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Netflix was 2017’s top non-game app by revenue

Netflix was the top earning app of 2017 that wasnt a mobile game, according to Sensor Towers new year-end report on the most successful apps and publishers across Apples App Store and Google Play. In previous years, the top spot had gone to Spotify, and before that, LINE. But this was Netflixs year to shine. The service saw gross subscriber revenue of approximately $510 million – a 138 percent increase over last year – per the firms estimates. Thats about 2.4 times the $215 million users spent in the Netflix app in 2016. Its not surprising to see Netflix snagging this top-grossing position. The app has been at the top of the revenue charts at various points throughout 2017. For example, in Q2 Sensor Tower had reported the app saw 233 percent revenue growth year-over-year to $153 million, which was then up from the $46 million it had seen at the same time last year. At the time, Netflix was reporting a surge in international subscribers, which were accounting for the majority of its new signups. These new users are often joining Netflix through their phone and paying through in-app purchases. By its Q3 2017 earnings reported in October, Netflix had gone on to beat its own expectations for subscriber growth, again thanks to its adoption in international markets.  Of the 5.3 million new subscribers in the quarter, 850,000 came from the U.S. while 4.45 million came from international markets. The Netflix app was also the top earner across all of Apples App Store. But on Google Play, it ranked below Tiner, Google Drive, LINE, Pandora, and HBO NOW. Another notable app success last year was Tencent Video. In 2016, it was the #14 top grossing app (non-game) by revenue on the App Store alone. This past year, it jumped up to #3 by revenue on the App Store, and #5 in overall revenue across both stores. (If Google Play was available in China, things would probably look a lot different, too.) In terms of downloads, however, the top app list was dominated by Facebook. This year, Facebooks main app lost the number one spot to WhatsApp as it sank to #3. Messenger and Instagram followed, and Snapchat was in fifth place.   Sensor Towers report analyzed mobile games separately. Mixis Monster Strike was the top grossing mobile game in 2017 – a position its now held for three years in a row.  Tencents Honor of Kings earned second place, but again, because Google Play isnt in China. The games list is interesting for other reasons, as well. The one-time hit Pokémon Go didnt make the top 10, but five year-old Candy Crush Saga did (#5). That goes to show that even though games is largely a hits-based business, its possible to have staying power in the market, too. Tencents success in gaming and with Tencent Video also helped it become the top mobile publisher for both game and non-game revenue in 2017. Image credits, including charts: Sensor TowerUpdated, 1/12/17, 9 PM ET to show Facebook as #3 in non-game overall downloads due to an error on Sensor Towers original graph, now replaced. 

Sensor Tower: Mixi, Tencent, and Netflix were 2017’s top grossers in mobile

Mixis mobile game Monster Strike was the top grossing app in 2017, according to mobile data and insights company Sensor Tower. The caveat, though, is that Google Play isnt available in China — the stomping grounds of tech giant Tencent, which recently released its hit title Honor of Kings with the name Arena of Valor in the West. In outside gaming, Netflixs app was the highest earner, dethroning Spotify, which sat at No. 1 in 2016 . The mobile market generated $58.6 billion last year, thanks mostly to games. The category accounted for $48.3 billion of spending, and many of the top titles maintained their dominance from earlier years. Games like Kings Candy Crush Saga and Supercells Clash of Clans debuted in 2012, but they still landed spots at No. 5 and No. 9 respectively in the top grossing chart. Niantics viral sensation Pokémon Go was missing from the top charts last year, but the company is still rolling out new content to keep its dedicated fanbase happy. The AR creature capturing game was the most downloaded mobile title in 2016, but Kiloos Subway Surfers earned the No. 1 spot as the most installed game in 2017. Unsurprisingly, Tencent was the top grossing mobile publisher in the world last year. In second place was NetEase, another Chinese juggernaut which has jostled for the No. 1 spot in previous years. NetEase, Supercell, King, and Mixi rounded out the top five grossing publishers overall, wrote Sensor Towers head of mobile insights Randy Nelson. Meanwhile, the second to fifth spots in terms of non-game revenue were occupied by IAC (Tinder), Netflix, Naver (LINE), and Google, respectively. Tencent also racked up the most mobile game downloads overall, though Facebook had the most non-game and overall downloads. Intels web sites and communications are subject to our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.