This Week in Apps #87 - Thats a Lot of Coin!
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 (YTD)
App Store 318.52 +49.8% Google Play 304.64 +23.6%
1. The Most Downloaded App in October Wasn't TikTok — Again!
We just published our monthly report of the most downloaded and highest-earning apps for October. Let's have a look at the results:
Instagram was the most downloaded app in the world, with TikTok right behind it. Continued demand for Instagram in India pushed it to the top of the list again this month.
Spotify managed to squeeze into October's top 10 with 20M downloads. It's been absent from this list for quite some time, but the popularity of podcasts and Spotify's exclusives have been a great source of new interest (aka. downloads).
When it comes to money, Tinder reigns supreme. The highest-earning app in the U.S. in October was Tinder, which raked in $85M in net revenue in the U.S., according to our estimates. 95% of that haul came from the App Store, and the "rest" from Google Play.
The rest of the top 5 were all video apps, including HBO Max, YouTube, Disney+, and TikTok.
What you need to know: Instagram was the most downloaded app in the world in October, beating TikTok for the fourth month in a row. Tinder was the highest-earning app in the U.S. for the second month in a row, bringing in $85M in net revenue in October.
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2. TikTok's Revenue Grew Double-Digits — Again!
TikTok's in a tough battle for downloads with rival Instagram, and being banned in India isn't helping. At all. But while new downloads aren't growing like wildfire, something else is. Revenue.
That's a pretty important one.
In October, TikTok's U.S. net revenue grew by a whopping 34%! It rose 27% in September, 23% in August, and 17% in July. Even its growth rate is growing.
This is the second-largest growth so far this year but the first in terms of absolute revenue. In June, TikTok's revenue grew by a ridiculous 39%. In absolute terms, that meant $3M of additional net revenue as it grew from $8M to $11M.
In October, TikTok added $7M in additional net revenue to its bottom line. That's massive.
Why is this important? Because I think November won't be any different. Nor will December or January. You get where I'm going with this, right?
Remember when Facebook wasn't as big as it is now? Or when YouTube was still something only the kids use? We're at the same place with TikTok. But we won't be here for too long. TikTok is going to become as foundational within the next year.
If you've got an app or game you want to promote you better figure out how to do it on TikTok now before it's too too crowded.
What you need to know: TikTok's revenue hasn't stopped growing in a very long time. In October, net revenue in the U.S. rose 35% to $27,000,000. It has a long way to go before it can topple YouTube's, which is more than double. But it's moving there and fast.
3. The Numbers Behind Braze's IPO
Everyone seems to be going public lately, and this week we have another IPO that's coming from our industry: Braze. For those of you who have been in the industry for a while, you may know them as Appboy.
Traditional stock analysts look at company performance when trying to decide whether to invest, but when it comes to apps and mobile service providers, that's not enough.
So the real question is, should you invest in Braze? It's a trick question because I'm not a financial advisor, so the answer is "if you want to", but... I can offer some data to help you understand Braze a bit better.
Let's start with some stats and then continue to my thoughts on this one:
- What's Braze? A service that helps companies bring users back into their mobile apps using push notifications and email using rules around behavior. Braze has an SDK (Software Developer Kit), which app owners drop in their app, and they can then attempt to engage users by talking to them at the best time. It's a bit more complicated, but this should be the gist.
- How popular is it? 4,329 apps and games have Braze's SDK installed.
- Who's using it? A lot of big names, including HBO, McDonald's, Etsy, Walmart, Instacart, Klarna, and many other household names. According to our estimates, apps that use Braze were downloaded more than 70M times in the U.S. in the last 30 days.
- How long have they been using it? Many popular apps added Braze many years ago, but more seem to be onboarding. Etsy, for example, added Braze's SDK five years ago. ESPN a year ago, and McDonald's a few months ago.
- How fast is it growing? In the last year, more than 1,300 apps and games started using Braze,
- What's churn like? In the last year, 257 apps and games stopped using the Braze SDK. The list includes a few recognizable names but not as recognizable as those who joined.
- Is it the most popular choice? No. Braze has a star-studded client list, but competitors like Airship (which used to be called Urban Airship) and Adobe have a larger install base. There are also quite a few small competitors in this market.
These stats come directly from our proprietary SDK and App Intelligence data sets, which you can access, too, for lead generation + qualification, market research, and competitive intelligence here.
What I see in these stats is a lot of opportunity. Growth seems to be strong, and when consolidation starts, and that's inevitable, there are enough smaller players that Braze can acquire with what it earns with its IPO money.
What you need to know: Braze, a company that improves engagement using push notifications, is about to IPO. Braze has an impressive list of more than 4,000 apps and games that use it, including Walmart, Pokemon Go, Etsy, and many others.
4. Showtime's First Million
HBO Max and Disney+ command the highest-earning chart month after month, just like we saw in our latest monthly report. But! This week a different streamer overtook both, if only for a moment, as the highest-earning app in the U.S.
That's Showtime, which hit its first million-dollar day on Monday. And that's net revenue.
Our estimates show that Showtime's mobile apps have been averaging $45K in daily net revenue over the last few months. They've seen a few peaks, but the biggest one reached $450K back at the end of August. Nowhere near last week's peak.
This peak was by far the biggest for Showtime, adding $1M of net revenue in one day. But that's not the only exciting thing about it. This wasn't a single-day peak but rather growth throughout the weekend.
Between Friday and Monday, Showtime's apps added $2.8M of net revenue to its bottom line and more than 300,000 new viewers, according to our App Intelligence.
Curious what happened? Content happened! The return of Dexter, a popular show with a cult following, and a big boxing match. There's no better combination of content a streamer can be putting out to get engagement, which is exactly why the app rose so high so fast.
At a time where the streaming market is beginning to feel the effect of saturation, content is the playmaker. It feels like the race is divided into two groups, HBO Max + Disney and everyone else. But that doesn't mean others can't peak as well.
I've said this before and will say it again, cable might be dying, but the way it bundled content will make a comeback.
What you need to know: Showtime's mobile app had its first million-dollar day this week. This milestone was the result of a boxing match streamed over the weekend + the return of popular show Dexter.
5. NFTs (Finally) Get to the App Store
It seems like everyone around me this week talked NFTs. Family, the guy who cuts my hair, and even an Uber driver! But I wouldn't bring it up if there wasn't more.
The Simpson's got into the NFT game this week, as did Marvel characters. The characters were available for purchase for around $60 through a marketplace called VeVe, which partnered with Disney.
The new tokens were released on Sunday and sold out by Tuesday. We estimate that in those three days, users spent $4.8M in the VeVe Marketplace across the App Store and Google Play. however, the majority came from iPhone owners. And that's gross revenue. Apple and Google kept roughly $1.4M of the loot, leaving VeVe with $3.4M in three days.
The shopping spree continued into Wednesday, which was VeVe's best day of revenue. We estimate that VeVe earned $1.3M of net revenue in a single day
Downloads also rose sharply since the new tokens debuted, increasing more than 600% vs. the daily average.
What does this mean? It means that like the way crypto made its way into the mainstream, so are NFTs, thanks to how easy they are to consume via app. Disney's seeing that. Playboy did too a few days ago, and many other household names are jumping on this wagon.
Whether or not you understand NFTs or think they're silly (or smart), I'm pretty sure that now they're available via a user-friendly app, and with big names behind them, we'll see this happening much more often.
What you need to know: NFT buyers spent more than $3.6M through the VeVe Collectibles app between Sunday and Tuesday buying new tokens released by Disney. The new sets, which offered Simsons and Marvel characters, were released on Sunday and sold out by Tuesday, making VeVe the first NFT app to make it to the top of the charts.
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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.