Millionaire Publishers Report: 2021

According to Sensor Tower, the number of publishers that exceeded the $1 million revenue threshold for the first time in 2021 has more than doubled since 2016.
Millioner publishers
In 2021, many publishers became millionaires for the first time.

Data analytics company Sensor Tower has announced the number of publishers earning more than $1 million in revenue for the first time this 2021. While the number of publishers exceeding the one million dollar threshold for the first time in 2016 was 475, this number reached 900 in 2021.

Compared to 2016 data, the increase rate for iOS (App Store) alone is 87%, and the number of publishers exceeding the one million dollar mark for the first time is 581. In 2016, this number was only 310. A similar trend is also valid for Google Play. The number increased from 165 in 2016 to 325 in 2021, with a growth of 97%.

According to the report, the number of publishers with million-dollar revenue will decrease during the post-pandemic normalization process. Although the massive number of downloads reached in 2020 will continue throughout 2021, a decrease in the number of downloads is expected for the future. This downtrend started in late 2021 and continues for now.

The number of publishers who became millionaires for the first time in the App Store in 2020 was 636. Compared to the 2021 numbers, there is a 9% decrease from 2020 to 2021. On Google Play, 367 publishers became millionaires in 2020. As can be seen, the number of publishers who become millionaires for the first time in both stores is on the decline compared to 2020.

The number of publishers who became millionaires for the first time between 2020-2021 is on the decline.

Market gap between App Store and Google Play is shrinking

Although the number of publishers who become millionaires for the first time in the App Store every year is more than Google Play, the gap between Apple and Google is getting smaller. Apple peaked in 2017, 2.7 times higher than Google. The difference has shrunk to 1.8 times this year.

This rise on the Google side reflects the increasing pace of overall consumer spending. In 2021, consumer spending at Google grew 23.5% year-on-year to $47.9 billion, while iOS rose 17.7% to $85.1 billion. In short, this year, Google’s growth rate is 6% higher than Apple’s, and the gap is gradually closing.

The highest number of millionaires was among mobile game publishers.

Mobile game publishers stepped forward in 2021, leaving the previous years behind. Mobile game publishers accounted for 32% of publishers who became millionaires on iOS this year. Social network publishers followed mobile game publishers.

32% of publishers who became millionaires on iOS in 2021 were among mobile game publishers.

On the Google Play side, things are a bit different. While around 50% of millionaires were among mobile game publishers in the past years, this number has decreased to 43% in 2021. Still, mobile game publishers make up the largest group of millionaire publishers this year.

43% of publishers who became millionaires on Google Play in 2021 were among mobile game publishers.

The leading country status of the USA for both platforms continues. But this year, for the US, the number of millionaire publishers at Apple dropped 10% and Google Play 6%. As the general statistics show, the gap between Apple and Google is narrowing in the USA as well. Still, Apple maintains its healthy lead, producing nearly twice as many millionaires each year.

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