Third quarter global app revenue grows 22.9 per cent

Cupertino-based Apple’s App Store earned 60 per cent of total earnings

Google Play saw 8.7 billion downloads in the third quarter. AP
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Global mobile consumer spend on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store — the two largest distribution channels for mobile apps in the world — increased 22.9 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, according to a new report.

Total app revenue reached $21.9 billion in three months to September 30, nearly $4bn more than the same period of last year, said Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, a San Francisco-based researcher on mobile apps, on Wednesday.

However, despite wider the popularity of Google Play, which is supported by Android devices, it trailed the App Store in earnings. The latter earned more than 60 per cent of the total revenue, almost $6.5bn more than Google Play, the report said.

“App Store leads in mobile revenue, earning $14.2bn … 22.3 per cent more compared to the last year,” said the report. Google Play, meanwhile, generated $7.7bn, a 24 per cent year-on-year increase.

According to Google, there are more than 2.5 billion active Android devices (including leading brands such as Samsung and Huawei) worldwide, with the platform supporting both premium and budget-conscious devices.

Despite earning less revenue, Google witnessed a sharp rise in downloads. Google Play downloads were 8.7 billion in the third quarter, almost 6.3 billion more than App Store downloads. This can be attributed to the presence of a vast number of free apps on Google Play.

The App Store witnessed 5.3 per cent growth in the first-time app installations during the third quarter. Google Play recorded almost three-times more first-time app installs during the period.

An app store is a digital distribution platform for mobile apps. Industry experts say the number of mobile app downloads will continue to grow in the coming years.

Over 205 billion apps were downloaded in 2018 and this number is predicted to reach almost 260 billion downloads in 2022, according to researcher Statista.

Currently, Google Play has the largest library of apps, offering around 2.47 million apps to users, compared to the 1.8 million available on the App Store, according to the Sensor Tower report.

Other companies have their own app stores, such as the Windows Store and Amazon Appstore, but these have struggled to gain traction.

In the third quarter of this year, App Store users paid $9.8bn to download different apps, 19 per cent more than last year. Google Play users paid $6.5bn, increasing their spend by 1.7 per cent.