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Google Play Downloads Are Growing Faster, but Apple Is Still Winning the Money Race

Google Play has 60 percent more users, but the iOS App Store has 70 percent more dough.

Eric Johnson for Re/code; Original image: Shutterstock / James Weston

2014 was a big year for Android apps and games; Google Play outpaced Apple’s App Store in downloads by about 60 percent, according to a new report from analytics firm App Annie.

But fortunes were reversed when it came to monetization, as the App Store made more than 70 percent more in revenue than Google Play last year. This is a continuation of a long-running trend observed by developers: Apple has less market share than Android, but its users tend to be far more willing to make in-app purchases.

For example, the mobile puzzle game Monument Valley — a $4 paid title with one optional purchase and an extra set of levels for $2 — recently reported that 81 percent of its nearly $6 million in sales came from iOS.

Also interesting, though perhaps not surprising, is that just three countries — Japan, South Korea and the United States — generated more app revenue than the rest of the world combined in 2014. App Annie said the fastest-growing group of nations was the so-called BRIC segment: Brazil, Russia, India and China, which more than doubled its app revenue. It’s worth noting, however, that its data only concerns the iOS App Store and Google Play, and does not include all the other Android stores that have proliferated in places like China.

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