A small number of developers, almost entirely game companies, continue to generate the majority of revenue at the leading app stores – Appleâ€™s App Store (iPhone only) and Google Play. Based on daily App Interrogator surveys, Canalys estimates that just 25 developers accounted for 50% of app revenue in the US in these stores during the first 20 days of November 2012. Between them, they made $60 million from paid-for downloads and in-app purchases over this period.
Of the top 25 grossing developers, all bar one (popular music service Pandora with its Pandora Radio app) are game developers. They include cross-platform game developers as well as mobile game specialists, and include Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft and Storm8â€™s TeamLava. â€˜Part of the story here is that successful game developers almost invariably have multiple titles generating revenue,â€™ said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. â€˜Zynga, for example, had 15 titles in the list of top 300 grossing iPhone apps on average in Appleâ€™s App Store every day, and nine titles in the equivalent list in the Google Play store. Even with its singular focus on its Angry Birds franchise, Rovio has multiple game variants in the list. With the holiday season now underway, we expect to see many of these top game developers employing discounts and special offers, taking advantage of their ability to cross-promote within their app portfolios. This is expected to ensure that over the Christmas period in the US, the dominance of key game developers will only increase.â€™
Interesting, yes. Disappointing, no? $60 million paid-for downloads in twenty days split between 700,000 apps is not something to sneer at.