Google’s parent company Alphabet recently revealed its Q4 2019 earnings and there’s plenty of talk around some of the numbers — including the $15 billion USD (approximately $19.9 billion CAD) earned by YouTube last year.
While Google’s disclosure of YouTube’s yearly earnings for the first time since acquiring the online video platform nearly 15 years ago is important, it’s not the only significant first for Google. The Mountain View, California-based company also confirmed how much it has paid app developers on the Play Store, presumably since the digital market (previously Android Market) launched in March 2012.
That number is $80 billion USD (about $106.2 billion CAD), which came from Google’s senior vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer in a tweet after the Alphabet earnings call. It seems like a lot of money, but stacked up against Apple’s App Store, it paints a bleaker picture.
Today, @sundarpichai shared that developers around the world (excl. China) have earned more than $80 billion to date on @GooglePlay. Our platform can’t succeed without the help of our developer ecosystem, so a huge thank you for all you do!
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) February 4, 2020
Apple recently revealed it has paid developers $155 billion USD (roughly $205.6 billion CAD) as of January 2020, nearly double what Google has paid.
Unfortunately, Google didn’t share other details, such as demographics or regions where developers earned the most.
Ultimately, the announcement confirms some long-held suspicions about Google’s and Apple’s respective digital markets. Even though the App Store serves fewer people overall, it’s still where developers can make more money. That’s not to say there’s nothing to be made on the Play Store — $80 billion is a lot. But for the biggest smartphone platform in the world, that number should be higher.