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App Store continues to vastly outpace Google Play in consumer spending

Publishers behind the biggest apps in the App Store are earning considerably more from Apple's virtual storefront than from Google Play, Sensor Tower estimates suggest, with iOS apps bringing in 64% more revenue than Android counterparts.

Analysis into quarterly spending in apps for the top 100 publishers in the App Store and Google Play by Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence claims the firms generated a combined average of $130.4 million in consumer spending for the first quarter of 2019. The data also indicates the average gross income for the publishers was $83.8 million from App Store sales, while the Google Play equivalent was $51 million in the period.

Further analysis of the first quarters of 2014 until 2019 also indicates a compound annual growth rate of about 31% throughout the period, with the App Store slightly better than Google Play again with 31.3% and 31.2% respectively. In the five-year period, the App Store's average revenue for the top apps grew 291%, whereas Google Play apps saw a 289% increase.

Looking at specific types of apps, the non-gaming revenue sees a far greater disparity between the stores, with the average spend in the App Store for top non-gaming apps hitting $23.3 million, 232% larger than the $7 million average calculated for Google Play apps in the quarter.

The disparity is also growing, with the compound annual growth rate for the App Store reported at 56.1% for the apps, against 50.9% for Google Play, over the five-year reporting period. However, in 2019, Google Play saw an increase of 44.4% against the App Store's 30.5 percent, suggesting consumers may be more prepared to spend on Android than they had previously.

Gaming, the main revenue generator, has a far smaller disparity between the stores. While the App Store is still in the lead, with gaming spend averages for the top 100 publishers being at $70 million for Q1 2019, it is only leading Google Play by just 48% with earnings of $48 million.

The compound annual rates are reversed over the five-year period, with Google Play growing slightly faster at 30.2% against the App Store's 27.9% growth. The average top 100 game publisher made 12.6% more year-on-year for Q1 2019 on Google Play, while the App Store equivalents saw 9.8% growth.

Sensor Tower advises the revenue totals are for gross amounts. The data also doesn't include revenue figures for Google Play in China, which may affect the results.

In an earlier report in October, the analytics firm reported the App Store earned nearly 93% more in consumer spending than Google Play during Q3 2018. The App Store generated 12 billion in revenue during the period, a 23.3% increase over the same quarter in 2017, while Google Play's $6.2 billion was an increase over the same time period of 21.5%.