This Week in Apps #74 - Dating Apps Score, What's Turo, PUBG's Return, and more
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. Revenue Index (30 Day)
1. Dating app revenue balloons
As I was analyzing revenue trends this week, I noticed Tinder has been crushing it. Then I noticed Bumble's on a similar trend, and if you go down a bit, so are Hinge and other apps in the category, so I lumped them together to see how the entire category looks.
Simple answer: Great!
Revenue of the top five dating apps in the U.S., which include: Tinder, Bumble, Match, Plenty of Fish, and Hinge, grew more than 264% since 2018. In absolute terms, our estimates show that combined, the top 5 dating apps earned $25M of net revenue in the U.S. across the App Store and Google play in January of 2018. That number ballooned to $91M in net revenue in July.
Tinder controls about a half of all revenue, with Bumble right behind it, but the rest are growing rapidly as well.
I remember the days when couples who met online (how it was called back then) would make up stories to avoid embarrassment. Judging by these numbers, couples who don't, if there are any, will be the ones making up stories soon enough.
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2. The numbers behind App Tracking Transparency
It's been a while since I last looked at the numbers behind Apple's attempt to end Facebook (aka App Tracking Transparency), so let's do that.
Since it's become a requirement, 24,131 iOS apps have enabled App Tracking Transparency. Some because they need it, while others use a 3rd party SDK that needs it. If you recall, last time I looked into ATT, the count was at around 10,000. That was back in April, about a week into its mandate.
Now, a little over three months in, the number isn't that high, which to me means enough developers waited to see what would happen with opt-in rates, and many decided it just wasn't worth it.
But there's another angle here that's worth looking at—How many apps enabled and then disabled App Tracking Transparency?
393, according to our SDK Intelligence.
I expected this number to be a bit higher, but it just reinforces the wait-and-see strategy I suspect many developers were applying. The big guys had to enable it so their code (and potentially, revenue stream) doesn't completely break. The rest just waited...
But even though the number of disablers is small, the list contains very interesting apps. Here are a few that you probably know:
And the list goes on to include banks and payment apps, games, dating apps, shopping apps, and many others.
The obvious question here is "why?", and there can be a few answers. My initial guess is that opt-in rates are so abysmal it's not worth having it all together because those who do opt-in aren't providing enough value to whatever system is using that data.
Apple did an amazing job at chocking this entire industry by turning off access to unique identifiers by default and forcing developers to ask for permission, but the real killer was defaulting the permission popup to never display.
While it looks like Apple is uncontested on ATT, I have a feeling this is far from over.
3. Ranked: The top games in July
We rounded up the top games, by downloads and revenue, for July, and here are the results:
Trading Master 3D was the most downloaded game in the world in July, netting 28M downloads across the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates. Count Masters, June's first place, dropped to 2nd place with 24M downloads, while My Talking Angela 2 jumped into 3rd place with 24M downloads in July, according to our estimates.
Ranked by revenue, Roblox had a commanding lead in the U.S. with $49M of net revenue between the App Store and Google Play for July, according to our estimates.
Check out the full report for more details.
FYI - we redesigned our top charts in this latest release. What do you think of the new look?
4. Car rental's new star
Covid has wreaked havoc on the car rental market, but as we continue to claw out of lockdowns and more things are opening up, one contender seems to have taken a significant lead.
I'm not talking about one of the incumbents like Enterprise or Avis, nor Zipcar, the first rent-by-app company.
I'm talking about Turo, the Airbnb version of car rentals. Turo has secretly filed for an IPO this week, which lead me to look at its downloads. I looked at Turo a few months ago (and also analyzed its ASO), so I already had a feeling downloads are healthy.
But how do they compare to others in the industry?
I compared the downloads of the top car rental apps in the U.S., which include: Turo, Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Zipcar, and Getaround, to see which one has the largest share. So far this year, the biggest winner is, without a doubt, Turo.
We estimate that in the U.S., Turo's downloads totaled 1.9M, between 1/1 and 8/11, and across both stores. The second most downloaded car rental app, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, saw 750K downloads in the same range, according to our estimates. That's almost a third! The next one down, Hertz, was downloaded 460K times according to our app intelligence. The remaining three, Avis, Zipcar, and Getaround, were in the 300K range.
Having used almost every one of those services, I know there are a few factors that play into success. Advertising and promotion being the most obvious, but size of network, user experience, and customer service are strong contenders as well.
Will a Turo IPO explode? It's too early to tell before we get to see more numbers, but of this group, I'm not at all surprised to see them try.
5. PUBG is back in India
After nearly a year, PUBG is officially back in India. If you remember, the title was banned last year because of its ties to China and also for extreme violence, a reason that caused a few other countries to punt it as well.
Last month, after switching cloud providers, separating its account system, and changing the color of blood to green, Battlegrounds Mobile India launched in India.
In its first month on Google Play, the game has seen 23M downloads, according to our estimates. The trend is sloping down, but that's pretty normal for launches. In-game revenue is somewhat low for such a name, at an estimated $660K net so far. But, not all revenue is going through Google Play, so that could be related.
Battlegrounds Mobile India is currently only available on Android for now, but according to leaked data, its iPhone compadre will be rolling out in the next few days. India is Android heavy, so I don't expect the iOS release to be any bigger. But I'll be watching out for that.
FYI - Krafton, the company behind PUBG, just went public in South Korea this week, and its claim to fame is PUBG, so I expect to see more local versions rolling out in the next year that address local government concerns in each country it's currently banned. This one should be interesting and could be the beginning of a wave of reduction of violence across games. [insight]
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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.