Netflix was the highest grossing app of 2017 that wasn’t a mobile game, according to New year-end report from Sensor Tower on the most popular apps and editors in the Apple App Store and Google Play. In previous years, the top spot had gone to Spotify, and before that, to LINE. But it was Netflix’s year to shine. The service has gross subscription revenue of around $ 510 million, according to the company’s estimates. That’s roughly 2.4 times the $ 215 million spent by users in the Netflix app in 2016.
It’s no surprise to see Netflix land this most lucrative position. The app topped the revenue charts at various times throughout 2017. For example, in the second quarter, Sensor Tower reported that the app saw 233% year-over-year revenue growth. the other at $ 153 million, compared to $ 46 million. he had seen at the same time last year.
At the time, Netflix was reporting an increase in international subscribers, which made up the majority of its new signups. These new users often join Netflix through their phones and pay through in-app purchases.
With its third quarter 2017 results released in October, Netflix had exceeded its own expectations for subscriber growth, again thanks to its adoption in international markets. Of the 5.3 million new subscribers during the quarter, 850,000 were from the United States while 4.45 million were from international markets.
The Netflix app was also the main source of revenue in all of Apple’s App Stores. But on Google Play, it ranks below Tiner, Google Drive, LINE, Pandora, and HBO NOW.
Tencent Video is another notable success of the app last year. In 2016, it was the 14th highest grossing (non-gaming) app in terms of revenue on the App Store only. Last year it jumped to 3rd place in terms of revenue on the App Store and 5th place in terms of overall revenue in both stores. (If Google Play were available in China, things would likely be very different, too.)
In terms of downloads, however, the list of top apps was dominated by Facebook.
This year, Facebook’s main app fell from the top spot to WhatsApp while it fell to third place. Messenger and Instagram followed, and Snapchat was in fifth place.
The Sensor Tower report analyzed mobile games separately.
Mixi’s Monster Strike was the highest-grossing mobile game of 2017 – a position it has now held for three consecutive years. Tencent Kings Honor won second place, but again, because Google Play is not in China.
The list of games is also interesting for other reasons. The unique PokÃ©mon Go success didn’t make the top 10, but five-year-old Candy Crush Saga did (# 5). This shows that while gaming is largely a success-based business, there is also an opportunity to stay in the market.
Tencent’s success in games and with Tencent Video also helped it become the # 1 mobile publisher for gaming and non-gaming revenue in 2017.
Image credits, including graphics: Sensor tower
Updated 1/12/17 9 p.m. ET to show Facebook as # 3 in global out-of-game downloads due to an error on the original Sensor Tower graphic, now superseded.