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App Annie Index for Japan: Apps - LINE Leads the App Pack

App Annie

This App Annie Apps Index brings you the hottest mobile apps outside of games across both the iOS App Store and Google Play for Japan in July 2013 based on market data from App Annie Intelligence. Japan is a special app marketplace in that the tops of the charts are dominated by apps from domestic publishers. Of the 32 unique apps covered in this Japan report, only six of them are published by foreign companies. To find out what's happening with apps worldwide, please check out the July 2013 App Annie Apps Index.

Continuing trends seen in the worldwide July 2013 App Annie Apps Index, social apps were well-represented in the Top 10 for revenue from Japan in July for both the iOS App Store and Google Play, while photo and video made a strong showing on iOS downloads.

LINE’s game apps performed very well in May’s Japan Games Index, but their influence on the non-game app rankings in July was even more profound. Although their other apps also performed well, the LINE messaging app stood out from the pack as the most downloaded non-game app in Google Play and the top grossing non-game app in both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Additionally, LINE was the only publisher to have apps ranked in the Top 10 for non-game downloads and revenue in both the iOS App Store and Google Play for July in Japan.

Leading the iOS App Store in non-game downloads, Belarus-based Tap Nation’s Screen Lock Free was the only foreign app to rank #1 in any of the non-game rankings in Japan for July. The popular app added a security feature in which users could password protect folders on their home screens.

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding Games in Japan iOS July 2013
App Rank Change
vs. June 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 Screen Lock Free 1000+ Tap Nation Belarus Utilities
2 CocoPPa 21 United Japan Lifestyle
3 RoadMovies 9 Honda Japan Photo & Video
4 Google Maps 2 Google United States Navigation
5 LINE 2 LINE Japan Social Networking
6 LINE camera 1 LINE Japan Photo & Video
7 Music Tubee - MobiRocket Japan Music
8 Gunosy 1 Gunosy Japan News
9 僕が無課金なのに最強ゲーマーなワケ (The Reason Why I Am the Best Gamer Without Paying) New* motionBEAT Japan Entertainment
10 YouTube 6 Google United States Photo & Video
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

* 僕が無課金なのに最強ゲーマーなワケ (The Reason Why I Am the Best Without Paying) was released in July 2013, so it had no Rank Change vs. June 2013.

 

In Japan, the top downloaded non-game apps in the iOS App Store shifted in the rankings a lot from June to July. There was also a lot of diversity among these apps, as the photo & video category was the only category to place multiple apps in the Top 10.

Tap Nation’s Screen Lock Free was the only app by a publisher based outside of Japan to earn a #1 spot in any of the four rankings featured in this report for downloads and revenue within the iOS App Store and Google Play. Screen Lock Free enabled users to create locked folders that remain password protected even while the phone is in use.

LINE’s messaging and camera apps both earned spots in the Top 10 for non-game downloads in Japan’s iOS App Store for July. The publisher has since celebrated surpassing 230 million users in mid-August and announced select free character sticker giveaways.

CocoPPa, a mobile customization platform, moved up 21 spots to become the second-most downloaded non-game app in the iOS App Store in Japan during July. This app gave users the ability to create, share, and select custom app icons and wallpapers for their home screens. CocoPPa was very popular not only in Japan, but also in the United States. United, who published CocoPPa, announced that about 42% of CocoPPa’s cumulative downloads have come from the United States since its launch across both the iOS App Store and Google Play. United is currently set to launch its United States-based subsidiary CocoPPa, Inc. in September.


Following the successful launch of CocoPPa in Japan and the United States, United is launching a subsidiary in the United States this September.

 

The automotive company Honda has published more than 20 iOS apps, including July’s #3 ranked RoadMovies - a movie app that finished the month as the top ranked Photo & Video app. With RoadMovies, users can make their own original 24 second video clips with 8 filters and 14 background music tracks. Released in November 2012, the app has been gradually gaining traction in the Japan iOS App Store download rankings since February 2013. In addition to Japan, this app was also popular in South Korea and Taiwan.


RoadMovies has gradually risen in the rankings since February.

 

Gunosy is a news aggregator app that analyzes users’ social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and Hatena, for personalized news recommendations. The news category has been hot in Japan; in addition to other news aggregator apps, LINE and GREE both released their own news apps in July and August.

Top Apps by Monthly Downloads Excluding Games in Japan Google Play July 2013
App Rank Change
vs. June 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE - LINE Japan Communication
2 LINE camera - LINE Japan Photography
3 Yahoo! JAPAN - Yahoo Japan Japan News & Magazines
4 マクドナルド公式アプリ (McDonald's Official App) 1 McDonald's Japan Japan Lifestyle
5 Twitter 1 Twitter United States Social
6 Facebook 2 Facebook United States Social
7 QRコードリーダー EQS (QR Code Reader EQS) 11 EQS Japan Tools
8 Silent Camera 1 TACOTY play Japan Tools
9 Simeji(Japanese Keyboard) 7 Baidu Japan Japan Tools
10 乗換案内 (Norikae Annai) 3 Jorudan Japan Transportation
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

Local publishers earned 8 of Japan’s Top 10 ranked non-game apps by downloads in Google Play. Tools and social were the two categories that had multiple apps in the Top 10, with both apps from publishers based in the United States falling into the social category.

LINE was the only publisher with more than 1 app in the Top 10 as their LINE messaging app and LINE camera maintained their positions as the top two most downloaded non-game apps on Google Play in Japan. They were also the only two apps ranked in the Top 10 non-game downloads in both the iOS App Store and Google Play in Japan. The two apps worked well together, as users could use LINE camera to make customized stickers for the LINE messaging app.


LINE camera’s integration with the LINE messenger app adds value to their overall ecosystem by letting users customize stickers.

 

乗換案内 (Norikae Annai), a train route finder app, moved into the Top 10 for July as the most downloaded transportation app on Google Play in Japan. Transportation apps can be useful in Japan, especially in Tokyo, where trains and subways are the primary mode of transportation.

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding Games in Japan iOS July 2013
App Rank Change
vs. June 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE - LINE Japan Social Networking
2 LINE マンガ (Manga) 1 LINE Japan Books
3 入会無料の出会いアプリYYC (Dating App YYC) 1 LINE Japan Social Networking
4 ジャンプBOOKストア! (JUMP BOOK Store) 2 SHUEISHA Japan Books
5 紀伊國屋書店Kinoppy (Kinokuniya Books Kinoppy) 1 Kinokuniya Japan Books
6 コロプラ (COLOPL) 1 COLOPL Japan Entertainment
7 クックパッド (Cookpad) - COOKPAD Japan Food & Drink
8 LINE 占い (Fortune-Telling) - LINE Japan Entertainment
9 ラブコレクション (Love Collection) 2 webmastery Japan Social Networking
10 今夜アナタと眠りたい (In Your Arms Tonight) 30 Voltage Japan Entertainment
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

Publisher LINE had four of the Top 10 grossing non-game apps for the iOS App Store in Japan for July. Its popular messaging app, LINE, was the #1 app in both the iOS App Store and Google Play revenue rankings.

Social networking, entertainment, and book categories each had three apps ranked in the Top 10. Dating apps within the social networking category were also popular in July, with both YYC and Love Collection ranked in in the Top 10. Social networking and dating apps were also prominently featured in the worldwide revenue ranking for non-game apps in the iOS App Store in July.

Books category apps were a unique driver of revenue in Japan compared to the worldwide non-game apps rankings. LINE マンガ (Manga) released its iPad version in mid-June and some manga titles were offering LINE stickers featuring their characters. On July 13th, another manga distribution platform, JUMP BOOK Store, published the digital version of Weekly Shonen JUMP, a popular comic magazine in Japan. Kinokuniya, one of the biggest bookstores in Japan, had its own e-book service, Kinoppy, ranked in the Top 10. Users could use the app to purchase both e-books and printed books.

Voltage’s In Your Arms Tonight, a visual romance novel app, moved up 30 spots to enter the Top 10. Voltage launched a television commercial campaign for the app on July 1st, which coincided with the release of an updated version of the app and an increase in the rankings. Voltage has previously released many visual novels for PC, feature phones, and smartphones. The publisher has also organized scenario and illustration contests for love-themed works.


In Your Arms Tonight’s rank increase coincided with the launch of a television commercial campaign.

 

Cookpad, the most popular recipe website in Japan, maintained its #7 iOS App Store revenue ranking in July. Cookpad’s mobile app contains over 1.3 million recipes that users can search, save, and share with their friends.


Cookpad’s revenue was driven by its premium service, which lets users bookmark up to 3,000 recipes and sort them by popularity.

Top Apps by Monthly Revenue Excluding Games in Japan Google Play July 2013
App Rank Change
vs. June 2013
Publisher Headquarters Category
1 LINE - LINE Japan Communication
2 GREE - GREE Japan Social
3 LINE 占い (Fortune-Telling) - LINE Japan Entertainment
4 LINE マンガ (Manga) - LINE Japan Comics
5 ASOBO - YOURNET Japan Social
6 今夜アナタと眠りたい (In Your Arms Tonight) 24 Voltage Japan Entertainment
7 Mobage(モバゲー) - DeNA Japan Social
8 LINE camera - LINE Japan Photography
9 VirusBuster Mobile 3 Trend Micro Japan Tools
10 スマとも (SayHi!) 1 Say Hi United Kingdom Social
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

 

Local Japanese publishers dominated the Google Play non-game Japanese revenue rankings for July. Only one foreign publisher, Say Hi, had an app make the Top 10. Impressively, the United Kingdom publisher’s crossover hit was a dating app, スマとも (SayHi!). Similar to the iOS App Store, the social and entertainment categories each had multiple titles in the Top 10, as did the publisher LINE. The top five non-game apps by revenue in Google Play in Japan remained consistent month over month.

In Your Arms Tonight climbed 24 spots from June to reach #6 in July. Similar to the iOS App Store revenue rankings, this was the highest rank change of the Top 10 ranking Google Play non-game apps in Japan.

As with the iOS App Store revenue rankings, publisher LINE held four of Top 10 Google Play non-game revenue spots in Japan for July. The LINE messaging app, LINE 占い (Fortune-Telling), and LINE マンガ (Manga) were all ranked in the Top 10 in both the iOS App Store and Google Play for non-game revenue. Third-ranked LINE 占い (Fortune-Telling) is an app where users can look up their horoscopes, get their tarot cards read, and connect with psychics for personal readings. There is even some fortune-telling content in which famous fortune-tellers are available as a paid service. LINE, GREE, LINE 占い (Fortune-Telling), and LINE マンガ (Manga) were each ranked in the top grossing Google Play non-game apps in the worldwide July Apps Index.

Again mirroring the iOS App Store rankings, two dating apps ranked in the Top 10 Google Play non-game revenue in Japan. ASOBO and スマとも (SayHi!) monetize with users paying for interacting with others via the app, including viewing others’ profiles, sending emails, chatting, and other available features.

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. Daily rank history charts and home page feature app data that is 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 publishers’ non-games downloads and revenue.
  • 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 Games and a Secondary Category of Entertainment, it is a candidate to be included in this Games Index. If the app’s Primary Category is Entertainment and its Secondary Category is Games, then it will not be included in this Games Index; it is a candidate for the Apps 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 its categorization in the subsequent month. Given that the App Annie Index now has a Games report and an Apps report, the only scenario where an app’s recategorization could shift it from one Index to another is if its category changes from Games 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 Instagram app is reported under its parent publisher Facebook, rather than its direct publisher Burbn. Note that if you view the Facebook publisher page on Store Stats, you will see the apps that are published directly by the Facebook publisher account. The Instagram app will be listed separately under the Burbn publisher page.
  • Apps with different names are ranked separately. For example, 産経新聞 (Sankei Newspaper) and 産経新聞HD (Sankei Newspaper HD) are ranked as two separate apps.
  • 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.

 

September 30, 2013

Mobile Gaming

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