At Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) Monday, the company announced that the App Store has grown to 2 million apps, with 130 billion total downloads, and nearly $50 billion paid to developers. Those are incredible numbers, but what do they mean?
This time last year, Apple announced 100 billion downloads, and $30 billion paid to developers.
Normally at this point there’d be a comparison to the Google Play Store, but Google hasn’t released similar statistics since February 2015, saying at the time “more than $7 billion” paid to developers over the course of a year. In 2014 alone, Apple paid more than $10 billion to developers.
Simple math tells us Apple paid out about $20 billion between last year’s WWDC and this week. Both platforms take a similar cut of revenue before passing it on to developers and publishers.
At first glance, these numbers seem at odds with this week’s other news – Android has continued its market share growth over Apple’s iOS, according to a recent study by Kantar World Panel. Part of that growth is cheaper Android devices in rapidly growing economies like China and India, but Android users in the US have proven quite loyal as well.
“While growth in other parts of the world has clearly been a result of movement either from the Windows ecosystem or a feature phone, Android gains in the U.S. are powered by repeat customers,” wrote Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar.
There’s clearly money to be made in both ecosystems, and Android’s wider reach and quick approval times (which are still faster than Apple’s improved times) allow for rapid iteration and testing of new ad zones and monetization strategies.
What Apple’s WWDC results confirm is that the App Store is still the place publishers will make the bulk of their income on mobile. After refining products and strategies on Android, putting the best products forward on iOS is a win-win for publishers and users.
Users get thoughtful, tested, and balance apps with smart monetization that won’t drive them away (hopefully), and publishers get great users, and excellent revenue sources from those apps.
Of course, publishers should remember to update their Android apps with those realizations in mind as well.
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