Netflix has dramatically upped its revenue haul through smartphones. For the third quarter in a row, the streamer had the No. 1 grossing non-game mobile app worldwide in Q3 2018, generating around $243.7 million across both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, according to research firm Sensor Tower.
That’s up about 90% year over year, from Netflix’s gross of approximately $128.4 million worldwide across the App Store and Google Play in the third quarter of 2017. For the most recent quarter, most of Netflix’s new mobile users came from the U.S., Brazil, and India, per Sensor Tower’s estimates.
Netflix’s mobile boom is all the more impressive considering that as of May 2018, Google Play billing for Netflix is no longer available to new or rejoining customers. That suggest much of the growth for Netflix on mobile has come through Apple, which takes a 30% cut of subscription revenue from app partners for the first 12 months, and then 15% in subsequent years.
Netflix led other paid apps and those with in-app subscriptions in revenue, with IAC’s Tinder coming in No 2, followed by Tencent Video, iQIYI, Pandora and YouTube.
Overall, global consumer spending on the App Store and Google Play totaled $18.2 billion during the third quarter, up 23% from the year-ago quarter, according to Sensor Tower. Apple’s App Store widened its lead over Google Play, as the App Store earned $12 billion during Q3 — nearly 93% more than Google Play, and representing the biggest revenue disparity since at least 2014 between the two platforms.
In terms of number of downloads, Facebook again topped the global chart with four of the top five apps for Q3 — WhatsApp at No. 1, Messenger at No. 2, Facebook at No. 3 and Instagram at No. 5. Bytedance’s social-video app TikTok, which the company merged with Musical.ly in August, took the No. 4 spot worldwide, marking 15% growth quarter-over-quarter and 440% year-over-year.
Spending on mobile games rose 14.9% in the quarter, to $13.8 billion, representing 76% of all app revenue worldwide across both App Store and Google Play.
Top-grossing game apps were again led by titles from Asia, with Tencent’s “MOBA Honor of Kings” retaining the No. 1 spot across all apps worldwide. Niantic’s “Pokémon Go” was the top-ranked Western-made game by revenue, while Epic Games’ “Fortnite” ranked at No. 9 — despite its lack of availability on Google Play.
Downloads of mobile games grew 2.2% year-over-year last quarter to total 9.5 billion on the two platforms. Google Play saw 76% of those, with 7.2 billion downloads in the period, according to Sensor Tower.