We’ve reached the end of the first month of 2017, which means it’s time to see which apps and games performed across the world in January. Our chart estimates are supported by our partnership with app analytics company PrioriData and you can find the full Top iOS Games and Apps by Revenues and Downloads stats here.
The biggest story in January was the volatility of the games charts in Europe and the US. King, MiniClip, and Outfit 7 were just some of the developers that took advantage of the post-Christmas lull to boost their way up both the downloads and revenues charts.
There was also a similar pattern in China. Games such as CrossFire and WeFly charged their way up the rankings, while new video, social, and photography apps shook up the app rankings.
UNITED STATES: VOLATILE GAMES MARKET BALANCED BY STAGNANT APPS
There was plenty of movement in the US mobile game charts, as existing giants and new releases sought to take advantage of the post-Christmas marketing dip.
Clash Royale and Game of War remained glued to the top of the charts, but established rival King saw two of its Candy Crush Saga games jump two places. Roblox Corporation’s Roblox and Miniclip’s 8 Ball Pool each gained four positions in the charts.
Meanwhile, when we looked at game download numbers, five of the top 10 were new entries. Paper Duel, Pokemon Duel, and My Talking Hank were just three new games on the up. But the presence of Super Mario Run at the top of the installs chart, and its absence in the revenues standings, shows that installs do not indicate success.
Stagnation was the theme of the day in the US app charts. Only one app changed places in the top five revenue-generating apps, with the subscription models used by the likes of Spotify, HBO Now, and Pandora proving longevity.
And while there was also little movement in the app download charts, one app stood out in January. Twitter’s five-place jump in the download charts came in the month of Donald Trump’s inauguration, suggesting that users are hitting the platform to see the new President’s thoughts as soon as he has them.
EUROPE: FOLLOWING AMERICA
Although they might be separated by the Atlantic Ocean, the European and American app charts show a reasonable level of similarity. As with the US charts, the big movers in the gaming charts were companies taking advantage of the quieter January market. In the revenue charts, King once again crept up the charts, with Candy Crush Saga shifting into second place. King also saw another one of its games, Bubble Witch Saga 3, slide into second place in the installs chart. As with the US market, the majority of the top download slots were grabbed by new entries, as the likes of Paper.io and WarFriends took advantage of the quieter market to rack up installs.
The app markets in Europe also closely mirrored the US, with subscription apps and established social apps dominating the charts. Furthermore, two of the biggest movers in the European download stakes, BitMoji and HouseParty, previously charted well in the US, suggesting the two continents are still closely tied together.
However, a couple of differences did stand out. European app users were already anticipating a Valentine’s Day rush, with dating apps Zoosk and Lovoo heading up.
Two other apps seemed to show particular value to European users. New Year’s resolutions helped boost fitness program app Sweat With Kayla to #10 in the European revenue charts.
The presence of an unofficial FIFA Ultimate Team draft app in the top 10 app downloads chart shows both the popularity of FIFA’s successful free-to-play game mode and a market opportunity that EA has yet to take advantage of in soccer-loving Europe.
CHINA: AN ACTIVE APP MARKET
Unlike the US and Europe, the app charts in China proved to be a serious battleground in January.
In the app revenue and download charts, only two out of the 40 apps listed held their positions. New entries, rapidly rising existing apps, and slowly sliding incumbents each swapped position as Tencent, QIYI, and Youku fought to win over Chinese users.
But while the app charts are more volatile in China, consumer trends are similar. Video players, music subscription services, and social media apps with a Snapchat inflection dominated attention. In fact, one of the few noticeably different apps charting in China was Shanghai Lantern network’s Wi-Fi key. Allowing users to discover publicly available Wi-Fi networks easily, its presence in the app download top 20 shows how Chinese consumers increasingly seek to be connected.
In the gaming charts, mobile esports showed its value to consumers. Tencent’s MOBA King of Glory maintained its position at the top of both the download and revenue charts. Meanwhile, Tencent’s CrossFire, a mobile game clearly inspired by CS:GO, jumped 12 places in the ranking, showing Chinese players have a serious appetite for the genre.