More developers earn $1M via the App Store than Google Play, but the gap is closing

A report from Sensor tower It finds that more developers still make their first million dollars on the App Store than on Google Play, but the gap is closing.

It has been fairly common knowledge for some time that, on average, developers earn more from the App Store than they do from Google’s counterpart, despite the latter’s much larger global market share.

Android commands around 73 percent of the global smartphone market compared to 26 percent for iOS. Yet Apple continues to attract more customers who are generally willing to pay a premium for their devices and the software that runs on them.

The Sensor Tower report highlights that more developers than ever are crossing the $ 1 million annual revenue threshold on the App Store and Play Store.

Just over 900 publishers worldwide are projected to surpass the $ 1 million revenue milestone on the App Store and Google Play in 2021, about 91 percent from the 475 total in 2016.

Breakdown by platform:

  • The number of iOS publishers exceeding $ 1 million will hit 581, up from 310 in 2016.
  • Android counterparts will hit 325, up from 165 in 2016.

That means, in percentage terms, the number of developers earning $ 1 million annually is increasing slightly faster through Google Play than the App Store (97% vs 87%).

In 2021, consumers are projected to spend $ 47.9 billion on Google Play, an increase of 23.5 percent year-on-year (year-over-year). For comparison, the App Store’s growth is projected to be nearly six percent lower, down 17.7 percent, even though it generates a much higher $ 85.1 billion.

Overall though, developers are still consistently making their first $ 1 million through the App Store:

sensor tower first million chart

App downloads and spending have skyrocketed during the pandemic as people adapted to new ways of working, socializing and living in general. However, this peaked in 2020.

Sensor Tower installation estimates suggest that consumers “experienced fewer new apps this year than last year, and adoption was boosted to staggering levels at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As the graph above shows, this is why Sensor Tower predicts the first year-on-year decline in 2021 for mobile publishers making their first million dollars, despite staying comfortably above the 2019 figures and earlier.

(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon about Unsplash)

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Tags: 2021, app store, app stores, coding, developer, development, google play, ios, mobile, report, research, sensor tower, study

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