This Week in Apps - Beep Beep
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. Does Anyone Want Beeper Mini, the App That's Tussling with Apple Right Now?
We live in a world where green and blue bubbles can spark heated debates. That's a problem Beeper Mini is trying to solve by allowing Android users to send messages that appear as blue bubbles on iPhones.
Beeper does this by pretending to be an iPhone, and as you can probably imagine, Apple didn't like that. For the last few weeks, Apple has been actively closing every loophole Beeper found, sparking a big debate over the openness of iMessage.
But here's the real question - do people really want those blue bubbles that much?
Let's have a look at the downloads:
Since its release, Beeper Mini was downloaded 370K times from Google Play, according to our App Intelligence.
Beeper Mini had a strong opening with 66K downloads on day one and 274K downloads in its first week on Google Play. But the trend has been sloping down and fast.
The US led the way in downloads, contributing more than 57%, with India a distant second with 8% of the downloads. The UK, Canada, and Australia round out the top 5. Together, the three were responsible for roughly 40K downloads.
Daily downloads have dropped to just 8K on Thursday, according to our estimates.
This isn't a healthy trend, but Beeper Mini was never a legitimate solution, so I'm not too surprised.
In its first iteration, the service required full access to a user's Apple account, so Beeper could log into it on a Mac and send the message. Beeper found a better hack for its second go, which Apple shut down swiftly, leading to its current iteration that requires users to own a Mac.
Considering these downloads, I don't know if this is a battle worth fighting.
2. This New Sleep Tracker is Outpacing Every Other Competitor
Sleep tracking is a sleeper industry that's grown 28% to more than 22M downloads in 2023. Jokes aside, demand for sleep-tracking apps is currently at an all-time high, and that's without even considering the latest competitor to join the race.
Let's have a look at this growth, who's most in demand, who's earning the most, and who's this new competitor that's outpacing all current competitors combined.
I looked at the top 3 apps for sleep tracking across the App Store and Google Play, which include Sleep Cycle, ShutEye®, and BetterSleep.
All three have been around for quite a while! BetterSleep and Sleep Cycle were released aaaaaall the way back in 2009 (the year Appfigures was born) and ShutEye® joined in 2019.
November was the best month of downloads for the trio, which together, saw 2.2M new downloads from the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates.
Going back to 2020, monthly downloads for the trio averaged 800K. There's been a lot of growth since.
This year, another name joined the race - Pokemon!
What's a game have to do with sleep? I don't exactly know, but so far Pokemon Sleep has integrated into this race very well.
ShutEye® was the most downloaded of the three in 2023, adding 9.8M new downloads - up 51% from 2022. BetterSleep ranks second with 8M estimated downloads and up an impressive 127% from last year.
Newcomer Pokemon Sleep came in 3rd with 6.7M new estimated downloads. That's an impressive haul, considering it was released over the summer.
Sleep Cycle, the OG sleep app, came in 4th with 4.8M new estimated downloads. Unlike the rest, Sleep Cycle's downloads dropped when compared to 2022 - down 16%.
Pokemon Sleep's Takeover
Downloads are good, but revenue is better. And when it comes to revenue, Pokemon Sleep practically stole the show.
When it comes to revenue, Pokemon Sleep beat all three incumbents, even though it was released mid-year. Snorlax, Pokemon Sleep's mascot, collected $26M of net revenue from users since rolling out in July.
And what's even more interesting is that the velocity hasn't dropped significantly since release, so it's not just a big launch.
ShutEye™ came in 2nd with $17M of net revenue with the OG, Sleep Cycle, right behind it with $16M of net revenue, according to our estimates.
BetterSleep wasn't too far behind with $13M. All three grew when compared to 2022, but BetterSleep grew the most - 53% year over year - and Sleep Cycle the least at just 2%.
What's going on? I put all these apps side by side, but technically, they're a bit different. Sleep Cycle is more of a smart alarm clock while ShutEye offers more features and BetterSleep helps you fall asleep, which is why demand for them is growing at different rates.
If you're developing in this space, make sure to stay on top of what users need. That's the difference between double-digit growth and downloads dropping.
3. GTA Delivers for Netflix's Growing Game Portfolio
Netflix has been quietly assembling a massive portfolio of games and this week, one of its newest titles made it to the top of the App Store, prompting me to take a closer look at the title and the portfolio.
If you haven't seen it, the game I'm referring to here is GTA San Andreas, one of three GTA titles Netflix brought to mobile this month.
Earlier this month, Netflix launched a mobile port of GTA The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition which consists of three GTA games originally released for the PlayStation2 and recently released by Rockstar for PC/console.
According to the internet, people love Netflix's ports, and the downloads agree.
The trio includes GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas. In the first week on the App Store and Google Play, the trio saw 11M new downloads, according to our estimates.
San Andreas led the way with 6.3M downloads and also climbed to the top of the App Store for 6 days and to the top of the games chart for 10 days only to be dethroned by Monopoly Go a few hours ago.
Vice City and GTA III weren't as popular but still managed to get millions of downloads - 2.8M and 1.8M respectively, according to our App Intelligence.
Did you know Netflix has 89 games in its portfolio?
GTA gave the entire portfolio a serious boost, but the portfolio as a whole has been growing in popularity in recent months, starting to sprout before GTA rolled out.
December was the best month of downloads for Netflix, but the downloads started picking up in October when the portfolio's combined monthly downloads nearly doubled from around 2.5M to more than 4M downloads.
November's total rose to 7M and December's haul rose 3x to 21M.
Looking at all of 2023, Storyteller was the most downloaded game in the portfolio. Storyteller, like most games at the top of the list, is a fairly recent release. Netflix has really stepped up its rollouts in recent months, which is what led to Netflix partnering with Rockstar to release GTA.
And while all three GTA titles are in the top 10 even though they've only been around for a couple of weeks, the list also contains Bloons, SpongeBob, THTH and THTH 2, Football Manager, and Farming Simulator.
Let me know if you'd like the full list.
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4. TikTok's Biggest Haul - The Highest Earning Apps in November
November is long gone, which means it's time to rank the highest-earning apps in the world for the month, and while the list isn't substantially different from October, the numbers sure are!
TikTok was the highest-earning mobile app in the world in November. TikTok has been the highest earner worldwide since we started ranking apps globally back in August. It has been the leader in the US since October of 2022.
Impressive, but we're not done with TikTok just yet. In November, TikTok earned $196M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play, according to our App Intelligence. Net means what Bytedance, TikTok's maker, gets to keep after Apple and Google take their share.
That's 11% higher than October and TikTok's all-time monthly high!
YouTube came in second in November, according to our estimates, with $107M of net revenue - nearly half of TikTok - which is a bit lower than October's.
Disney+, Tinder, and Max round out the top 5. The trio is pretty much glued to the top 5, having been in almost the same spots in October.
Tinder's net revenue remained the same, Max dropped a bit, but Disney+'s grew by $12M.
Our estimates show that together, the top 10 highest-earning apps in the world brought in $724M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play in November - up a modest 6% from October and racing closer to a billion.
5. Monopoly Go is Back at It - The Highest Earning Mobile Games in November
Monopoly Go is back as the highest-earning mobile game in the world in November, reclaiming the lead from China's King of Glory.
I ranked all mobile games by their revenue in November and here are the results by platform and also combined.
Monopoly Go was the highest-earning mobile game in the world in November earning $114M of net revenue in November, according to our estimates. The majority of this revenue came from the App Store, where Monopoly Go came in second.
King of Glory was the #2 highest-earning mobile game in the world. Keep in mind, Google Play isn't available in China so this revenue is only from the App Store in China - that's impressive.
Royal Match, Candy Crush, and Peace Elite, another China-only game, round out the top 5 list.
If you're comparing this list to October's, you'll notice the names are the same but the amounts are different, leading the top and bottom pairs to flip.
Not all games saw an increase in revenue, but together, the top 10 highest-earning games in the world raked in $692M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play in November, according to our estimates. And that's net, which means what the publishers take home after giving Apple and Google their share.
A bit higher than October's total, and that's good.
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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.