91% of total revenue goes to the top 1% of app publishers, according to Sense Tower

September 11, 2022 11:45 pm

The top 1% of app publishers generate 91% of total app revenue and 79% of new downloads across the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2022, according to a recently released SenseTower report, which analyzed 900,000 game and non-game app publishers and found that 9,000 (1%) received a total of 72 billion installs (nearly 79%) on the App Store and Google Play, while the remaining 99% of publishers had a total of 15 billion unique installs of their apps, accumulating about 21% of the market share of downloads.

Among top publishers, Meta and Google both have more than 1 billion global downloads in the first half of 2022, a 92% difference from the third top publisher, according to Sense Tower.

Two Chinese app publishers were ranked as the top grossers — Among game and non-game publishers, Tencent topped the list with about $3.3 billion in revenue in the first half of the year, which was 153 percent higher than second-placed ByteDance ($1.3 billion), eating up more than 7 percent of global in-game revenue with hit titles such as “Honor of Kings” and “PUBG Mobile”.

To paint a general picture of how profitable these publishers’ top apps are —the total revenue for “Honor of Kings” last month was 146 million, while PUBG Mobile raked in 66 million, and TikTok achieved 46 million in revenue.

However, the top 1%’s market share has shrunk over the last three years, reaching the lowest ever since 2019, according to SenseTower. Multiple factors attributes to the shrunk, including China’s ongoing anti-addiction campaign, which limits minors’ game time and in-game spending.

In the second quarter of 2022, Tencent's game revenue reached 42.5 billion yuan. The company’s game revenue in the local market was 31.8 billion yuan, down 1% year-on-year, and revenue in the international market was 10.7 billion yuan, down 1% year-on-year.

Minors' market share declined significantly in China. Niko Partners, a data analysis agency, recently released a research report on underage gamers in China. According to the report, in 2020, there were about 122 million underage gamers in China, accounting for 60% of the total number of minors.  That percentage fell to 40% since the anti-addiction campaign started, and the number of underage gamers is estimated to have fallen to 83 million.