Data & Research

Freemium model is driving Android revenue, accounting for 65% of US top 200 top grossing sales, reckons Distimo

2011 the year of the in-app purchase

Freemium model is driving Android revenue, accounting for 65% of US top 200 top grossing  sales, reckons Distimo
Anyone whose had an eye on Distimo's monthly reports throughout 2011 will be well aware as to how they've depicted the rise of the freemium model during the course of the year.

In July, Distimo reported freemium revenue generated by the top titles on the App Store had jumped tenfold during the previous 12 months, while in September, the firm's numbers suggested 48 percent of revenue on Apple's marketplace came from free releases equipped with in-app purchases.

That's a figure that averages out at 50 percent for the whole of 2011, with freemium releases on Android Market performing even better, accounting for 65 percent of the revenue from the top grossing apps.

Freemium for all

Distimo claims such figures not only serve to highlight the growing prevalence of monetised free releases, but also act as advice for studios currently struggling to pay their way.

"As noted in our May publication, it is quite hard for Android developers to monetise using the one-off free paid monetisation model," notes Distimo.

"This graph shows it might be wise to switch to a freemium model if you are a developer for the US market."

In all, however, Apple's App Store remains the industry's major cash cow, with the iPhone specific version generating four times the revenue as Android Market in 2011.

Winning with Windows

Nonetheless, there's been cause to celebrate for some of Apple's biggest rivals in 2011, too.

Handset sales may not be breaking records, but Distimo reports Windows Phone Marketplace is now the fourth largest app store on the market for games, surpassing both BlackBerry App World and Nokia's Ovi Store.

"Windows Phone 7 Marketplace showed the largest relative growth of all stores, with more than 400 percent year-on-year growth," reports Distimo.

"The Amazon Appstore – larger than both the Nokia Ovi Store and BlackBerry App World as well in terms of available games – is now the fifth largest app store for games."

In all, Distimo claims the total number of apps across all the major marketplaces combined has now surpassed 1 million.

The China question

Branching out beyond the US, however, Distimo's finger points firmly at the Chinese market.

"By November of this year, China generated 30 percent of the combined total downloads of these two countries [the US and China]," Distimo concludes.

"Perhaps even more compelling is the fact the US and China are almost equal in size when looking at the number of downloads in the Apple App Store for iPad. The share of revenue from China is still behind the share of downloads from this country, however."

You can read Distimo's 2011 report in full on the firm's website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.