Flurry: Google Play is way behind Amazon’s Appstore in terms of in-app purchases

by: AdrianMarch 31, 2012
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google amazon money

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!

  • Karl

    I bought my Android phone precisely because I’m not interested in paying for my apps.

    Don’t forget; another way of interpreting “Apple/Amazon users spend more cash on apps” is “Apple/Amazon apps are more expensive than Android apps”.

    I’m fascinated how many blogs completely take the manufacturer’s side when it comes to the app market… We want cool phones at low costs and why shouldn’t we want our apps at lower prices as well?!?!

    • Darktanone

      So paying $0.99 for an app is too expensive? The App Store brought the price of quality apps down to where it’s affordable for the masses. I understand free is attractive, but at these very low prices I think most of us should be okay with paying for a few apps.

      Maybe the low prices have changed what we consider a deal.

      • ThunderStick ooo

        I love this point, LOVE IT….
        Go back ten years and purchase software from best buy. Let’s say MS Office. Yup $180 or more is your cost. Now go get a super cheap PC game from best buy, lest say “where in the world is Carmen sandiego” or some black jack game. You paid at least $10 for these. Seriously, games programmed in qbasic were being sold for $20 or more at times. what the fridge. GTA 3 on the play store is like $5.00, that is a spectacular deal. Still people feel entitled to some mind blowing action when they have to purchase any item. May be it’s just me, but if someone puts in a ton of time to bring you a service or some entertainment value, a dollar or two is not too much to ask.
        Google does have the upper hand when showing low revenues on there end. This can actually be attractive for a developer that can see a broader spectrum. The less google reaps from sales, the more of the sale goes to the developer. I don’t know how much apple takes, but amazon’s merchant costs are astronomical.
        Google I consider pretty reasonable. Also consider the reach the play store has. All though apple is one of the top MFG’s of mobile devices, Google has them pinned as far as subscribers to services. And this is how goo greases the road…. revenue from advertising. Google is the new yellow pages. They make all there money from adverts. The play store is just another medium for Google to convey them.

  • Karl

    …what’s important (to us users) is the number of app INSTALLATIONS (downloads). Not PURCHASES.

    Opening your wallet means your phone lifetime just got more expensive.

    I’m happy I didn’t choose an iPhone where everything costs additional money (on top of the premium I paid for the phone itself)!

  • John Stock

    Could not care less. Amazon is US only.