For in-app purchases on a per-user basis, Google Play is now the least lucrative mobile app market behind both the iTunes store and Amazon’s Appstore.
According to the latest report from mobile analytics company Flurry, for every dollar of in-app purchase revenue the average user generates on iOS, the same app will see $0.89 in the Amazon Appstore and just $0.23 in Google Play.
To come up with these figures, Flurry measured the average in-app purchase revenue by user in a series of apps popular on iOS, Android and Amazon app stores over a 45 day period. As the study excluded both up-front app purchases and advertising revenue, it’s unwise to take Flurry’s numbers as a perfect breakdown of revenue per platform.
Overall a top grossing iOS app can earn between $2 and $3 million a month on iOS and about $1 million a month on Android. It’s not yet known what a top grossing app on the Amazon Appstore makes, but the figure is likely lower because of the Appstore’s much smaller userbase.
It’s also important to note that overall, in-app purchases are less important on Android. Earlier this week, Distimo reported 80 percent of the top 200 grossing iPhone apps used in-app purchases, but only 56 percent of the top 200 grossing Android apps did.
However, Flurry’s study does help explain why Crowdstar — developer of the free-to-play game Top Girl — reported its average revenue per user in the Amazon Appstore was five times higher than in Google’s official Android market.
As we have said previously, the key issue with monetization on Android hinges around developing a userbase that is ready to pay. iOS and Amazon users not only have accounts set up with payment information, they’re used to purchasing things from Apple and Amazon. Android users, on the other hand don’t often have their payment information on file, something that google is trying to remedy through discounted app promotions.
The lack of progress Google Play is showing — in December, Flurry reported Android apps earned $0.24 cents for every dollar spent through in-app purchases on iOS — only demonstrates the scale of the problem Google is trying to tackle.
[Update: Please note that on April 15, Flurry updated this report to clarify it was comparing app revenue per active user, not overall revenue. Inside Mobile Apps has updated our story to reflect these changes.]