Distimo: Games rule, but finance app category heats up

Games may continue to reign supreme as an app category, but the finance category generated almost 71 percent more revenue on Google Play and 42 percent more revenue on the Apple App Store in February compared with January 2014, according to Distimo. The firm's most recent publication, "Understanding the Secrets Behind App Store Category Dynamics," shows that while games accounted for 90 percent of revenue on Google Play and 74 percent on Apple's App Store, there are other contenders in the mix. 

  • Entertainment takes second place in terms of download volume, after games, on both Apple App Store and Amazon Appstore.
  • Games and social networking collect more than 90 percent of their iPhone revenue through the freemium business model.
  • Navigation is the only category that generates more iPhone revenue through paid apps with in-app purchases than through the freemium business model.
  • The business category is the most active in terms of attracting new apps on both Apple App Store and Google Play in the free rankings in February 2014. In contrast, the gross rankings are topped by the education category on both platforms.

The map shows how much each country contributed to the growth of the sports category for both Google Play and Apple App Store in February. In terms of share of installed sports free apps, the United States led on both platforms.

"(Besides Games and Finance) Sports was the next most enriched category on Google Play where it also was the only category with an increase in terms of device installs," the report said. "Building strategies to achieve success in the app store is challenging but taking into consideration how dynamic the categories are over time as well as the percentage of new apps that rise quickly in the rankings could serve as valuable information about what impacts an app's success."

While games may always remain a perennial favorite among app users, Distimo's report shows that there are ways to stand out and boost engagement by tying apps into special events. The Winter Olympic Games, for example, probably had a strong influence in the sports category, driving 11 percent more device installs on Google Play and 41 percent more downloads on Apple App Store in February compared with January 2014.

While Samsung and others seem to be talking a lot about the potential for fitness apps, meanwhile, Distimo's data showed that downloads of medical, health and fitness declined in February, presumably after people decided to forget about their New Year's resolutions. It's possible the growth of finance as a category has something to do with tax time. The challenge now is for developers to capitalize on the interest and sustain their momentum.

For more: 
- download the report here

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