Are the top 1 percent publishers of app stores driving the majority of the app downloads?

According to new data from Sensor Tower, The top 1 percent of app store publishers have generated revenue with more than 80 percent of total 29.6 billion downloads of apps and all within the third quarter of the year 2019. If you take a look at this scenario, this means that only 20 percent or 6 billion app downloads are left for the rest of the publishers. This current ecosystem scenario isn’t favoring any indie developers at all.


Insights into the publishers of app store

According to the report, the bottom 99% of publishers consist of roughly 784,080 developers which generate an average of 7,650 downloads during the quarter of 2019. Still confused about the scenario? Well, the number of downloads generated by the other 99% of publishers is one-thousandth of the percentage of downloads Facebook generates in the quarter (682 million). The data displayed is pretty much surprising if you take a look at the larger social platform community including Facebook and YouTube which are already serving more than billions of audiences on a daily basis. But it is very concerning that the market for new apps remains pretty much uneven especially when the market of apps is constantly expanding every passing second which makes the competition more difficult than ever.

According to the report, more than 3.4 million apps were available in the App Store and Google Play in 2018 and if you take a look at the year 2014, the availability of apps increased to 65% since that year. Even though there’s an increase in the availability of apps in the market but we are also seeing a downfall in the ability of apps to achieve over the same period it decreased from 30% to 26%.

If you only focus on games, the top 1% of publishers of the app store or 1,080 publishers out of a total of 108,000 publishers saw 9.1 billion downloads out of a total of 11.1 billion downloads. This means 82% of downloads were generated by only 1% of publishers which means an average of 8.4 million installs each. The remaining 18% of downloads or the 2 billion downloads shared among the remaining 106,920 publishers. This means the average is around 18,000 downloads each.



When the apps were analyzed on the basis of its revenue, the gap between the 1% and 99% was even wider. Around 1,526 publishers generated $20.5 billion out of the total $22 billion in revenue in the quarter. The remaining $1.5 billion was split among 151,056 publishers averaging around $9,990 to each of the publishers.


In terms of revenue generated by games, 445 publishers make up the total of top 1% of publishers which generated $15.5 billion in revenue or a total of 95% of all revenue and the remaining $800 million were split between the other 99% of publishers or the 44,029 publishers. This results in an average of $18,100 to each of the bottom 99% of publishers.


Bottom Line

According to Sensor Tower, these are not any new trends and there isn’t any variation in the top 1% share of installs or revenue for years. This report reveals that the majority of the publishers will be competing for a minority of the new users and installs in the app market. The market for bottom 99% is very small and the new publishers along with the minority of publishers need to compete with the new technology to generate an amount of revenue based on the apps in the market of competitors.

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