Developers and publishers on Apple's App Store are reaching the $1 million mark more often than those on Google Play, according to a new report by Sensor Tower, a mobile app store measurement firm.
The firm's Store Intelligence data reveals that nearly twice as many publishers on the App Store are hitting the $1 million milestone compared with Google Play publishers. The measurement is based on an analysis of in-app revenue — excluding advertising — for developers who have hit $1 million for the first time.
"In all, 66 publishers met or surpassed this benchmark figure on Apple's store in 2016, which was 1.7 times more than the 39 that managed the same degree of success on Google's platform," wrote Sensor Tower in a blog post.
What Type Of Apps Were More Successful?
On both platforms, milestone achievers were most likely developing games, accounting for 75 percent on Google Play, and 47 percent on the App Store. Simply put, three-fourths of Google Play's million-dollar earners last year were games. On the App Store, it's roughly half.
The App Store's million-dollar earners are more categorically diverse, with developers of apps in categories such as Social Networking, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Photo & Video, and Utilities accounting for over 5 percent each of the total share. On Google Play, meanwhile, Social Networking and Entertainment apps accounted for 5 percent each of the whole pie.
It's clear that Google Play still nips at the heels of Apple in terms of million-dollar achievers. The growth of Apple's platform in particular is promising. In 2015, only 34 publishers made $1 million — but in 2016, it's doubled to 66, a hair shy of a 100 percent growth. But Google's platform is not to be outdone — from only having 14 milestone achievers in 2015, that has grown last year to 39, nearly 2.8 times more, a promising statistic.
What This All Means
All this simply means that despite Google's larger size, Apple is still king when it comes to monetization, with consumers spending more per device via the App Store, which results into a greater number of incipient publishers earning a million dollars.
Despite that, Google Play only shows signs of growth and positive momentum. That said, given the platform's significantly bigger user base and download volume against its in-app revenue generation, Google still needs to exert more efforts if it wants to be on par with Apple in terms of ecosystem both in the United States and worldwide.
Apple's monetization is increasingly improving, for good measure. The U.S. App Store last year generated approximately $7.6 billion gross revenue against 5.4 billion app downloads, signifying a revenue-to-download ratio of $1.41 — a whopping 38 percent increase from 2015's $1.02.
It's unclear how Google plans to tackle this head-on, and it's similarly unclear why Google is behind Apple when Android devices dominate the smartphone market in leaps and bounds. But there are a few elements to keep in mind that possibly affect publisher success, such as proper curation on the store, device compatibility issues, pricing, and more.