2016 recap: 90% of Google Play’s revenue came from games (and more fun stats!)
2016 was an amazing year for apps and games. We saw some huge deals go down such as the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft, Gameloft by Vivendi, King by Blizzard, and many others. On top of that, the Google Play Store and Apple App Store saw gains across the board. According to most pundits, these gains should continue in 2017. That’s the future, though. Let’s take a look at the last year in the world of apps and games.
People spent more time in apps and games in 2016
Perhaps the most important stat in all of 2016 was how long people spent inside of apps. According to App Annie, the average user spent over 150 billion more hours in apps in 2016 than they did in 2015. The number of hours spent in apps totaled nearly 900 billion. That’s good for about a 15% increase overall. Google Chrome, YouTube, and Facebook led this category. By a lot. We’re guessing Pokemon Go helped drive this metric a lot as well.
The conversation completely changed in 2016. Download numbers stopped being the big metric that developers and pundits used to calculate an app’s success. Things like daily active users (DAUs) and time spent in an app became the more important metrics. Seeing large growth in this area is a better indication of how well the app market is doing than download numbers are. As you can see from the graph above, business is currently good and improving.
People also downloaded more apps and games in 2016
The number of apps and games downloaded in both Google Play and Apple’s App Store grew considerably in 2016. The number of downloads increased by 13 billion from 2015. Total apps and games downloads were over 90 billion overall. That’s a growth of 15%. Much like 2015, Google Play saw more download growth than Apple. China also contributed about 80% of Apple’s download growth.
According to App Annie, most of the growth in iOS was for travel, finance, photo, and video apps. By contrast, Google saw a lot of growth from social, productivity, and tools. App Annie’s theory is that Google Play is present in more developing markets. Thus, their numbers continue to skew toward the essentials such as messaging apps, social media, and security apps. Apple’s prevalence in developed markets could be why their growth is in more specialized categories. That makes sense to us.