The top 1% of developers completely dominates the App Store

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REUTERS/Paul Hackett

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who uses iPhone and iPad apps that big companies dominate Apple’s App Store.

But new research from Sensor Tower shows just how skewed the market is to the big players.

According to Sensor Tower’s first-quarter estimates, the top 1% of publishers that produce paid apps (or apps with in-app purchases) collect 94% of revenue from the platform.

That works out to 623 top publishers collecting $1.34 billion of the $1.43 billion in revenue estimated to come from the App Store during the period.

Those publishers are household names: Supercell, which makes Clash of Clans, Machine Zone, which makes Game of War Fire Age, and streaming service providers like Spotify and Netflix.

Additionally, the top 1 percent of publishers garnered 70% of the downloads during the period. Sensor Tower estimates 1.38 billion app downloads took place during the first quarter.

Ultimately, the new research underscores a trend that smaller developers are increasingly grappling with: it’s pretty hard to be an indie developer on Apple’s platform.

Here are the charts:

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Sensor Tower

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Sensor Tower