Google Play is on the up and up. The Android app marketplace reported its best quarter yet in the last quarter of 2017, boasting a whopping 19 billion downloads. That’s a new record for the service, and, according to a report from App Annie, represents a lead of a massive 145 percent over Apple’s App Store.
Google has bet pretty big on emerging markets over the past few years, and it looks like those bets are paying off. The huge download numbers were driven largely by markets like India, Indonesia, and Brazil. India in particular contributed a lot — according to the report, combined downloads on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India surpassed downloads in the U.S. in 2017.
The report also went into the types of apps that were downloaded most. On a global level, games, finance, and personalization were the most downloaded apps on Google Play in the fourth quarter of 2017, while shopping apps were the most downloaded in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Apple’s App Store. Finance apps came second on the App Store, and App Annie says that it’s likely finance apps will continue to be popular in the first quarter of 2018 given the tax season.
Along with record download numbers were record spending numbers. Google and Apple both enjoyed 20-percent year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter, and despite Google’s lead in raw download numbers, App Store purchases accounted for $11.5 billion — almost twice that of Google Play’s purchases.
In terms of spending, the U.S. was the unsurprising leader in the fourth quarter globally on both Android and iOS, while Germany came in third. Second place was different on iOS and Android, with Taiwan coming in second on iOS, and South Korea second on Android.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, spending in entertainment apps is going up. In-app subscriptions from entertainment services, like Netflix, went up by a factor of four between 2015 and 2017. In-app subscriptions for productivity apps also went up, particularly on Google Play — where it was the fastest growing app category.
It’s no small feat that people are downloading so many apps, but it would be surprising if they weren’t. Google in particular has been putting heavy emphasis on emerging markets, and with that only set to continue we’ll likely see records broken next year, and the year after, too.
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