Analysing Google Play to find a profitable app idea – Part 4: Paid apps

By Alex Hyett on in Software Development

In my last post I looked at the most popular paid games on Google Play. If you are not interested in making games but want to have a go at making a paid app, then it is useful to know what sort of apps people are willing to pay for.

So here are the top 20 most downloaded paid apps:

  1. Beautiful Widgets Pro – 1,000,000 downloads, £1.87
  2. Camera ZOOM FX Premium – 1,000,000 downloads, £1.79
  3. HD Widgets – 1,000,000 downloads, £0.59
  4. Nova Launcher Prime – 1,000,000 downloads, £3.99
  5. OfficeSuite 7 Pro (PDF&Fonts) OfficeSuite Pro 8 (PDF & HD) – 1,000,000 downloads, £7.62
  6. Paper Camera – 1,000,000 downloads, £1.99
  7. Poweramp Full Version Unlocker – 1,000,000 downloads, £3.00
  8. Smart Tools – 1,000,000 downloads, £2.20
  9. Threema – 1,000,000 downloads, £1.49
  10. TuneIn Radio Pro – 1,000,000 downloads, £7.69
  11. ADWLauncher EX – 500,000 downloads, £2.26
  12. AirSync: iTunes Sync & AirPlay – 500,000 downloads, £4.99
  13. Docs To Go™ Premium Key – 500,000 downloads, £9.56
  14. Endomondo Sports Tracker PRO – 500,000 downloads Switched to a subscription model
  15. ezPDF Reader – Multimedia PDF – 500,000 downloads, £2.54
  16. Flightradar24 – Flight Tracker – 500,000 downloads, £2.49
  17. FoxFi Key (supports PdaNet) – 500,000 downloads, £4.99
  18. Nexus Media Importer – 500,000 downloads, £2.51
  19. PicSay Pro – Photo Editor – 500,000 downloads, £2.99
  20. ROM Manager (Premium) – 500,000 downloads, £3.99

When compiling this list I was quite surprised at the prices of some of these apps. I would have expected cheaper apps that are below £1 to be in this list. However most of these apps are over £2, with Docs To Go even charging £9.56. The only app below £1 is HD Widgets, which is on sale at the time of writing this. It is clear from the above list that quality is one of the most important factors if your are making a paid app.

Similar to the free games list, the paid apps can be categorised into a small number of types.

Customisation Android users love to customise their phones, it is one of the reasons for choosing Android over iOS after all. The customisation apps on this list include custom launchers, widgets and rom managers which make up 5 apps in the top 20. I personally use Beautiful Widgets and Nova Launcher Prime on my tablet and they are worth the money.

Camera & Photo Effects The stock camera apps that come with phones are getting better but there is obviously still a market for custom camera apps. 3 of the apps above are of this type so there may still be space for a good camera app if you can develop it.

Office Suites I am not a fan of trying to produce documents on my phone or tablet and tend to use Google Docs when I need to. However, with over a million people paying £7 or more for an office app there is obviously a great need for one.

Music With the expanding storage on phones many people are carrying their music collection around with them. Therefore it is not much of a surprise to find apps geared towards getting music on to your phone or listening to music.

The rest of the apps in the list don’t really fit into the categories outlined above but it is easy to see why they might be popular.

This is the 4th part in a 5 part series into analysing Google Play to find profitable app ideas. In the last 4 posts I have looked at free games, paid games and paid apps but I have only given the top 20 in each list.

You can gain even more insights by looking at more than the top 20 but I have assumed you wouldn’t want to look at long lists of apps! If you want to do your own analysis then in the next post I will show you how and give you some ideas into interesting queries you can run on the Google Play data.


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Alex Hyett
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Alex Hyett

Software Developer, Entrepreneur, Father, and Husband. Engineering Lead at Checkout.com.

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