This Week in Apps is a short, no-fluff, round-up of interesting things that happened in the mobile industry. Here are our top highlights.
U.S. Mobile Download Index: App Store 99.32, Google Play 75.10
📈 The index is pretty flat this week, a continuation of the February slump we saw last week. With schools (mostly) back in session, games have taken a hit. They'll rebound in the next two weeks as students find their rhythm.
1. Telegram takes the lead
This week we released our monthly roundup of the most downloaded mobile apps in the world.
TikTok, Facebook, and Snapchat mostly maintained their positions from December. Due to a slip-up by WhatsApp, however, rival Telegram managed to snag just enough new downloads to get ahead and become the most downloaded app in the world.
Unless something extreme happens in February, I have no doubt TikTok will reclaim its crown.
Overall, downloads were about 5% lower in January vs. December, or roughly 25M download, according to our estimates. That's not a surprise considering the number of new (gifted) devices that were activated and downloaded apps for the first time during the holiday season.
2. CBS's Biggest Super Bowl
The Super Bowl took place last Sunday, and this year CBS was the exclusive streamer. The right to stream the big game rotates between NBC, Fox, and CBS. The latter has been the streamer since 2019.
Being the exclusive streamer means downloads! 2021, as you'd expect, was the biggest so far.
Looking at downloads going back to 2019, you can see just how critical CBS's mobile apps have become during the Super Bowl. 2020, being an exception, but that's not really something CBS had control over, so let's ignore that.
This year, CBS added 355K new users across its flagship and sports apps, based on our estimates. That's up 22% from 2019's 290K downloads. For context, NBC Sports, which streamed the game in 2018, added just 65K new downloads on game day, base on our historical estimates.
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3. Betting big
Big sports = big bets. And the Super Bowl is pretty big.
DraftKings and FanDuel were the most popular betting apps on Sunday, and the former even taking an ad.
Downloads of DraftKings rose 10x to 88K, and FanDuel's rose 5x to 48K across both platforms on Sunday, based on our estimates.
I mentioned DraftKings just a few weeks ago after a UFC fight caused a rush of downloads, the earlier bump on the chart. Overall, now that betting has become acceptable via app, the only limit these apps have is how well they can market themselves.
4. Clubhouse is unstoppable
I'm going to sound like a broken record because I talked about Clubhouse last week. But, the app's growth has been so sharp in the last week that it's really hard to ignore.
I've spent the last few days listening in on some rooms on Clubhouse, and I have to say, I found the experience very interesting. I also stumbled into some rooms when tapping a notification accidentally. I have a feeling that happens to everyone.
Downloads have hit, yet again, an all-time high with 352K downloads on Wednesday, for a total of 5.1M downloads since release and 2.3M downloads in the first ten days of February, based on our app intelligence.
Having used the app, I can see its appeal. Twitter and Facebook are now trying to compete, but I have a feeling this isn't one of those things they can easily capitalize on just because the users are already there. Which explains A16Z's investment and valuation.
I just hope this isn't going to end up like 🍑
5. Robinhood's still here
After a rough week or two, where Robinhood dominated the news, things have mainly calmed down, and the news moved on. But downloads have stayed high, as Robinhood remains in the Top 10 most downloaded apps in the U.S.
At the end of December, downloads of Robinhood averaged around 30K new downloads per day, based on our estimates. Now, after the dust has (mostly) settled, Robinhood is getting an estimated 150K new downloads across the App Store and Google Play.
That's lower than their 250K all-time high, which they reached at the end of January, but still more than 5x the downloads they ended 2020 with. I expect downloads to keep up because Robinhood is still the easiest way to get into investing.
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Note: All figures included in this report are estimated. Revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.