The Highest-Earning Apps This Christmas

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read 12/31/21

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #94 - Apple Won Christmas 2021. Check out the full article for more insights.


I've been waiting for this chart for quite a few months, trying to theorize who would win and by how much. Not to toot my own horn, but I got pretty close!

What I have for you here is a ranking of the highest-earning apps on Christmas day in 2021 in the US. I have one for the App Store, one for Google Play, and another combined. If you've been following the newsletter for a while, this should look very familiar.

Let's start with the obvious - streamers. YouTube, not a traditional streamer but a definite contender, was the highest-earning app on Christmas day, bringing in $3M in net revenue in the US, according to our estimates. Short a few thousands was HBO Max, which was my pick for the winner. Tinder, TikTok, and Disney+ rounded out the top 5.

We estimate that together, the top 10 highest-earning apps brought in $14M in net revenue in the US on Christmas day.

I can talk about the top 5 for far too long, but if you've been reading for a while, you probably know what I'm going to say. The battle between HBO Max and Disney+ seems to have a somewhat clear winner, but it's the battle between TikTok and YouTube that I'm keeping an eye on. I give TikTok a few more months to take over.

Instead of going through the rest, which you can do at your leisure, I'll point out a few apps I didn't really expect to see:

  1. Twitch, the game streaming service that should have been here, almost lost its chances after revenue got cut in half in November following a hack and a leak. It would have been much higher and probably also appear in the combined list, but that didn't happen. Instead, it earned the #5 spot on Google Play.
  2. VeVe, an NFT marketplace that became popular fairly recently after partnering with Disney. It didn't make the combined list, but it earned the #7 position on Google Play
  3. Discord, the chat for gamers, is a slight surprise, earning the 10th spot on the App Store. Discord is a strong earner and had a good Christmas last year, but I figured that revenue would be eclipsed by streamers.
  4. BIGO, a streamer I normally don't think about but should, snuck in at the 10th spot in the combined list. Every time I see BIGO's revenue, I am surprised by how much you don't hear about it. I'll change that in 2022.

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The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.


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