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Android closing in on a billion users, payouts to developers grow

by David Needle

May 15 2013

Developers made more at Google Play in the first 4 months of 2013 than all of last year, says Google's Hugo Barra.
Developers made more at Google Play in the first 4 months of 2013 than all of last year, says Google's Hugo Barra.

Google kicked off its Google I/O developer’s conference here by announcing some big numbers for Android and what the company pays out to developers.

San Francisco -- Two years ago at the conference Google announced it had reached 100 million Android devices, a year ago that number doubled to 200 million. 

“The momentum since then has been breathtaking,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior VP of Android, Chrome & Apps.

Pichai announced Android is now on 900 million devices. “There are seven billion people on the planet, so we still have a ways to go,” joked Pichai.

One criticism of Android apps though from a developer and publishers perspective is that relatively few apps make a lot of money. Apple, by contrast, recently crowed that it’s payed out a whopping $8 billion to developers as part of the revenue sharing agreement it has with publishers who use the App Store.

Google has never revealed how much money it pays developers, but Hugo Barra, Google’s VP of Product Management for Android, said the payouts have been growing.

“Over the last four months we’ve paid out more money to developers in Google Play than we did all of last year,” said Barra. “And the revenue per use is two-and-a-half times what it was a year ago globally.

In total, Barra said Google Play has passed the 48 billion mark in the number of downloads. 

That’s quite an accomplishment as Google Play is now hot on the heels of Apple’s older, more established App Store. Earlier this month Apple announced it will pass 50 billion downloads soon. (Update: Today, Apple announced it had in fact passed 50 billion downloads).

(Strategies for growing app revenue and discoverability will be among the key issues discussed at the Tablet Ecosystem conference in San Francisco, September 12, 2013). 

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