This Week in Apps - A Big Quarter!

Ariel Ariel
8 minute read Apr. 26

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 (vs. 30 days ago)

App Store
434.55 +0.9%
Google Play
288.94 -2.2%


1. Fallout's TV/Mobile Crossover Leads to a Massive Revenue Increase

Fallout, a new TV show based on the popular game series with the same name, premiered on Amazon Prime earlier this month generating rave reviews from critics and viewers as well as a promise for season 2.

But that's not all. The show's success has also propelled Fallout Shelter's revenue, the mobile version of the desktop game, to its highest revenue since 2017!

According to our App Intelligence, Fallout Shelter has been earning $10K - $20K on average day over the last few years. And that's net, which is what Bethesda, the publisher, gets to keep after giving Apple and Google their cut.

Daily net revenue rose to $50K within three days, then doubled a couple of days later, and 10 days later, reached a new peak at $210K. It's been roaming around that number since, leading to $2.6M of net revenue in a little over 2 weeks.

That's more revenue than the game earned in all of 2024 (before the show was released), which our estimates put at $1.6M. Again, that's after store fees.

Pre-show, Google Play and the App Store drove a similar share of revenue for Fallout Shelter, which is not very common. Our estimates show Google Play was responsible for 51% and the App Store for 49%. Post-show, the App Store's share rose to 67% and Google Play's dropped to 33%.

Globally, the US was responsible for the majority of the new haul - 63% of it, according to our estimates. The UK, Germany, Canada, and Australia round out the top 5 with a single-digit share each.

Given the success of Fallout and 5 Nights at Freddy's before it, I expect we'll see more games coming to the big(ger) screen this year.

2. Top News Apps Had The Best Quarter of Revenue EVER

Newspapers went through a critical transformation over the last decade that saw physical newspapers go the way of the dodo in favor of digital alternatives.

While the web was "the" digital platform for news for a long time, and still is for many, the popularity of news apps has been rising consistently over the last few years.

This year, the top news apps have hit a new all-time revenue high signaling this trend is here to stay.

I rounded up the top 10 highest-earning news apps in the App Store and Google Play to analyze their revenue. The set includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Economist, The Guardian, Fox Nation, Epoch Times, and CNBC.

Net revenue for the group rose 10x since 2018, from about $4M in Q1 of 2018 to $42M in Q1 of 2024, according to our estimates. Downloads, on the other hand, didn't. Downloads did rise during covid years, but have since dropped. In fact, downloads in Q1 of 2024 were just a few hundred thousand higher than downloads in Q1 of 2018.

We've seen a similar trend across many segments, where downloads are dropping but revenue is increasing, thanks for subscriptions and companies investing in optimization.

The New York Times leads the pack in terms of revenue. Our estimates show it brought in $14M of net revenue - net of store fees - in the first quarter of 2024. The Wall Street Journal followed with $9M in estimated net revenue, followed by The Guardian with $4.4M in estimated net revenue.

The rest were all above a million except for the New Yorker, at the bottom of the list, with $890K in Q1.

Given this is an election year I expect to see the total continuing to rise as we head into November. The real question is, what can news apps innovate on to get more engagement?

3. LinkedIn Figured It Out and Revenue is at an All-Time High Beating X and Snapchat

I've been looking at X's and Snapchat's revenue for months as they are the early adopters of charging in social media, but there's another platform you may not think about that's charging their users - LinkedIn.

Although LinkedIn didn't start as a social platform, in 2024, it most definitely is. You can do everything you can on X on LinkedIn - From posting to live videos - all with an algorithmic feed that rewards engagement.

What you may not know about LinkedIn is that right now, it's earning more than X and Snapchat. This year, LinkedIn earned more than X and Snapchat combined!

That's right, Microsoft's "professional" platform is beating all other platforms right now and the trend is in LinkedIn's favor.

What's the key to LinkedIn's success? Sell stuff people actually need.

And this isn't a new trend. In the first quarter of 2021, our estimates show LinkedIn brought in $20M in net revenue from the App Store and Google Play. Net means what Microsoft, LinkedIn's owner, gets to keep after store fees.

Estimated net revenue rose to $36M by the first quarter of 2022 and a whopping $91M by the first quarter of 2023!

Q1 of 2024 was LinkedIn's biggest in terms of revenue. Our estimates show LinkedIn earned $119M!

X and Snapchat also had their best quarterly revenue ever in 2024. Our estimates show X added $23M and Snapchat $67M of net revenue in the quarter. Impressive growth for Snapchat for sure. Still lower than LinkedIn - even if you add up the two.

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4. Brawl Stars Has Been Fighting To Prove Itself Since Soft-Launch โ€” and It's Working

From its promising yet shaky multi-year soft-launch to another $1 billion plus gem in Supercell's impressive catalog of successes, Brawl Stars has been fighting to not just stay alive, but improve consistently over time.

The game's roaring success of late isn't some fluke, but rather the result of some very smart and thoughtfully implemented changes to the game's economy, live ops, modes, and more.

All of which paid off handsomely! According to our estimates, player spending in the game for April 2024 (gross revenue) has grown by 856% year-over-year to approximately $74 million globally, from just about $7.7 million one year ago.

Here's what that looked like:

Here's some of how Supercell achieved this near 10x increase in the course of a year.

  • Battle Pass makeover that, among other adjustments, made the major change of removing hot new Brawlers from the pass and into the game's store as an IAP, adding more cosmetics to the pass in exchange. The decision to enable players to outright purchase the latest characters, especially after eliminating loot boxes which were their original gacha-ified delivery method, brought the game in line with other hero-focused multiplayer titles.
  • Hypercharges were introduced as a new additional super move for certain Brawlers, with more getting the ability to utilize them over time. These powerful moves cost the equivalent of about $20 in the game's gems, and once they were available for more characters, the impact of their addition really started to be felt in late 2023. New hypercharges are being added at a rate of six bi-monthly.
  • Brawl Stars has become stickier retention-wise as well, driven in part by its improved live operations and incentives for getting back into the action with friends โ€” or total strangers. A mix of rewards awaits players who embrace playing with strangers, in particular, in a play to grow their connections (and thus continued play) across the user base.
  • Numerous other quality-of-life and economy changes, including speeding up the arrival of new goals, have had the net result of turning Brawl Stars into an almost entirely different game in terms of its approach to monetization, and being smarter in how it respects players' desires and needs.

Once you really get behind the curtain on this title, it's easier to see how Supercell has leveraged these myriad decisions into a staggering return on investment in their implementation.

It certainly couldn't have been easy, but Supercell is among a small number of players who have the ability โ€” and guts โ€” to persist and pull it off. Now, whether it keeps this momentum is another question; one we'll be answering in the coming months.

5. TikTok's Video Editor is Eating Up the Market as YoY Revenue Rises 412%

TikTok might get banned in the US, which could lead to other countries banning it, and in a way, the beginning of the end for the most downloaded social platform right now.

But there's another app owned by TikTok that's growing rapidly and crushing an industry that may have not seen it coming - and I'm not talking about Lemon8. I'm talking about CapCut, TikTok's video editing app.

If you've been following my writing you probably already know about CapCut, but if you haven't, CapCut is a standalone video editing app created by TikTok's parent company ByteDance.

CapCut is fully standalone and comes with a mobile and a desktop. It was free for a while and started charging a subscription at the end of 2020. It took over as the highest-earning video editing app last year, knocking down apps that have been around for a decade.

But its growth hasn't stopped there! The first quarter of 2024 has been CapCut's biggest in terms of revenue.

According to our estimates, CapCut earned $59M of net revenue in Q1 of 2024 worldwide, including the China-only version of the app. And, net means what ByteDance gets to keep after store fees.

That's a massive 44% increase from Q4 of 2023 and an even more massive 436% when compared to Q1 of 2023. Just a year ago!

CapCut's aggressive growth is directly related to TikTok's success (duh!) and interestingly enough, isn't a direct result of a massive ad campaign in the App Store. Which means, there's even more growth to be had!

CapCut's biggest driver of revenue is China, through a dedicated version of the app, with the US in second place with around a third of the revenue that's coming from China and no other countries big enough to notice.

I don't know what the competition can do at this point other than hope TikTok gets banned in the US...

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.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

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.

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