Games dominate the revenue charts on the iOS App Store. That’s no surprise. Even as other non-game brands and product companies adapt to mobile, games revenue is still 4.43 times more than the rest of the App Stores categories combined.
That’s the result from an analysis of Q4 data by analytics firm Sensor Tower. Overall, game downloads were down 7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous third quarter.
There were 5.5 billion app downloads in the fourth quarter on iOS, compared to 5 billion in the fourth quarter a year earlier and 5.3 billion in the third quarter. Sales of iPhones and iPads amounted to $3.3 billion worldwide in the fourth quarter, compared to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter a year earlier and $3.1 billion in the third quarter.
Revenue per download in Q4 was 60 cents, compared to 41 cents a year ago and 58 cents in the third quarter.
On a worldwide basis, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and YouTube were the most downloaded apps in Q4.
The U.S.-centric data was also interesting.
One of the sad facts is the static nature of the top-grossing games in the U.S. All of the top-grossing games for Q4 were released before Q4. But that doesn’t mean publishers can’t make headway.
Electronic Arts made major strides in the U.S. and worldwide, thanks to a strong Madden NFL football game. It was the fourth highest-grossing publisher in the U.S. in Q4.
Of the 20 top-grossing publishers in the U.S., 87 percent of revenues came from gaming. The remaining 13 percent came from streaming entertainment companies such as Spotify, HBO, and Hulu. Another fact about the top 20: Only four companies on the list were from outside the U.S., compared to seven in the previous quarter.
In the U.S., Supercell was the top-grossing publisher in the U.S. on iOS, following by Machine Zone and King. But Machine Zone’s Game of War: Fire Age was the No. 1 app in terms of top-grossing apps in the fourth quarter. Supercell generated more revenue as a publisher only because it had more titles in the top-grossing list.
In terms of downloads, there’s more change in the rankings. Three of the top 20 most-downloaded apps worldwide were games: Piano Tiles 2, Need for Speed No Limits, and Smashy Road: Wanted. The latter was the fifth most-downloaded app in the U.S. in Q4.
There was also more variety beyond games in the top downloads of Q4. Google, Facebook, and EA led the top downloads list in the U.S. Amazon rose nine places to No. 4, and Snapchat and Zynga moved into the top 10 in U.S. downloads. Among publishers, Tencent, Google, and Facebook led the top-downloads list. Tencent actually took the crown from Google for top downloads with more than 150 million downloads.
Among non-game apps, the top downloaded apps were Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and YouTube.