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Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android have hundreds of thousands of apps. Only a small fraction of them make money for their developers.In fact, the top 25 U.S. developers across both stores account for half of all the revenue generated by app downloads and in-app purchases.
Collectively, these 25 developers made more than $60 million in 20 days, reports analyst firm Canalys.
All but one of those developers is a game maker. The exception: Internet radio service Pandora.
The survey didn’t consider revenues from advertising.
Those game developers include cross-platform developers as well as mobile-game specialists: Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft, and Storm8’s TeamLava.
The reason game developers are much more successful than other genres is because they almost always have multiple titles generating revenue. They can also use successful games to promote other ones they make. A single-app service like Pandora doesn’t have that advantage.
Also, by looking at paid downloads and in-app purchases, the study favoured games, which consumers are generally willing to pay for. Free apps like Facebook and Twitter make considerable revenues from advertising.
Canalys advises developers working in other genres to consider their promotional practices and exploit social media and social recommendations.
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