Over 900 App Publishers Earned Their First $1 Million in 2021

According to the latest Store Intelligence data from Sensor Tower, the number of app publishers seeing their first $1 million or more in annual net income this year has nearly doubled since 2016.

Worldwide million dollar publishers 2021

The app analytics firm notes that over 900 publishers are projected to surpass this significant milestone across the App Store and Google Play in 2021, up close to 91% over 2016’s total of 475. 

The App Store saw 636 publishers reach or exceed $1 million in annual net revenue for the first time in 2020, a figure that declined by nearly 9% in 2021. Google Play had 367 publishers cross that milestone last year, placing this year’s total 11% below that figure.

Category breakdown app store million dollar publishers 2021

While more publishers have historically earned their first $1 million or more in net revenue on the App Store each year, the gap between Apple’s marketplace and Google Play is also shrinking.

This trend reflects the increased velocity in overall consumer spending on Google’s platform; in 2021, consumers are projected to spend $47.9 billion on Google Play, up 23.5 percent Y/Y. That is nearly 6 percentage points higher than the 17.7 growth Apple’s store is expected to see this year as iOS consumer spending reaches an estimated $85.1 billion.

Once again, mobile game publishers represent the largest percentage of first-time million-dollar earners this year, followed by social networking and entertainment app categories.