13 Apps That Are Making More Money Than Hedge Funds

“Carpe per diem – seize the check.”

–Robin Williams

Ever try to guess how much money the top apps on the Apple App Store are making every month?

Whatever you are thinking, it is probably too low.

…or maybe not.

Let's find out.

How I Got These Top Grossing Apps Revenue Estimates

Here the monthly revenue estimates of what some of the top grossing apps on the Apple App Store and the Google Play App Store are making. These app intelligence estimates are from our friends at Apptopia.

We did our best to look at both iOS apps and Android apps and examine apps from different categories, not just games. Doing research like this on apps in your category can help you figure out what top grossing apps are doing to be successful and how you can implement their strategies.

13. Summoners War (iOS)

summoners-war

Summoners War makes almost all of its money through in-app purchases and about 0.6% on ads. At an estimated $2.42 million a month, this app kills it and should make more money as the holiday season rolls around.

Com2uSCorp, the publishers of this game, is actually currently making more on Google Play. Most apps will make more on the iOS Store, but not this app. To learn how much this publisher is making, check out Apptopia.

12. Tinder (Google Play)

tinder app revenue

Everyone's favorite ADD dating app makes a healthy $799K per month, and that number seems to be on the uptick. But unlike the previous app, Tinder makes a KILLING on iOS, more than double.

They make a fair amount of this total from running ads, but that only accounts for an estimated 5.8% of this revenue total. If you are looking to get into the dating apps game, you should do your research and find out which platform makes more money.

But by doing a quick examination of Tinder, we can see that iOS is probably the best place to start.

11. 8 Ball Pool™ (iOS)

app income

This is a game that your probably haven't heard of, unless you follow the top charts closely or you are really into pool games. But at an estimated $959K a month, this game is one of the big boys.

It is interesting to note that by Apptopia's estimates, this game makes 25.7% of its revenue from ads. So if you want to monetize your game with IAPs and ads, then this is a great game to study.

Mobile ad revenue

10. Marvel Contest of Champions (iOS)

marvel app

 

The Marvel franchise is a juggernaut and Kabam has figured out how to cash in on it. This one app has made an estimated $2.09 million in September and is going strong.

It is interesting to note that the downloads don't necessarily correlate with the revenue, so you should definitely dig deeper to understand why that is. By looking at the revenue distribution of this app, they naturally make most of their money in the US, but they also make a significant percentage of their income from the Russian Federation and Japan.

This could give you a big clue as to which countries to localize for next.

9. Slotomania Casino – Las Vegas Free Slot Machine Games (iOS)

slots app revenueGambling games are hot, and probably will continue to be, long into the future. Players love the excitement and we can see it in the estimated download and revenue numbers of Slotomainia.

A little under $2 million a month is awesome and if you want to launch a slots game, you need to figure out what Playtika is doing.

To learn more about a little-known gambling game category that has done really well for us, be sure to read this post.

8. Boom Beach (iOS)

boom-beach

I'll get to Boom Beach's better-known cousin in a bit, but Boom Beach is a huge hit in its own right. With estimated downloads and revenue steadily rising, Supercell won't have to worry about keeping the lights on…at least for awhile.

So now that you know that Boom Beach makes an estimated $2.07 million a month, how much do you think Clash of Clans makes?

You will find out in a bit…

But before I move on, Boom Beach actually makes more revenue on Android than on iOS. Surprising…maybe.

7. Candy Crush Soda Saga (iOS)

how much soda saga makes

Talk about top tier reskinning! Candy Crush Saga was the first huge hit for King, so what is the smart thing to do?

Reskin it, of course! This app is a beast at $2.87 million, in monthly revenue.

Not a whole lot more to say here. Find a successful model and keep doing it.

6. Madden NFL Mobile (iOS)

madden nfl revenue

A lot of people don't know this, but Madden NFL started on the Commodore 64, in 1988. It was originally called John Madden Football and has since grown to be the premier American Football game on consoles.

Judging by these numbers, they have been able to recreate the same success on mobile. An estimated $1.2M per month isn't bad and it looks like the numbers are rising fast.

Electronic Arts makes a little less with their Android app on Google Play.

5. Candy Crush Saga (Google Play)

Now we get to one of the OG mega games, Candy Crush. King has made a killing with this relatively simple game.

So how much do you think they make a month?

Even I was not expecting this number…wow!

how much candy crush saga makes

I knew that they made a lot of money, but this is a lot more than the last time I checked. They have really done their homework and are the masters of monetization.

Study what they do.

4. Mobile Strike (iOS)

mobile-strike

Mobile Strike was released worldwide on 11/11/2015 and it has been a huge success. As you can see from the charts, Epic War did a soft launch in countries like Australia and Canada, in July.

Their iOS app makes about double the Android counterpart. Since this is a fairly new game, it can be useful to go back through their update history and app reviews and find out what they tested and improved before going worldwide.

3. Game of War – Fire Age (iOS)

game-of-war

Now we get into next level stuff, apps that make $10+ million. Game of War is a BEAST and brings in  $11 million a month

That is a lot of tacos and Coronas.

Again, study their monetization strategies. Yes, they also have a huge budget for development and marketing, but you can always learn a thing or two, that you can apply to your app.

2. Spotify Music (iOS)

spotify app revenue

Do you use Spotify? Not me, but I know plenty of people who absolutely love the service.

In addition, their business model is genius. It's kinda like the Kylie Jenner app, except it's not hated on by mothers of teenage girls.

At an estimated $7.71 million a month, it is a good sign that streaming music is alive and well. If you are curious, Pandora's app only makes about $1.02 million a month, on iOS.

Since Spotify has about 30M songs available (comparable to Apple Music), it's no wonder they are making more money. Last I checked, Pandora only has a little over 1 million.

1. Clash of Clans (iOS)

Now we get to the grandaddy of baller apps. Do you think it makes more than Game of War?

Drum roll please….

Clash of Clans monthly revenue top grossing apps

Yes! It does make more than Game of War, by a small margin.

If you make games, you must study apps like Clash of Clans and Boom Beach. How do they retain players? What countries are they popular in?

You can learn a ton by playing this game.

Conclusion

So…were your estimates pretty close, or were you way off?

To learn how these apps make so much money, do your market research with an App Intelligence platform like Apptopia. Also download the apps you are interested in and figure out why they are so successful.

You might be surprised at what you find.

If you have any questions be sure to join Bluecloud Select and you can get answers from me and the Bluecloud team, as well as many experienced app entrepreneurs.

 

Make it happen,

-Carter

 

How to Make An App
 

COMMENTS

  • Aarif habeeb December 9, 2015

    Hii ! Carter
    Such a amazing mobile apps list you have listed here that are rocking in apps industry. I think This Topic will definitely help mobile users and startups to think to build a new apps for their business. Thank you for sharing.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 9, 2015

    @AArif – Thanks! Hopefully we get some Bluecloud peeps up on a list like this soon 🙂

  • Debjit December 9, 2015

    Great list Carter. Lists like these are definitely a motivation for indie developers as well. However, we should also realise that there is a battery of developers, graphic designers, game producers, product managers and marketing ninjas behind each one of the apps above.

    Such income figures are not realistic for most indie developers as we do not have such resources at our disposal. That being said, figures like 15k to 20K per month are definitely achievable for small teams or indie devs.

    Thanks.

  • Brian Appell December 11, 2015

    Awesome info! I must say, I have often wondered what they are all making. This puts things well into perspective.

    I agree, would love to see a member of this community on that list some day. Would love for it to be me, but am always happy to see others enjoying their success.

    I have an amazing app that is launching tomorrow that I believe has the opportunity to be big. Maybe not this big, but certainly big for me. check out the details at http://www.politicalrun.us

  • Nathan Vander Heyden December 11, 2015

    Nice list Carter! I’m not too surprised about Game of War and Clash of Clans making it to the top of the list, but 8 Ball Pool is a surprise (I think it’s been especially popular in North America). I’ll make sure to have a look at what they do to monetize the app.

    Talking about that, it would have been great to see you analyze what the apps tested over time/did to achieve this level of success (you’re talking about “going back through app reviews”, for example). But I know this might take some time, too.

    I’ll make sure to share. Thanks!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 11, 2015

    @Nathan – totally. That’s kind of what we do with our App Audits in Bluecloud Select. One easy way to do this is to look through the Update history for any app. I do this ALL THE TIME. The best process is:

    1. Look at their historical ranks on AppAnnie or Apptopia
    2. See when things started to pick up significantly
    3. Go to the app and look at which update coincided with that big increase in downloads

  • Eugene December 13, 2015

    Great list. I know it might sound strange but isn’t that a bit low? I mean I’m pretty sure they actually make way more than that. Clash Of Clans as I recall made something like 800 million in 2014. That’s around 70 million per month.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 13, 2015

    @Eugene – those numbers are always fungible. Gross revenue vs profit etc. Some companies call $0.99 downloads as $0.99 in revenue, then do the 30% as a commission on their books to inflate #s. CofC is also often rolled into the SuperCell portfolio and that $800M could easily be skewed towards the last holiday. Also remember that many of those large apps are making LESS money this year than last.

    Another insane stat to think about is that Rovio (Angry Birds) made about $200M on their apps and about $2.2 BILLION on their merchandise and franchising rights. That could easily be what’s happening there.

    But, your point is a good one in that no one knows these exact numbers except those close to the companies. Even the publicly traded ones (King) are able to roll their line items on the year end reports.

  • Eugene December 14, 2015

    Good point Carter. I still find it incredible that games like Candy Crush or Puzzles and Dragons grossed over 1 billion dollars. It’s insane, it’s a freaking mobile game. I know that a lot of that went into advertising but still.. I need to get back to work 🙂

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 14, 2015

    @Eugene – haha yeah man, I hear that! Insanity.

  • AppLover February 23, 2016

    Agree here with @Debjit, saying that those scores are trurly impressively high, nevertheless showing a rather narrow range (but still – narrow but surely successful) of apps – massive most of those are games, incredibly playable, so the creators must have discovered some secret entertainment sauce here, but still, repeating same ol’ patterns of user experience.
    For it would be really intersting to here what would be top 10 of the most successful (money and download count-wise) internet of things develoments. Are you maybe planning posting sth like this on your blog?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 25, 2016

    @AppLover – you mean most profitable business models on the internet? Pretty sure you can find that on NASDAQ 🙂

  • Alexis May 4, 2016

    Carter,

    is there data that shows how much time people have spent playing these apps?

    Is there a correlation to time spent playing to amount of revenue generated?

    Also for health research purposes, it would be interesting to see each persons time spent playing games or surfing the web to their weight (obesity rates).

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas May 5, 2016

    @Alexis – these apps definitely have huge retention. That’s how they can get such big revenues. Interesting about the health question – I’d bet that you would find a correlation rather than a causation in that study.

  • William Smith August 2, 2016

    There will soon be a new leader on this board. United games have done something special and they are going to keep up with Pokemon, maybe even pass them! This will be a game to watch out for!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas August 2, 2016

    @William – yes we’ll do an updated version soon!

  • Ly Smith September 7, 2016

    It will be interesting to see how Pokemon Go surpasses these numbers here. And definitely be on the lookout in October with a new app release that lets you interact with your favorite sports team during live games. It’s going to be very exciting!!

  • Talha September 11, 2016

    Hello, I know about how to earn money from admob for my future first game app, but I’m curious about how the developers earned money from per downloads? Is there any way that I can use to monetization with my first game app like flappy bird, clash of clans, popular games etc use?

  • svanth September 18, 2016

    Sir,can we get money through free app without ads,by only downloads

  • Tomas September 28, 2016

    Hi Carter, would you be interested to write a guest post on our blogpost? We have over 150k monthly unique visitors on it.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas September 28, 2016

    @Tomas – Yep. Just sent you an email.

  • D.W. Palme November 26, 2016

    I’d be interested in knowing how much super fleets makes each month

  • El January 8, 2017

    When did u wrote this? Spotify had revenue over 2 billion last year and losses around 200 million.. What is the this 7 million a month u say?

  • Shahrukh February 25, 2017

    nice work

  • joe May 30, 2017

    What I got from this is that people using Apple products are throwing money around like there’s no tomorrow. So.. nothing new really!

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