The Apple App Store and the Google Play Store collectively earned $18.2 billion from global consumers in the third quarter of 2018, according to Sensor Towers research, which also said that Apple has the upper-hand when it comes to monetizing their apps, which is why the App Store outpaced Google Play revenue by 94 percent.
New data from Sensor Tower shows which iPhone apps generated the most revenue in 2018. Of the 10 iOS apps that earned the most money, half are video streaming platforms and half are from Chinese tech giants, Baidu and Tencent Holdings. See the full list below.
1. Netflix ($790.2 million)
Popular video streaming service, Netflix (download for iOS or Android), offers subscribers unlimited TV shows and movies for $11 per month. The app adds new programs every month. You can watch almost anything you can think of, from old classics to new releases. In addition, Netflix is now focused on content that is exclusive to its platform. In fact, 20% of Netflix views now go to its original programming -- "House of Cards" and "The Crown" are among its most popular shows. "House of Cards" helped accelerate the binge-watching phenomenon as one of the first shows to release its whole season at once.
2. Tencent Video ($490 million)
Tencent Video (download for iOS or Android) is a Chinese video streaming service with more than 63 million subscribers. The platform is packed with comedy, action, thrillers and drama. While the platform has exclusive programming, providers like HBO and the BBC also feature their shows on Tencent to reach a Chinese audience.
3. Tinder ($462.2 million)
The Tinder dating app (download for iOS or Android) boasts 30 billion matches to date. Users simply make a profile and start swiping to meet someone. Swipe Right if you like someone and Swipe Left if you're not interested. The app famously matches two people if they both Swipe Right.
4. iQiyi ($420.5 million)
The iQiyi app (download for iOS or Android) is one of the largest on-demand video platforms in the world. The service includes new shows and movies in China with some social media features. Users can watch exclusive content on iQiyi and some Netflix programs after the two companies inked a licensing deal in 2017.
5. Kwai/Kuaishou ($264.5 million)
The social video-sharing network Kwai (download for iOS or Android) is like a hybrid of TikTok and Instagram. Users can make selfie video clips, set them to music, add stickers or filters, and share them across different social media platforms. The app itself is its own sharing platform as well. It's known as Kuaishou in China and Kwai internationally.
6. YouTube ($244.2 million)
Long-time video platform YouTube (download for iOS or Android) offers a mix of user-generated and professional content, of course. It's become the preferred viewing destination for many younger users, who subscribe to their favorite channels, browse recommended videos, create playlists, and get a customized TV experience. The app's Premium features remove ads from videos for $13 per month or $5 for students.
7. Pandora ($225.7 million)
The Pandora app (download for iOS or Android) lets users listen to shuffled music for free and personalizes recommendations based on the listener's tastes. The more you listen and like songs or artists, the more the app learns. Pandora also includes podcasts in its catalog and Premium commercial-free subscriptions that can now stream to Amazon Echo devices.
8. Youku ($192.9 million)
The YouKu app (download for iOS or Android) is China's top-rated video streaming provider according to the description in the Google Play Store. YouKu includes sports matches, movies, television shows, comedies, documentaries, and subscribable channels. Monthly subscriptions cost 19 yuan, or about $3.
9. QQ ($159.7 million)
QQ (download for iOS or Android) is a messenger platform and supports 80 countries. Users can video chat, voice chat, or text as the app translates all conversations. According to QQ, removing the language barrier can make more friendships happen. The app supports video chats with multiple people at once and has added new emojis.
10. Hulu ($132.6 million)
With the Hulu app (download for iOS or Android), users can get access to an entire library of premium produced television shows and movies with a subscription. Some of the latest shows will add the newest episode right after it airs on live TV. Like Netflix, Hulu also includes content exclusive to the app -- "The Handmaid's Tale" is among its best-known shows. As you watch and like programs, Hulu also provides customized recommendations.
FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.
- The best apps for renting and buying movies in 2018
- The Best Live TV Streaming Apps in 2018
- 7 best podcast listening apps in 2018
- The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time
- Best Android Apps for 2018 (CNET)
- Top iPhone and iPad apps for productivity (March 2018 edition) (ZDNet)
- The 10 most popular workplace apps of 2018 (TechRepublic)