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The top one per cent of app publishers account for four-fifths of new downloads

Tyrone Stewart


The top one per cent of publishers globally accounted for a staggering 80 per cent of the 29.6bn app downloads recorded in the third quarter of 2019, leaving just 6bn downloads between the remaining 99 per cent of publishers, according to Sensor Tower.

Amongst the elite group there are 7,920 publishers, which generated 23.6bn unique installs from their almost 30bn app downloads. The massive group behind the one per cent is made up of 784,080 publishers – meaning they individually average around 7,650 downloads per month. For context, this is less than a thousandth of a per cent of the 682m installs Facebook achieved in Q2.

The gap between the top one per cent and the rest is further illustrated by just 1,526 publishers generating $20.5bn in revenue, leaving only $1.5bn for the other 151,056 publishers.

Narrowing down the figure to reflect just games publisher shows that 1,080 publishers claimed 9.1bn downloads out of a total of 11.1bn. The remaining 2m downloads were split between 106,920 publishers, each averaging approximately 18,000 downloads each.

Gaming app revenue reached $16.3bn globally in Q3 2019. However, as with above, a huge chunk of this – $15.5bn – went to the top 445 publishers. The remaining $800m was split between 44,029 publishers.

Though a small group of publishers dominated the app market in the third quarter, this isn’t a new trend. Since Q3 2014, there has been little fluctuation between the revenue and download share of the top one per cent.

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