Report Finds 50% of App Store Revenue Comes from 25 Developers

How many versions of Angry Birds do you have on your iPad? Do you download all of Gameloft’s freemium games every time they come out with the intent of never spending money on them, but inevitably end up buying a bunch of in-game money? You’re not alone. Apparently, 50 percent of the app-buying world does the same thing.

According to a new report by analysis firm Canalys, half of all iPhone app revenue in Apple’s App Store and Google Play goes to just 25 developers. Seem impossible? Think about it. Rovio, which is one of the 25, has six apps in the top 100 paid iPhone app list right now. Electronic Arts, which is also one of the 25, has six as well.

According to Canalys, based on a App Interrogator survey, which analyzed app revenue for the U.S. Apple App Store and Google Play store for the first 20 days in November, 25 developers made between them $60 million of the estimated $120 million in revenue for that time period.

The most profitable developers include mostly cross-platform developers and usually have multiple releases. Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Kabam, Rovio, Glu, Gameloft and Storm8’s TeamLava are on the list of big winners.

The report also points out that 24 of the 25 top developers make games. Pandora is the only one to make the list that does not. During the first 20 days of Novembers, 145 of the top 300 apps in the Apple App Store were games with 94 of the top 300 free apps being games as well.

This report analyses a very small set of data, 20 days in November, and doesn’t necessarily hold water against scrutiny. However, based on what Apple’s top paid, free, and grossing list, the numbers seem possible. Pandora has been on the top 10 highest grossing iPhone app list since it first launched. Zynga has seven apps on that same list, EA Games has four, and even Rovio has a couple of Angry Birds apps, too.

This month, do independent app developers a favor and download one app that isn’t by a well-known company. It will make their holidays a little bit brighter.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik