Report: Most iOS app store revenue goes to top 1 percent of publishers

Talk about the top one percent. According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the top one percent of US iOS App Store app developers with paid/in-app purchases generated a staggering 94 percent of all revenue in Q1.
For this analysis, Sensor Tower looked at App Store revenue and downloads between January 1 and March 31, 2016. You can read more about the company’s methodology and data here. It’s important to point out that the report doesn’t cover Google Play, however.

According to Sensor Tower’s estimates, roughly $1.3 billion of $1.4 billion in iOS App Store Q1 revenue was captured by 623 publishers. The remainder, about $86 million, went to the remaining nearly 62,000 developers.

Who are these top publishers? They include established and household names such as Google, Disney, MLB, Spotify, Dow Jones, Hulu, The New York Times, HBO, Electronic Arts, Zynga, Pandora, Netflix and others. The list also includes less familiar names such as Red Cactus, Skout, Life360, Everyday Health, BabyFirst, Super Evil Megacorp, King Peak Entertainment and Calculated Industries.

Companies such as Amazon and Uber, which generate revenue through their apps, were not included in the analysis because they aren’t paid apps or, according to Sensor Tower’s definition, don’t have in-app purchases. Arguably, this exception should include companies such as Skype, which was on the list. However, such cases are relatively few.
Sensor Tower also points out that the top one percent also captured 70 percent of App Store downloads. This can be seen partly as a function of brand strength, in some cases, but also App Store visibility. Sensor Tower’s data further illustrate the need for smaller developers and publishers to find additional or new ways to expose and promote their apps.