Netflix revenues took a hit on App Store because of its refusal to pay the 'Apple Tax'. Tinder, meanwhile, continued its steady march in a world that's desperate to find love.Sohini Mitter
For the first time since late-2016, Netflix is no longer the highest-earning non-gaming app. The crown now belongs to Tinder, which has surpassed the video-streaming app in Q1 2019 revenues.
The dating app grossed $260.7 million from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, while Netflix revenues dropped 15 percent since last quarter to reach $216.3 million, app intelligence firm Sensor Tower revealed in a study. Tinder, meanwhile, grew its quarter-on-quarter revenues by a healthy 42 percent.
The drop in Netflix revenues this year is a result of its refusal to pay the 'Apple tax' - a share of its $853 million subscription revenues on iOS, which Netflix stopped paying Apple in December 2018.
Tinder, on the other hand, has surged ahead riding on growth from emerging markets, including India, where it is the top-grossing app on Play Store India. Its subscription-driven service, Tinder Gold, has managed to woo young Indians. While Tinder doesn’t share country-specific numbers, there are more than 3 million subscribers of Gold globally, with 1.7 million coming in 2018 alone.
Besides Tinder and Netflix, other top-earning apps include Tencent Video, iQIYI, YouTube, Pandora, Kwai, LINE, LINE Manga, and Youku. It establishes a dominance of streaming services, and also indicates a growing trend of users paying for quality audio and video content.
In the non-paid category, social media apps ruled the roost with WhatsApp, Messenger, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram emerging as the top five most downloaded. SHAREit, YouTube, LIKE Video, Netflix and Snapchat followed.
TikTok was the fastest-growing app, adding 188 million users in Q1. "This marked a year-over-year increase of 70 percent from Q1 2018, when 110 million users installed the hit app for the first time," Sensor Tower stated.
India is driving TikTok's growth, contributing 88.6 million new users to the platform over the last three months. However, the app recently invited the wrath of the Madras High Court which sought a ban on its downloads on grounds of "inappropriate content".
Overall, TikTok has been installed by more than 1.1 billion App Store and Google Play users globally, and has grossed $80 million from in-app purchases.