This Week in Apps #57 - Playing the Money Game
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. Index (YTD)
Mobile Download Index: App Store 95.99 (-12.4%), Google Play 68.04 (-28.5%)
1. Join Clash takes the crown, again.
This week we published our monthly report of the most downloaded games, which I called a copy & paste job because the top of the list is almost identical to February.
Join Clash 3D, Garena Free Fire, and Subway Surfers lead with a combined 61M downloads. Together, the top 10 games generated 233M downloads in March, up a bunch from February.
It's nice to see a classic like Subway Surfers rise to the top of this list again. While it's made the top 10 a few times since we started reporting them, it hasn't cracked the top until now.
Notably, Among Us! has disappeared from the list for Google Play, a list it's been included in for nearly a whole year now. I hope to see it come back because, to me, it symbolizes the dying trend of decent games going viral, which has nearly disappeared in the last few years in favor of short-term, hyper-casual, ad-network owned games that spend more dev time on how to push ads than on the game itself.
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2. A look at Coinbase's IPO
We've looked at a few IPOs in this newsletter, but this one's a bit different. Coinbase is an interesting IPO to watch because its downloads aren't exactly a measure of its success but are a loose proxy.
Coinbase legitimized bitcoin back in the day and ushered in an age where cryptocurrencies are more accessible to everyone. It didn't happen overnight, but looking at download estimates, it's clear that the last year has been a pivotal one for the platform.
Since 2017, Coinbase was downloaded by more than 23M people worldwide across both platforms. Around 6M of those downloads came in at the end of 2017 when bitcoin was all the rage. Downloads picked up again in last 2020 as bitcoin, again, rose.
Based on our estimates, downloads in 2021 have already eclipsed all previous years, and we haven't even reached June, so it's plausible that 2021 will end with more downloads than all previous years combined.
That's a great point to IPO. So far, the stock hasn't seen the kind of growth we've seen with other tech stocks like Unity, but that's not too unexpected, given crypto is still making its way into common households. When it does, Coinbase will be the marketplace for it, which is what investors are betting on.
3. Robinhood is up and down
Memes have made Robinhood into somewhat of a household name over the last few months, and in the process, also added millions of new mobile users. That was stocks, now it's crypto.
Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency invented in 2013 based on the then-popular Doge meme, has grown like crazy in the last few days, and guess where you can buy it—Robinhood.
Downloads more than doubled this week, crossing 80K downloads on Wednesday, as Dogecoin's price climbed. Demand continued to grow to the point where Robinhood does what Robinhood is known to do when you rely on it, crash. Some immediately concluded that it was Robinhood restricting trade, but Robinhood cleared the air very quickly and stated it was technical difficulties.
Is there a real difference these days?
4. Clash comeback!
Clash of Clans got a spike of downloads this week as players got excited for a big update that just rolled out and brought new weapons to the games.
Daily downloads, which have been fairly static over the last few months, and even saw a small decline in March, doubled to more than 242K on Tuesday, according to our estimates. Downloads sloped a bit on Wednesday, but we're still looking at a big swing for the middle of the week.
Clash's revenue has also been climbing. Last week, the classic title grossed the most revenue in a single week in the U.S., with an estimated $9.2M haul.
This comes just a few weeks after Supercell announced it'll be growing the Clash family with three new games to complement the flagship title.
5. Need a ticket?
You know how much I like looking for signs of recovery back to pre-covid days, and this week I saw another good one with Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster really suffered as lockdowns began, losing nearly all of its downloads within weeks. But this week, it saw a positive sign of things to come. Downloads grew 1,100%, peaking at 24K on Wednesday, as states began to ease their lockdowns and allow some to attend events IRL.
It seems many forgot how to offer tickets, so Ticketmaster's comeback was riddled with issues, but even so, the nearly immediate increase in downloads is a great sign that categories who suffered most in the last year can rebound quickly.
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Note: All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, revenue is net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.