Analysing Google Play to find a profitable app idea – Part 5: PlayDrone

So far I have used the PlayDrone data to find out what the most downloaded free games, paid games and paid apps are. There are many useful queries that can be run to try and find a profitable app idea. For example, you could look at apps with lots of downloads but with a bad user rating. You could then look at the comments for that app and find out why the users are dissatisfied with it and make a better app! You could even get a list of all paid apps that have made at least £10,000 if you wanted. It could also be useful to look at apps that have failed, by running a query to find apps that have never been downloaded and then find out why, so your apps don’t suffer the same fate.

You can download a 735MB Json (JavaScript Object Notation) file that contains details of the 1.4 million apps on Google Play as of 31/10/2014 from the Internet Archive. I had some fun writing a console app that inserts details about all these apps into SQL, so that queries can be run against it. You can find the source code for this on my GitHub account with the imaginative name of PlayDrone2SQL.

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Analysing Google Play to find a profitable app idea – Part 3: Paid games

In my last post I looked at some of the most downloaded freemium games of all time, which are all guaranteed to be making a lot of money. As it turns out the majority of freemium games fall into only a small number of categories.

You can get a lot of information about what works, by looking at the most popular games that have been downloaded. Paid for games, are particularly interesting, as they have managed to overcome the most important hurdle that freemium games face. Getting users to hand over their money! People will only tend to buy something if they know it is going to be good. As result, paid games have much lower download figures compared to freemium games.

So lets have a look at the top 20 paid games on Google Play that have managed to crack open users wallets. As with my previous post, this data comes from the PlayDrone project as the top charts on Google aren’t particularly useful for analysis.

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Analysing Google Play to find a profitable app idea – Part 2: Freemium games

In my previous post a gave a few examples of apps that are making millions and billions a year. It comes as no surprise that to get to this level of profitability you need downloads in the millions. So how do we find out how to make a profitable app? First thing is to look at people who have already done it and work out how they did it.

I started my quest by looking at the top apps on Google Play, to try and find which games are downloaded the most. I will be focusing on Google Play as unlike Apple they give an indication of the number of downloads an app has got.

You would have thought it would be easy to find out which apps have had the most downloads. There are several Top Charts that Google presents to users. However, most of the top charts seem to be based on what is trending and not on the total number of downloads.

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Analysing Google Play to find a profitable app idea – Part 1

Maybe like me you are thinking of dipping your toe into mobile development. You may have even started your journey on becoming the next app millionaire but are struggling to make any money from your creation. So how do you come up with an idea for an app that will actually be profitable? The only way to make a significant amount of money with mobile development is to get a large number of downloads and when I say large I am talking millions of downloads.

Candy Crush Saga made a whopping $1.88 billion (£1.24 billion) in 2013

The majority of apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store are free and generate their revenue from adverts and in app purchases. Unless you were living under a rock last year, you have probably heard about the overnight sensation that was Flappy Bird. Flappy Bird got 50 million downloads and was reportedly making $50,000 (£33,000) a day all from one banner advert. If you think that is a lot, Candy Crush Saga made a whopping $1.88 billion (£1.24 billion) in 2013. You will find there are very few, if any, paid mobile games that are bringing in this sort of revenue.

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