Mobile Applications

Biggest Revenue Apps Show Streaming Is In

The results are in. A new year-end report from mobile app store marketing intelligence provider Sensor Tower shows which non-gaming mobile apps on Android, iOS and overall generated the most revenue in 2016. And wouldn’t you know it — the results indicate that consumers are more than ever moving away from traditional media services toward a streaming future.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Sensor Tower’s data showed that worldwide net revenue from mobile apps and games on both Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play reached a combined $8.7 billion, up 67 percent year on year from the $5.2 billion seen in Q4 2015.

2016’s top earner was music streaming service Spotify, securing the number one spot overall and in the iTunes App Store. Competitor streaming service Pandora placed fifth overall, fourth in the App Store and third on Google Play in terms of revenue.

Mobile messaging app LINE saw major traction on the Android platform, leading to its overall ranking in the number two spot. LINE was then followed by Netflix, Tinder, Pandora and HBO Now, in that order, in terms of annual revenue generated. Hulu also made it into the top 10, sitting in ninth place overall and as the number seven revenue driver on the App Store in this category.

A notable outlier on the revenue charts is LINE Manga, the comic eReader and storefront that first launched in 2015 produced by messaging app LINE. The app made an appearance on all three of Sensor Tower’s lists — the eReader hit number five on Google Play, number eight in the App Store and number seven overall in terms of revenue.

Sensor Tower’s report also took a stab at listing the top non-game apps by downloads. Non-game apps Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram all made the list, unsurprisingly. Notably, Uber came in at number nine overall and ranked seventh in the App Store. Looks like the ridesharing service’s national and global expansion efforts paid off in that respect.


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