This Week in Apps - The Top of the Top!
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. Candy Crush Continues to Grow! The Highest Earning Games in November
This week I crunched the numbers and ranked the highest-earning games in the US, where all the money is, and before you even ask, the list is almost identical to last month's list!
Let's have a look:
Candy Crush was the highest-earning game in the US in November. It brought in $143M of net revenue, which is only slightly higher than in October. But higher is always better.
Candy Crush has been growing month-over-month for so long I'm expecting to see it at the top all the time at this point. I expect the trend will continue next month.
More of the same?
Royal Match, Roblox, Pokémon Go, and Coin Master round out the top 5 highest-earning games in the US. The same cast from last month's report, with a single exception.
When looking at the stores individually, we see the same familiar faces from previous months, showing that once you get to the top, it's hard to stop...
Ups and downs
While most titles grew their revenue a bit in November, Pokemon Go took the biggest hit, dropping by roughly $7M in net revenue month over month. Roblox and Coinmaster also saw revenue shrink in November, but only bit a tiny bit.
Together, the top 10 highest-earning games brought in $412M of net revenue, that's after Apple's and Google's fees, from the US, according to our estimates. While the list is the same the total isn't... a full 5% lower than October.
Let's see how this will change in December.
2. Move Aside Tinder, There's a New(ish) Sheriff in Town - The Highest Earning Apps in November
Tinder has been the highest-earning app on Google Play in the US almost every month this year! Even better, revenue was rising consistently for almost every one of those months.
Well, that run ended in November...
Starting with the main list - TikTok was the highest-earning app in the US in November. It earned $55M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play in the US in November, according to our estimates.
Not what you think
While you might think TikTok has been in the lead for a while, it actually hasn't. It regained the top spot last month, pushing down HBO Max, which ended up in the third spot in November with $44M in net revenue.
YouTube took second place with $49M of net revenue, according to our estimates.
Tinder, with $42M, and Disney+, with $33M, two very familiar names, round out the top 5. Fairly standard for Tinder but a bit above average for Disney+.
Back to Google Play
That was the combined ranking. Looking at just Google Play, it was Life360, a 3rd party version of Apple's Find app, which earned the most in November. Our estimates show Life360 added $4M of net revenue to its bottom line from Google Play in the US.
That's Life360's best month on Android ever! For context, Life360's revenue from Google Play has grown 454% since the beginning of 2020. App Store revenue is following a similar trend but running about 3x higher.
According to our App Intelligence, the top 10 highest-earning apps brought in $332M of net revenue from the US. That's a rounding error away from October's total, showing how dissimilar apps and games are in terms of revenue.
Not a surprise, but good to keep in mind.
3. Does Anyone Still Care About Snapchat+?
A few months ago, Snapchat rolled out its first attempt at monetizing without ads. Snapchat+ took the App Store by storm, earning a whopping $6,000,000 in net revenue in a month!
Revenue dropped the following month, even though Snapchat+ is a subscription, but was that a trend or a fluke?
Now, five months after that rollout, we have enough data to answer the question.
I'm pretty sure the best answer here is "a little bit of both".
After revenue dropped by more than 21% in August, a month after the launch, it started climbing.
Slow, at first, but both revenue and growth rate have been climbing, and in November, were the highest so far!
According to our estimates, revenue from Snapchat+ grew more than 8% in November, double the growth rate of October. In more absolute numbers, net revenue was $5.6M, the highest post-launch and not that far off from launch month.
At this rate, it'll probably hit, and then cross, launch month numbers, by January.
I joked that no one would want to pay Snapchat to be a beta tester but clearly having early access to features is a nice status symbol enough are willing to pay for, even while the economy isn't at its best.
Which I see as good news for app makers. Focus on building and don't let the news bring you down.
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4. Subway Surfers Takes a Hit - The Most Downloaded Games in November
This week I also crunched the numbers and ranked the most downloaded games (and apps, in just a bit) for the month.
We have to talk about Subway Surfers...
Like every other month this year (except for March and June), Subway Surfers was, again, the most downloaded game in the world in November. According to our estimates, the popular casual title made its way into 22M iOS and Android devices in November. Nice!
But, like previous months, it looks like the momentum is declining. This was Subway Surfer's lowest month of downloads this year and the trend is pretty consistent and in the wrong direction.
FIFA Mobile was the second most downloaded game in the world in November, making its way into 15M devices, according to our estimates. The World Cup has a clear impact on downloads and revenue for both apps and games.
We've seen it before, but this time the impact is much more significant.
Together, the top 10 most downloaded games added 135M new users from the App Store and Google Play worldwide. Like revenue, this is a bit lower than October. Roughly 12% lower!
This could be the result of ATT, but... Downloads were down across both stores in November + there are some hyper-casual titles in this list, leading me to believe advertisers are saving their money for the holiday season.
5. CapCut Makes Its Move - The Most Downloaded Apps in November
If you've been a reader for long enough, you know how much I like to talk about CapCut, TikTok's (not really) free video editor. The app, which rolled out in 2020, is slowly eating up a very lucrative industry.
The frenzy continued, and in November, it was massive!
CapCut wasn't the most downloaded app in the world in November. We'll get to it in a moment. The top seat was claimed by parent TikTok. Our estimates show TikTok made its way into 50 million devices in November. While still being banned in India, of course.
This isn't TikTok's biggest month, but also not its lowest.
Instagram was right behind with 48M downloads, according to our estimates. Instagram continues to hold its lead on Google Play, where India's ban on TikTok is helping the momentum continue. Facebook and WhatsApp squeezed into the top 5. Much like October.
Back to CapCut
CapCut was the 4th most downloaded app in our combined list, 6th on Google Play and 2nd on the App Store. These are all-time highs for the video editor!
Another interesting tidbit is CapCut's monetization. So far, the app was free worldwide except for China, where its revenue has been on a strong up-and-to-the-right run. As of this month, CapCut is also monetizing outside of China.
Seeing the numbers, this push for downloads makes perfect sense. I'll be looking at CapCut in depth in the near future.
According to our estimates, the top 10 most downloaded apps made their way into 336M iOS and Android devices in November. A tad shy of October's total, but not enough to talk about.
I expect December's list to look very different now that Lensa AI is attracting so many new downloads.
App Intelligence for Everyone!
The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.
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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.