In-App Purchases Take Over App Revenues - eMarketer

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In-App Purchases Take Over App Revenues

Free apps with in-app purchases account for nearly all nonadvertising revenues

December 30, 2013

In-app purchases have long contributed a significant amount of the revenues earned by app stores like Apple’s or Google’s. Based on research from app analytics platform Distimo, the share of those revenues coming from in-app purchases has increased dramatically over the past year.

Leaving aside ad revenues earned by app developers and focusing only on revenues to app stores, Distimo found that 98% of Google Play store revenues and 92% of Apple App Store revenues in November 2013 came from free-to-download apps that offered in-app items for purchase. That compared with 89% and 77%, respectively, just 11 months earlier.

Mobile App Store Revenue Share Worldwide, by Business Model and Platform, Jan 2013 & Nov 2013 (% of total)

Distimo also found that while Apple’s store is still tops around the world in terms of revenues, Google Play did gain share during 2013, suggesting faster growth in in-app purchases made on Android-based devices than iOS-based ones.

Mobile App Store Revenue Share Worldwide, Apple App Store vs. Google Play, June 2013 & Nov 2013 (% of total)

eMarketer estimates that for mobile games in particular, 41.4% of all revenues—including ad revenues—came from in-app purchases this year. We expect that share to reach 47.5% by 2017.


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