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Top Apps of Q2 2017: Netflix Once Again Leads Worldwide Mobile Revenue, Growing 233% Year-Over-Year

Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals which apps led downloads and revenue on the App Store and Google Play for Q2 2017.

Q2 2017's Top Mobile Apps Hero Image

Non-gaming revenue from in-app purchases and subscriptions grew by 56 percent year-over-year in Q2, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data, lead by Netflix, which was the highest grossing app worldwide for the third consecutive quarter across the App Store and Google Play. In this report, we'll analyze how revenue has grown on the two platforms, what total new app installs looked like for the quarter, plus which apps earned the most and were most downloaded during Q2 2017.

Non-Game App Revenue Growth - Q2 2017

Total consumer spend in non-game apps on the App Store and Google Play worldwide last quarter totaled approximately $2.43 billion, which represents a 56 percent increase year-over-year from Q2 2016's total of $1.56 billion.

Q2 2017 Apps Worldwide Revenue Growth

Looking at Apple's App Store, revenue grew 52 percent from $1.3 billion to $1.9 billion. As we saw in Q1, Google Play revenue growth continued to outpace Apple's platform at 72 percent year-over-year, increasing from $294 million to $506 million.

Non-Game App Download Growth - Q2 2017

Globally, non-game app downloads totaled 13.2 billion for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 12 percent or approximately 1.44 billion downloads.

Q2 2017 Apps Worldwide Download Growth

New non-game app installs increased by 3 percent on Apple's App Store, from 4.4 billion to 4.6 billion. Google Play's non-game app installs grew 18 percent from 7.3 billion to 8.6 billion. Viewed in this context, Google Play's revenue growth is somewhat dampened by the fact that Apple's store is still generating considerably more revenue off a smaller (and slower growing) number of app installs.

Top Non-Game Apps by Downloads and Revenue - Worldwide

Q2 2017's Top Mobile Apps by Worldwide Downloads

As it did in Q1 of this year, WhatsApp led worldwide app installs, edging out Facebook to claim the top spot on the ranking. Facebook held onto four of the top five most installed apps, with Messenger and Instagram—which outranked rival Snapchat at No. 5—rounding out the list. WhatsApp lost its No. 1 rank on iOS that it had in Q1, replaced by Messenger. WeChat returned to the top 10 ranking at No. 7.

Q2 2017's Top Mobile Apps by Worldwide Revenue

In terms of worldwide revenue, Netflix was once again the top-earning app worldwide across both platforms and on the App Store. The streaming giant's app saw its revenue grow approximately 233 percent year-over-year in Q2 from $46 million to $153 million. This dramatically outpaced average revenue growth across both stores of 56 percent and that of rival Hulu at 22 percent. Netflix previously reported year-over-year Q2 2017 streaming revenue growth of about 36 percent, a figure that represents overall revenue from set-top boxes, personal computers, and mobile platforms. Considering this, its growth in mobile revenue is proving considerably more pronounced than that generated by non-mobile platforms.

Elsewhere, Google Drive revenue from in-app purchases for expanded storage options increased significantly, taking the app from No. 9 overall in Q1 to No. 5 in Q2. It became the top earning app worldwide on Google Play last quarter, ahead of LINE, Tinder, Pandora, and KakaoTalk.

Top Non-Game Apps by Downloads and Revenue - United States

Q2 2017's Top Mobile Apps by United States Downloads

The most significant chart movement in Q2 as far as the U.S. app market is concerned came from Uber, which, for the first time, surpassed Facebook in terms of new iOS installs. Specifically, the app was downloaded approximately 6.5 million times last quarter, compared to the social giant's 6 million downloads for its core app.

Also, despite continuing to dominate Snapchat in terms of worldwide installs last quarter, Instagram failed to make the U.S. top 10 for new installs on iOS. It ranked at No. 4 on Google Play, one position higher than in Q1.

Q2 2017's Top Mobile Apps by United States Revenue

In terms of revenue, Netflix was once again the highest grossing app overall in the U.S., with Pandora, Tinder, HBO NOW, and YouTube rounding out the top five. Netflix also retained its No. 1 ranking for App Store revenue and moved up two positions to No. 6 on Google Play.

As it did worldwide last quarter, Google Drive also captured the top-earner ranking on Google Play, ahead of Pandora which had held that spot in Q1 of this year.

Our Q2 2017 Analysis Continues

This is the first part of Sensor Tower's analysis of the global app economy in Q2. Next, we'll break down the most installed and top earning mobile games worldwide and in the U.S. Then, later this month, look forward to our in-depth Store Intelligence Data Digest for Q2 2017.

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Randy Nelson

Written by: Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights

Date: July 2017