Games like Candy Crush were known back in the day for pulling in an insane amount of money, largely thanks to in-app purchases. However it is clear that subscriptions is the new revenue model that is dominating, or at least according to a report from Business Insider who has compiled data from analytics firm Sensor Tower.
According to the data which compiles the top 10 highest-grossing apps on iOS devices for 2018, it seems that a good many of these apps are subscription-based apps, or have the option for users to purchase a subscription, and the app that takes the number one spot is none other than Netflix, which is estimated to have made $790.2 million in revenue from iOS alone (it is unclear if this is before or after the cut that was given to Apple).
Other subscription apps that made the top 10 list include Hulu, Pandora, YouTube (which users can opt to subscribe to YouTube Red/Premium), and Tinder which offers a monthly subscription to unlock more “premium” dating features. Also quite a good number of these apps are also from China which some of you might not have heard of.
Based on these numbers, it’s not surprising that Apple was trying to encourage developers to adopt a subscription model for their apps. This guarantees a steady flow of income versus one-off purchases or even in-app purchases which might not necessarily be guaranteed to happen frequently enough to be sustainable.