Blog

Search Blog

Market Data

App Annie Index: Apps - Looking for a Date for the Holidays? Dating Apps Dominate iOS Revenue

App Annie

The App Annie Apps Index brings you the top-performing publishers and apps outside of games across both the iOS App Store and Google Play based on market data from App Annie Intelligence.  To find out what’s happening in game apps, please check out our November 2013 Games Index.

Dating Apps Make a Move on iOS

While much of the recent buzz about the Social Networking category on the iOS App Store has surrounded the battle for supremacy among the messaging apps, it was dating apps that made the big moves in iOS App Store revenue in November. AdoptAGuy’s unique women-centric approach helped it join the Top 10, while Zoosk and Grindr both climbed further up the ranks. With Badoo also holding strong, dating apps provided 4 of the Top 10 apps outside of games by iOS App Store revenue in November.

Custom Cartoon Apps Conquer the iOS App Store

After three months at the top of the Apps Index for iOS App Store downloads, YouTube was finally usurped in November. 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) and Bitstrips, two apps that allow users to create their own cartoons, took the top two positions by iOS App Store downloads outside of games. Their runaway success also propelled their respective publishers into the Top 10 publishers for iOS App Store downloads in November. Hightalk Software’s 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) reaching #1 marks the first time a publisher from China has attained that position in the Apps Index in 2013, just a month after Tencent achieved a similar feat in the Games Index.

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesiOS November 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Google - United States 36
2 Apple - United States 40
3 Tencent - China 133
4 Facebook 1 United States 10
5 Baidu 1 China 109
6 Alibaba Group 5 China 45
7 Hightalk Software 32 China 1
8 Bitstrips 29 United States 1
9 Outfit 7 2 Cyprus 72
10 Microsoft - United States 58
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

iOS downloads excluding games were dominated by companies from the United States and China, with the two countries combined representing 9 of the Top 10 publishers.  This is especially impressive for the four Chinese publishers, as the quadrumvirate reached the top of the global chart while drawing the vast majority of their users from China.

Alibaba Group, Hightalk Software, and Bitstrips all made their first appearance in the Apps Index in 2013 by reaching the Top 10 publishers for iOS App Store downloads in November. Hightalk Software and Bitstrips both reached the Top 10 following phenomenal success of their hit apps 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) and Bitstrips, respectively. Bitstrips released their first (and currently only) iOS app in late September, and Hightalk Software released theirs in October, so it was a rapid rise to success for both publishers. In addition to millions of new users, Bitstrips also caught the attention of venture capital firms, with Horizon Ventures confirming investment in the United States startup.

 

Bitstrips ChartBitstrips made rapid gains after its release in late September, and reached #2 in iOS App Store downloads for November.

 

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also joined the Top 10 publishers for iOS downloads this month. Alibaba Group was boosted by the success of instant messaging app 来往 (Lai Wang, Contact), as well as a good month for shopping app 天猫(淘宝商城) (Tmall) in China. The success of  天猫(淘宝商城) (Tmall) followed the release of an iOS app update, and came as Alibaba broke its one-day sales record on China’s Singles’ Day. While Alibaba have found success with their own apps, they’ve also been proactive about extending their influence beyond their base in China. In November, Quixey, a Silicon Valley-based search engine for apps, announced a $50 million funding round led by Alibaba. An IPO on a foreign stock exchange may also be on the cards for Alibaba, though the company states the location is yet to be determined, despite rumors of a listing in either Hong Kong or New York.

Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesGoogle Play November 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Facebook - United States 8
2 Google - United States 127
3 Sungy Mobile - China 2200
4 WhatsApp - United States 2
5 Outfit 7 - Cyprus 34
6 Microsoft - United States 37
7 Kingsoft Internet Software N/A* China 27
8 LINE 1** Japan 100
9 Twitter 1 United States 5
10 NAVER 1 South Korea 1062
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Rank change from October to November 2013 is not available because of changes in publisher attribution.
** The rank for the publisher LINE in the Oct 2013 Apps Index was not based on including the LINE PLAY app, as it was in the Games category back then. The publisher LINE has since shifted this app out of the Games category to the Social Networking category in iOS and the Social category on Google Play. As a result, the rank for the publisher LINE in the November 2013 Apps Index now is based on including the LINE PLAY app.

Twitter continued their momentum from October in Google Play, which followed the release of an updated Android app optimized for tablets. The updates continued in November as Twitter improved search functionality and provided users with filters to narrow searches to pictures, videos, or tweets from friends. The step up in Google Play download rankings topped a good month for Twitter, led by a successful IPO on November 7, which valued the company around $25 billion.

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesiOS November 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 Pandora - United States 1
2 LINE -** Japan 99
3 Apple - United States 40
4 Disney - United States 411
5 Microsoft - United States 58
6 Zoosk - United States 1
7 Smule 1 United States 12
8 Time Warner N/A* United States 525
9 comiXology 1 United States 21
10 Badoo 1 United Kingdom 2
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Rank change from October to November 2013 is not available because of changes in publisher attribution.
** The rank for the publisher LINE in the Oct 2013 Apps Index was not based on including the LINE PLAY app, as it was in the Games category back then. The publisher LINE has since shifted this app out of the Games category to the Social Networking category in iOS and the Social category on Google Play. As a result, the rank for the publisher LINE in the November 2013 Apps Index now is based on including the LINE PLAY app.

Smule made gains in the iOS App Store revenue Top 10 rankings for the third consecutive month thanks to their array of Music apps, which includes Sing! Karaoke, Magic Piano, and Guitar. Comics publisher comiXology also continued their momentum from October as their in-app comic sales continued to prove popular with iOS users. comiXology will be looking to gain further in the coming months after a recent deal that saw the publisher team up with eBay to launch a digital comic marketplace. Purchases will initially be handled via desktop, but users will require a comiXology account and can access content through the Comics app.

Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesGoogle Play November 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Headquarters Total Apps
(incl. games)
1 LINE -* Japan 100
2 Sungy Mobile - China 2200
3 Kakao - South Korea 16
4 GREE - Japan 121
5 Pandora 2 United States 2
6 Voltage - Japan 52
7 WhatsApp 2 United States 2
8 comiXology - United States 2
9 TomTom - Netherlands 29
10 MagazineCloner - United Kingdom 627
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* The rank for the publisher LINE in the Oct 2013 Apps Index was not based on including the LINE PLAY app, as it was in the Games category back then. The publisher LINE has since shifted this app out of the Games category to the Social Networking category in iOS and the Social category on Google Play. As a result, the rank for the publisher LINE in the November 2013 Apps Index now is based on including the LINE PLAY app.

Pandora had a strong month in Google Play, driven by their streaming radio service in the United States. This followed the release of the Pandora app specifically designed for Android tablets in late October. Pandora extended the functionality of their apps further in November by adding compatibility with Google’s Chromecast device, allowing users to stream music from Pandora to their TVs and use their mobile devices as remote controls. The company’s efforts in mobile appear to be paying off - in addition to in-app purchase revenue, Pandora announced mobile advertising revenue in excess of $100 million for the quarter ending 31 October 2013.

Kakao also performed strongly, finishing in the top three publishers by Google Play revenue excluding games for the sixth consecutive month. Sonia Im from Kakao’s Communication Team spoke with App Annie about the innovations that helped drive their continued success:

"Kakao has developed into an innovative social platform that offers a wide range of content and services by building on the overwhelming number of users, traffic, and social networking power of KakaoTalk. 2013 was an exciting year of platform developments that included new applications that work in tight integration with KakaoTalk.

In September, Kakao added two new apps to its mobile social platform: a private social networking service called "KakaoGroup" and a social music service called "KakaoMusic."  KakaoGroup is a private group SMS where users can post thoughts, memories, and photos to a private group of people. KakaoMusic is a new type of mobile music service that allows users to share and communicate through music with KakaoTalk friends. By combining "personal stories" to songs and communicating through music, the app gained seven million downloads in less than three months since launch. It has quickly become the 2nd most-used music application in Korea, and is expected to change the way people consume, listen to, and associate with music." -Sonia Im, Communication Team, Kakao

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesiOS November 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) 33 Hightalk Software China Photo and Video
2 Bitstrips 24 Bitstrips United States Entertainment
3 YouTube 2 Google United States Photo and Video
4 Facebook 2 Facebook United States Social Networking
5 WhatsApp Messenger 2 WhatsApp United States Social Networking
6 Google Maps 1 Google United States Navigation
7 Skype - Microsoft United States Social Networking
8 Snapchat 1 Snapchat United States Photo and Video
9 Instagram 5 Facebook United States Photo and Video
10 Google Search 4 Google United States Reference
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

魔漫相机(MomentCam), an app by Chinese publisher Hightalk Software that transforms photos into comics, launched in late October and found almost immediate success in China. Despite having no English language support initially, the app still made steady gains in markets outside China, such as the United States and United Kingdom. November saw an update that introduced English language support, which provided an additional boost in these markets.

 

English language support in 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) provided a boost to its rank in the United States in November.

With continued viral success in China and Taiwan, 魔漫相机 (MomentCam) reached the #1 spot for iOS App Store downloads excluding games in November, with Hightalk Software the first Chinese publisher to achieve this in the Apps Index in 2013. The app has reportedly attracted around 3.25 million subscribers per day.

Bitstrips is an app that also allows users to create custom comics that include cartoon versions of themselves and their friends using regularly updated templates. The app makes heavy use of social networking, allowing users to post comics to Facebook, and saw strong popularity in the United States and United Kingdom throughout November.

The integration of Bitstrips with Facebook has proved popular with app users.

 

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding GamesGoogle Play November 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Facebook - Facebook United States Social
2 WhatsApp Messenger - WhatsApp United States Communication
3 Instagram 1 Facebook United States Social
4 Facebook Messenger 3 Facebook United States Communication
5 Skype 2 Microsoft United States Communication
6 LINE - LINE Japan Communication
7 Clean Master 2 Kingsoft Internet Software China Tools
8 Twitter - Twitter United States Social
9 Viber - Viber Media Cyprus Communication
10 Tiny Flashlight + LED - Nikolay Ananiev Bulgaria Tools
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

Facebook released a major update to their Facebook Messenger app in November, the latest move in the ongoing messenger app wars. The update introduced the ability for users to message contacts in their phone outside of their Facebook friends list, allowing it to act more like an SMS replacement service. Facebook Messenger’s climb to #4 in October gave Facebook three of the top four apps outside of games for Google Play downloads.

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesiOS November 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Pandora Radio - Pandora United States Music
2 LINE - LINE Japan Social Networking
3 Zoosk 1 Zoosk United States Social Networking
4 Skype 1 Microsoft United States Social Networking
5 LINE PLAY N/A* LINE Japan Social Networking
6 Badoo - Badoo United Kingdom Social Networking
7 Grindr 1 Grindr United States Social Networking
8 Comics 1 comiXology United States Books
9 AdoptAGuy 7 GEB AdoptAGuy France Social Networking
10 NYTimes 1 NY Times United States News
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Previously, the LINE PLAY app was in the Games category. As a result, it did not have any rank among apps excluding games in Oct 2013. The publisher has since shifted this app to the Social Networking category on iOS and to the Social category on Google Play. Accordingly, this app is now being reported in the Apps Index. Please see the footnotes at the end of the App Annie Index for more information on app categorization.

The three apps to move up the iOS App Store revenue ranks in November were all dating apps.  With the continued strength of Badoo, that meant that 4 of the Top 10 apps were for dating. AdoptAGuy entered the Top 10 with a unique twist that focuses on giving women control - female users select men in an e-commerce supermarket style, complete with shopping carts and checkouts. The app performed particularly strongly in France where its publisher is based.

AdoptAGuy’s cash registers were busy with its unique take on dating apps.


Zoosk
moved into the top three apps for iOS revenue in November, which is good news given the reports of an upcoming IPO. Zoosk is another app with strong connections to Facebook, as it integrates dating and users’ social network profiles. Grindr also experienced success in November, accompanied by the release of an updated app at the end of the month. This update included the addition of ‘tribes,’ allowing users to identify themselves with niche groups, and enhanced chat features. Grindr now reports over 7 million users across 192 countries.

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding GamesGoogle Play November 2013

App Rank Change
vs. Oct 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE - LINE Japan Communication
2 LINE PLAY N/A* LINE Japan Social
3 KakaoTalk 1 Kakao South Korea Communication
4 GREE 1 GREE Japan Social
5 Pandora Radio - Pandora United States Music & Audio
6 LINE Manga 1 LINE Japan Comics
7 WhatsApp Messenger 3 WhatsApp United States Communication
8 LINE Fortune-Telling 2 LINE Japan Entertainment
9 Comics 1 comiXology United States Comics
10 SwiftKey Keyboard 1 SwiftKey United Kingdom Productivity
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* Previously, the LINE PLAY app was in the Games category. As a result, it did not have any rank among apps excluding games in Oct 2013. The publisher has since shifted this app to the Social Networking category on iOS and to the Social category on Google Play. Accordingly, this app is now being reported in the Apps Index. Please see the footnotes at the end of the App Annie Index for more information on app categorization.

In November, 4 of the Top 10 apps excluding games by Google Play revenue were published by LINE, as the publisher continued to perform strongly in Japan. The publisher’s apps are boosted by the popularity of the LINE chat app, which passed 300 million downloads in November, with 80% of users based outside Japan. LINE PLAY, an avatar and virtual world app, also celebrated its one year anniversary during November. To mark the occasion, LINE announced that LINE PLAY has 13 million users across 210 countries, and offered special edition stickers for the LINE app. LINE will look to continue this success with the recently announced e-commerce app LINE MALL, to be released in the near future.

For those of you who also are looking for an update on top apps in gaming, please check out our November 2013 Games Index.

Notes:

  • The publisher and app rankings reported in the App Annie Index are based on the download and revenue estimates available through App Annie Intelligence.  The daily rank history charts and the home page feature app data are available to all users through App Annie’s app tracker solution, Store Stats.
  • While the Games Index covers games, the Apps Index provides app tracking on everything but games.  Note that the Top Publishers rankings in the Games Index are based solely on the publishers’ games downloads and revenue, while the Top Publishers rankings in the Apps Index are based on the downloads and revenue of publishers’ apps excluding games.
  • iPhones and iPads come with a number of built-in apps from Apple. Since built-in apps are not downloaded from the iOS App Store, they do not count towards Apple’s downloads rankings above.
  • Through August 2013, publisher rankings in the App Annie Games Index and Apps Index were based on apps that ranked in the Top 1,000.  Effective with September data, publisher rankings are based on publishers' full set of apps.
  • Through September 2013, similar versions of the same app with different names (e.g., NYTimes and NYTimes for iPad) were ranked separately. Effective with October data, similar versions of the same app with different names will be unified (e.g., NYTimes and NYTimes for iPad are now aggregated and ranked as a single NYTimes unified app).
  • In the iOS App Store, an app can be categorized under a Primary Category as well as an optional Secondary Category.  If an app has a Primary Category of Entertainment and a Secondary Category of Games, it is a candidate to be included in this Apps Index.  If the app’s Primary Category is Games and its Secondary Category is Entertainment, then it will not be included in this Apps Index; it is a candidate for the Games Index.
  • Note that the ranking approach used in the App Annie Index differs from that used in the iOS App Store.  In the latter, app rankings for a given category will include all apps whose Primary Category or Secondary Category matches that given category.  So an app can appear in the rankings for more than one category within the iOS App Store or in App Annie Store Stats rankings.
  • In Google Play, an app can be categorized under only one category, so there is no double-categorization.
  • Occasionally, a publisher may decide to shift an existing app from one category to another category.  In these cases, the App Annie Index will rank that app based on how it is categorized in the subsequent month.  Given that the App Annie Index now has a Games report and an Apps report, the scenario where an app’s recategorization could shift it from one Index to another is if its category changes from the Games category to a category other than Games or vice versa.
  • In the App Annie Index, all apps and publishers are reported under their parent publishers, where available; for example, the Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 app is reported under its parent publisher Electronic Arts, rather than its direct publisher PopCap. Note that if you view the Electronic Arts parent publisher page on Store Stats, you will see the publishers that roll under the parent publisher Electronic Arts, including PopCap. The Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 app will be listed under the PopCap publisher page.
  • App Annie Index revenue rankings are based on revenue that the iOS App Store and Google Play earned from paid downloads and in-app purchases.  They do not include revenue earned from in-app advertising.
  • Any non-App Annie trademarks or images used in this report are the property of their respective owners.  App Annie claims no rights in those trademarks.

December 18, 2013

Market Data
Top and Trending Apps

Related blog posts