This Week in Apps #106 - Playing with the Big Boys
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. This App is About to Give the Top Banks a Run for their Money!
Lots of things are done by app these days, and one that isn't as attractive but is very important is banking. Capital One, Chase, and other traditional banks have seen downloads grow consistently over the last couple of years.
But one rival has been growing faster...
Chime, a digital competitor that has no physical locations (but is backed by a bank that does), has been growing rapidly over the last few years and is now on equal footing with the top traditional banks in terms of downloads.
And I'm talking a lot of downloads!
According to our estimates, Chime added 8.6M new downloads in 2021, skipping ahead of Chase, which added 8.3M downloads, Bank of America, which added 7M downloads, and Wells Fargo, with 6.5M new downloads.
The only app Chime hasn't skipped over yet is Capital One, which still maintains a narrow lead. But that won't last too long.
We've seen a few digital banks come and go over the years, so this isn't necessarily a threat to traditional banks. But... with the need for physical human interaction disappearing fast, a fee-less bank account that isn't trying to push its million other services because it doesn't have any seems like a better choice.
So, maybe it's a threat after all.
2. HBO Max Continues its Global Expansion
HBO Max continues to expand outside of the US. Earlier this month, HBO started streaming in 15 countries in Europe, which means it's now available in 70 countries worldwide.
Now that it's been out in those countries for a few weeks, I was curious to see how many downloads those new countries are contributing, and here are the top 10 by total downloads so far:
The list, which we estimate to have added more than a million new downloads between 3/8 and 3/22, is led by Poland, which added 390K downloads, or roughly 33% of those new downloads. Romania was right behind it with 196K downloads, and then the Netherlands with 188K downloads, according to our estimates.
HBO Max's expansion rivals that of Disney+, which is growing globally as well and is expected to become available in 42 countries this summer. That's a biiig batch!
3. How Much Did the Superbowl Earn Peacock?
The Superbowl was a great opportunity for Peacock, NBC's streaming app, to get new users. And it did, which isn't surprising. But downloads are only half the story in the streaming game.
The other is revenue...
Did those downloads pay up?
Yes, they sure did!
The Superbowl was Peacock's biggest day of revenue since the app rolled out, according to our estimates. We estimate that on that Sunday, Peacock broke its record for single-day revenue, earning $695K of net revenue.
The previous record, all the way back in 2021, saw $553K of net revenue.
What's even more interesting, and the reason I'm bringing this up now, more than a month later, is that it looks like many of those subscribers continued their subscriptions into March, something that wasn't entirely guaranteed given Peacock's performance and subscriptions churning very fast.
We estimate that roughly 20% of those new subscribers churned, or, canceled their subscription in March, which may sound like a lot, but so far seems to be one of Peacock's more successful campaigns.
Although it's HBO Max and Disney+ that lead this pack, Peacock and rival Paramount+ seem to be growing up and becoming the "next" go-to pair.
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4. Demand for LinkedIn is Up 60% in 2022
An app I use often but don't really think of when it comes to growth is LinkedIn. Why? I'm not really sure...
One thing I am sure of is that it's continuing to grow!
Weekly downloads have grown by 60% so far in 2022, from just around 710K weekly downloads in January to more than 1.1M last week, according to our estimates.
So far in 2022, LinkedIn was downloaded more than 11.3M times, according to our estimates. It's worth noting that downloads were split somewhat evenly between the App Store and Google Play, something we don't see all that often.
And a quick reminder - that's after LinkedIn chose to pull out of China late last year, its second-largest market at the time.
5. Vrbo Takes a Commanding Lead, Leaving Airbnb Far Behind
Spring is officially, here and with it, the hope that things will be going back to normal soon. Judging by the downloads, they slowly are.
This week I saw an interesting trend developing that's somewhat of a follow-up to an app I looked at not too long ago – Airbnb competitor Vrbo.
As travel becomes more comfortable, so does the need for an app to find a place to stay. Outside of hotels, which I'll analyze in a future article, that app used to be Airbnb. Its only similar competitor, Vrbo, used to spike from time to time, but overall it wasn't really a competitor.
That seems to be changing.
Since the beginning of 2022, Vrbo's downloads have been moving up and to the right consistently, breaking the app's own records for single-day downloads over and over.
Its latest high, this Monday (3/21) saw 67K new downloads in a single day, according to our estimates. Vrbo climbed to this number from around a half in January.
We've seen Vrbo peak in the past, and based on the data, I expected it to be more about paid user acquisition than about organic (aka. real) demand. Is that still the case now? Is Vrbo a name enough people know about? What's Airbnb doing wrong?
It's too early to tell, but it's nice to see that there's an alternative.
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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.