In 2015, Google surpassed Apple in the race for the most app downloads, according to a retrospective report from analytics platform App Annie.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, revealed that the Google Play Store hosted almost 100% more downloads than Apple’s App Store.
However despite this, the App Store remained on top in terms of revenue, widening its lead by as much as 75% throughout the year.
App Annie attributed Apple’s international revenue growth to “incredible gains” in the Chinese, US and Japanese markets.
In China, iOS downloads witnessed a 20% increase from Q4 2014 to the last quarter of 2015, with profits doubling year-on-year.
The report also sheds light on another extremely profitable year for dating apps, with combined revenues from the App Store and Google Play increasing steadily over the course of the year.
In particular, App Annie highlights the growth opportunity the “freemium” monetisation model presents to dating apps.
Freemium models have been used effectively by many video and music streaming platforms as a way of selling an enhanced version of its services.
Last year, the freemium structure was executed well by Tinder, who launched its premium service, Tinder Plus, on a monthly subscription basis.
And now, App Annie predicts that Tinder’s success will drive rival apps to incorporate the freemium model into their business plans for 2016, in an effort to capitalise on the revenue possibilities.
The report says: “Dating apps are yet another example of the increasing popularity of subscription as a monetization opportunity.
“As consumers and developers continue to embrace this revenue model, we expect it to become an even more significant contributor to global app market growth.”
App Annie also said that this growth hasn’t just been seen in the US, with apps like Pairs and couples app Couples enjoying strong MAU growth in Japan and Taiwan throughout 2015.
Other insights taken from the report include the fact that emerging markets registered impressive download and revenue growth in 2015, particularly in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam as device penetration soared.
Check out the full App Annie report here.