apple’s App Store led in revenue share with 63 percent versus 37 percent for Google Play,” Schoger reports. “On a typical day in November 2013, we estimate the global revenues for the top 200 grossing apps in the Apple App Store at over $18M [$US90,000 average per app]. For Google Play, our estimate is about $12M.”

The top 10 countries in terms of mobile app revenue from the Apple App Store and Google Play are:
1) United States
2) Japan
3) South Korea
4) United Kingdom
5) China
6) Australia
7) Germany
8) Canada
9) France
10) Russia

“The most revenue generating app of 2013 was Supercell’s Clash of Clans, making Supercell the top grossing publisher of 2013 in the Apple App Store,” Schoger reports. “The majority of top publishers in all three app stores are game developers.”

“The Freemium Business Model – free apps with in-app purchases – makes up the largest revenue share in the Apple App Store. Our analysis showed that this revenue share even increased over the year,” Schoger reports. “While the Freemium revenue share was at 77 percent in January, it grew to 92 percent in November based on globally aggregated data for the Apple App Store. The other business models, paid apps without in-app purchases and paid apps with in-app purchases, made each only 4 percent of the revenue in November 2013.”

Read more in the full report here.

13 Comments

    1. Hope they’re adults. If my kids were under my household, I’d be doing my best not to encourage this kind of addiction. As part of the video game generation, I’m not exactly an old fuddy duddy, either.

      I’m not against paying for content in games, but the freemium model the Clash of Clans aka “Cash of Fans” employs kind of sickens me. I know people can argue that it’s a free country and we should let people do whatever they want… but this kind of stuff will affect society in the long-term… how could it not?

      Many gamer cafés have gamers who pee into bottles because they don’t want to get up.

      1. Hey Fuddy Duddy,

        It’s a free country. We can do what we want. But i’m sure 313c7o appreciates your unsolicited parenting advice. Maybe they’re richer than sin, you ever think about that? Maybe it’s not addiction, it’s just they could buy and sell you for pennies to them?

  1. In order to effect positive change we need to vote with our dollars. In this instance, we are failing miserably by actual encouraging so-called “freemium” apps with in-app purchases.

    “The Freemium Business Model – free apps with in-app purchases – makes up the largest revenue share in the Apple App Store. Our analysis showed that this revenue share even increased over the year,” Schoger reports.

    We have to stop the madness. I understand that the free and low-priced apps could not last forever. App developers need to make some money and greed was going to win out sooner or later. But one of the strengths of the iOS ecosystem is being absolutely devastated by “freemium” apps – I even hate the word “freemium.”

    The playability of some of my favorite game apps has been destroyed by switching to the in-app purchase model in their recent releases. These games become increasingly frustrating as you advance through the levels, and you spend more and more time doing boring grunt work to gather fake $ and fake “gold” to work past arbitrary hurdles to get to the next feature/level/capability. They are designed to greedily milk money from game addicts and, as a result, have lost much of their entertainment value. And it isn’t as if the game developers are just trying to make a little money. Take RR3, for instance – it takes $99.99 in *real* money you can get R$5M or 1000 gold. That is the best price, the discounted bulk price. The high-end cars cost around R$2,000,000 or 600 to 800 gold. Translated to real money, that’s roughly $40 to $80 for one car. And that is *before* upgrades. You can easily double the price of a car (or more) before it is fully upgraded. And you thought $60 for a complete console game or $30 for a Nintendo DS game was expensive! If you started from scratch with RR3 and tried to quickly buy your way through it, you would spend many hundreds of dollars. And that is in addition to pimping games players out to advertisers with increasingly intrusive links, images, and videos.

    I have played RR3 for *way* too many hours, having painfully reached on Level 185 with 70 cars owned of 73 available with cumulative “earnings” of around R$45M and 2800 gold, and it will still take around R$10M *and* 2000 gold (costing $400 real money or a whole lot of boring playing time trying to earn R$ and gold) to finish. And I won’t really be finished because they are getting ready to release the next expansion featuring Ferraris. And other expansions will follow that one, requiring even more R$ and gold.

    As I recall, RR2 cost around $4.99. I would willingly have paid $9.99 for the RR3 game outright because it is (potentially) a very good game with decent physics and great graphics. But I absolutely *refuse* to make any freemium in-app purchases because it just encourages developers to ruin gameplay and focus on squeezing revenue out of consumers. Please join me in boycotting in-app purchases and we can squash this freemium approach!

    1. As KingMel mentioned, freemium apps aren’t always free. The game in question was $4.99.

      I understand the appeal of making an app free, but most paid apps now have some sort of in-app purchase. The temptation to milk the addict is just too great.

      Problem is, with so much money being made, is there actually a way to go back? For starters, free games with high-revenue shouldn’t be promoted. Right now there is a section for highest-grossing games. In-App purchases should NOT be included. Why give exploitware the free publicity? That’s how I found Clash of Clans… my reasoning was that since it was top-grossing game, it must be high-quality.

      1. Actually, the *previous* version of the game, RR2, cost around $4.99. RR3 is free to download. My point was that I would have paid twice as much for RR3 upfront compared to RR2, but I am unwilling to pay anything via the RR3 freemium in-app purchasing model. I refuse to support that anti-gamer approach.

        All “freemium” is doing is encouraging cheating, much like onerous DRM. Android users have methods for logging into the store and “purchasing” R$ and gold without actually paying. I understand that there is an iOS option to do the same thing if you are willing to jailbreak your device.

    2. Freemium apps are multiplying. Apps that used to be paid apps are switching to freemium. Most of the money is being made through the freemium model, according to the article. We are doing this to ourselves! Stop it!

  2. Another great example is Dungeon Hunter 4. The first versions were $5-10. Now, the latest version is ‘free’, but to really advance in the game, a player would easily spend $100 in the blink of an eye. The game literally tries to sell items, upgrades, and gear at every turn.

    As an example, “Are you struggling to complete this level? This [sword] could help you progress. It’s available at a 40% discount now.” Your choices, “Buy Now” or “Miss this Offer”.

    THIS EXPERIENCE IS RUINING GAMEPLAY ON iOS.

    Build a good game and users will buy it. But don’t nickel and dime us to death so that we spend 3X the amount we used to spend on a PC/OSX game.

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