In brief: App stores are one of the key revenue streams for Apple and Google. They're also the bread and butter of app developers who generally put tons of effort and creativity into making quality apps, from an addictive game to an irreplaceable productivity tool. Sensor Tower, an analyst firm, published a report highlighting the overall financial health of the mobile app market and compares how developers fare on each platform.
At their annual conferences, Apple and Google boast about their apps and user statistics. While Google leads with the sheer number of users on its Android platform, thanks in part to smartphones and devices for a variety of budgets and tastes, Apple's iOS is the lucrative choice for publishers and developers where the audience tends to be a lot more spendy.
According to mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, the App Store made 64 percent more in gross income for publishers than the Google Play Store. During Q1 2019, the top 100 App Store publishers made $83.8 million, that's 64 percent more than the average of $51 million made by Google Play's top 100 app publishers.
The report analyzes Q1 data of both platforms for the past five years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 31 percent. The individual CAGR for the App Store and Google Play stood very close at 31.3 and 31.2 percent, respectively.
An interesting detail is the disparity of non-gaming revenue between the two platforms. The top 100 publishers of non-gaming apps for iOS earned $23.3 million on average, a huge 232 percent (or 3.3 times) more compared to $7 million on Google Play.
There can be a variety of reasons that contribute to this figure. App quality and availability and generally extravagant consumers on iOS willing to pay for the influx of subscription based apps could be a prominent factors, among others. However, revenue for the top 100 earning publishers on Google's Play Store grew 44.4 percent as compared to 30.5 percent for App Store publishers, quarter-over-quarter.
On the gaming side of things, the numbers still greatly favor the App Store but this time the earnings difference is less. While both stores saw CAGR of 28.5 percent since Q1 2014, Google Play grew slightly faster at 30.2 percent compared with 27.9 percent for the App Store. Once again, the top 100 game publishers fared better on the latter with an average of $70.3 million earnings, which is 48 percent more compared to $48 million on Google Play.
The report concludes with stating Apple’s App Store as "the leading mobile storefront in terms of consumer spending from a variety of perspectives."