King and Supercell dominating UK app market (Oct 2014 Analysis)

The United Kingdom (UK) has a population of over 60 million people, which ranks 5th in Europe behind Russia, Germany, Turkey and France (in that order). As a primary English-speaking market, along with the US, the UK plays an important role in the global app market for developers who are looking to expand their user base globally. 

We conducted an analysis of the UK Google Play Top Grossing, Top Free and Top New Free charts for the month of October.

UK app market nearly identical to US

The US was the #1 Top Grossing country on Google Play until Japan took over the top spot earlier this year, but it is still considered the #2 market in the world. Most apps available in either the US or UK will be available in the other as well, as both markets share the English language. We did a comparison of popular categories on the Top Grossing charts among six preeminent Google Play markets (UK / US / Japan / Korea / Taiwan / Hong Kong) and we can see some evident regional trends.

In the US, the Casino category is the most popular category on the Google Play Top Grossing charts. When compared across all six countries, it is clear that Casino games are not nearly as popular in the other five countries. However, when comparing the UK with the US, with the exception of Casino ranking #1 on the US chart, the top 6 Top Grossing categories for the UK (Strategy, Casual, Puzzle, RPG, Action, Simulation) are identical with the US, in the identical order of popularity. From this data we can conclude that the app categories that sell well in the UK and US are extremely similar.

When comparing with Asian markets however, we do not see the same similarities.

・RPG category was the #1 Top Grossing category in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong in October, but only #4 in the UK
・Of these four Asian markets, Korea demonstrates the most similarity with the UK market as both countries share their top 7 categories (in varied order)



King and Supercell dominating the UK

Looking at the current (as of 11/18) Google Play charts, 7 of the top 10 Grossing apps in the UK are King (5 titles) or Supercell (2 titles) games. The situation is almost identical in the US, where 6 of the top 10 Grossing apps are King or Supercell. Looking to the East, an analysis of top Asian markets reveal that this success has not yet repeated itself to a similar degree in Asia. Supercell's "Clash of Clans" is currently the #1 Grossing app in Korea, the only title by King or Supercell to be currently ranked in the Top Grossing Top 10 in either Korea, Japan, Taiwan or Hong Kong.


Asian developers doing well in the UK

Looking at the UK Google Play store, there are a few Asian developers that have emerged in the upper ranks of the Top Grossing chart.

「Castle Clash」(IGG)

Released July 2013 on UK Google Play, it is still a consistent presence in the Top Grossing Top 20 more than a year after its release. 

「Summoners War」(Com2uS)

Released this June on UK Google Play, it ranked as high as #13 in October.

「Knights & Dragons」(GREE)

Release in June 2013 on UK Google Play, this is currently (as of 11/18) the highest ranking app by a Japan-based developer. 


Strategy is top selling category in UK

As mentioned earlier, the top grossing category in the UK is Strategy, with a 19.8% share.

On the Google Play Japan Top Free chart, the Communication category was the most popular, with a category share (the rate at which apps of a given category appears on a specific chart over a given period of time) of 8.3% in October. By comparing the Top Free results with the Top Grossing charts, we see a couple of trends.

For the RPG category, which ranks highly on Top Grossing (4rd) with a low rank on the Top Free charts (22nd), it is evident that there are a smaller number of total users but they are demonstrating a much higher-than-average ARPU.

On the other hand, for the Casual category, which ranks highly on Top Free (5th) but did not have any apps enter the Top Grossing Top 100 in October, we can infer that while there are a larger number of total users, they are demonstrating a much lower-than-average ARPU.

The #2 Top Grossing Casual category was the #1 Top New Free category, with a category share of 17.0%.

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