According to a recent study conducted by mobile app analytics firm Flurry, Google Play (it still has an odd ring to it, doesn’t it?) is not only behind the iTunes App Store when talking about revenues from in-app purchases, but is trumped by Amazon Appstore’s ability of getting users to pay for these kinds of “acquisitions”.
The guys at Flurry conducting the study showed that, for every dollar earned through in-app purchases on Apple’s iOS, Amazon’s Appstore generates $0.89, while Google Play only makes $0.23. That’s pretty good for Amazon, considering that the Kindle Fire, their only device generating in-app purchases, is still a toddler compared to Apple’s iPhones and iPads or Android’s smartphones and tablets.
On the other hand, Google Play seems to be going through a serious crisis, with the vast majority of users being only tempted to download and install free apps, or, at least, applications that don’t need any purchases in addition to the download cost.
Flurry’s report cannot be considered 100% reliable, not including up-front app purchases and advertising revenue, so it would be unfair to say that Google Play is not making profits or is an utter and complete failure for app developers. However, it has to be said that such disappointing numbers might in fact determine more and more top developers to primarily focus on Apple’s and Amazon’s App Stores, and leave to Google Play only the most basic and free-to-play apps.
To better understand how the researchers at Flurry reached their conclusions and where do these numbers come from, you should know that the analytics company measured the revenue earned via in-app purchases by several popular apps on iOS, Android and Amazon app stores, over 45 days.
We don’t know exactly how many apps were considered in the making of the study, and, personally, I also doubt that the 45-day period was fit to offer relevant data for a large portion of users. On the other hand, I think that no one can question the fact that Google Play is overshadowed by both Apple’s and Amazon’s app stores, when it comes to true user engagement and willingness to pay for receiving quality features and quality apps.
I’m not going to end this article on a very dark note, as I don’t see Google Play’s problems being as serious as this report suggests, but it’s pretty obvious that something has to be done soon. Apple is probably out of Google’s reach for a while, but Amazon is clawing its way to second place on the app store market niche. We need more challenging, engaging, and addictive apps on Google Play and we need them yesterday!