As one of the two largest distribution channels for mobile apps, Google Play has significantly cut down the number of available apps since the beginning of the year.
According to data presented by Sports Lens, more than 1.1 million apps have been removed from the Google Play Store in the first half of 2022, the second-largest decrease since 2018.
A Sharp Fall After an All-Time High in 2021
Over the years, Google Play witnessed a surge in revenue and the number of downloads. The Statista and App Figures data showed that in 2020, Android users could choose between 3,1 million apps. By mid-2021, this number jumped to 3,8 million and continued rising. In December last year, nearly 4,7 million apps were available to Android users, the highest number to date.
However, to ensure the quality and trustworthiness of the apps within its app market, Google has released a series of policies to regulate app developers. As a result, thousands of low-quality and policy-violating apps have been removed by Google Play periodically.
One of such significant cutdowns has been made over the past six months. Statistics show Google removed more than a staggering 1.3 million apps from its app store in the first quarter of this year alone, with the total number of apps falling to 3.3 million.
However, the negative trend stopped in the second quarter when the number of apps increased to 3.5 million.
In comparison, the number of available apps in the App Store rose from over 2 million to nearly 2.2 million in the first half of the year.
Downloads and App Revenue Also Dropped
Besides delisting a massive number of apps from its app store, Google Play also witnessed a negative trend in the number of downloads and gross app revenue in the first half of the year.
Statista and Sensor Tower data showed that consumer spending on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps in the first half of 2022 amounted to $21.3bn, down by 7% compared to the same period a year ago. Also, the app store for Android users reported 55.3 billion downloads in the first six months, a 700 million drop year-over-year.
On the other hand, total App Store revenue in H1 2022 amounted to $43.7bn worldwide, a 5.5% increase compared to a year-ago period. Statistics also showed iPhone users made roughly 16 billion downloads in this period, or 400 million less than in the first half of 2021.