App Annie: Freemium makes up 98% of Google Play revenue

Freemium apps contributed almost half of Google Play downloads in May and revenue from freemium apps grew to around 98 percent of total worldwide Google Play revenue in the same month, according to App Annie. The company released its latest report just as the Google I/O developer conference was getting underway.

  • Quarterly app downloads from Google Play grew approximately 50 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.
  • Google Play quarterly app revenue more than doubled from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.
  • In the first quarter of 2014, Games accounted for almost 90 percent of Google Play app revenue, up from around 80 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Apps outside of Games provided about 60 percent of Google Play app downloads in the first quarter of 2014.

Japan continues to dominate Google Play app revenue.

"Games played a major role in the acceleration of Google Play revenue growth, but almost all app categories experienced expansion," the report said. "The freemium business model advanced its domination of Google Play app revenue, and represents a growing proportion of downloads. Asian markets lead the way in generating freemium revenue."

Developers probably didn't need another report reminding them that freemium is becoming their go-to model, but App Annie's report is also a good barometer for the overall health of the Android ecosystem. There have been several other reports that suggested that from a monetization standpoint, Apple's iOS platform is where the real revenue is, but App Annie's data suggests that in due course Google Play will offer an equally lucrative app store for developers that use the right mix of in-app purchases, advertising and other tactics.

Though it's mentioned only mid-way through, the report also shows that there's money to be made outside of Asia: After being knocked out by South Korea, recent growth has put the U.S. back in the No. 2 spot among the biggest sources of Google Play revenue, right behind Japan. 

For more:
- to download the report, click here

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