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App Annie: App Store revenues grow 20% from Q3 to Q4

Study shows firms benefit from in-app advertising, targeted promotions
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While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) continue to duke it out over app downloads and total revenue, at least one developer managed to pull off the kind of growth over the recent holiday season that most others only dream of achieving.

App Annie - Top Publishers by Monthly Downloads

Click the image above to view more charts from the App Annie report.

Social game developer Storm8 rocketed into the top 10 list of iOS publishers by downloads in the most recent App Annie Index for January 2013. Previously at No. 14, the firm shot up five points to No. 9 after enjoying more than two million downloads on Christmas Day across all app stores, according to App Annie.

"Storm8 enjoyed success through creating Christmas-themed in-app purchase items as well as promoting holiday-oriented adaptations such as Bakery Story: Christmas," the report said.

The data on Storm8 is further proof of the importance of Christmas Day as a key driver of downloads and revenue. Last month Flurry, which also collects and publishes app data, said users downloaded nearly 330 million apps for iOS and Android during the holiday.

From a revenue perspective, Santa was good to the Apple App Store in particular, which grew 20 percent between the third and fourth quarter of 2012. According to App Annie, that's more than three and a half times that of rival Google Play store during the same period.

"This gain surpassed even the standout revenue increase from November to December last year," App Annie said. "As highly-desired holiday gifts in many countries, new iPhones and iPads (including the recently launched iPad Mini) typically lead to a jump in app downloads, and consequently, app revenue."

However Google Play also enjoyed major gains in December, nearly doubling app revenue, the report said. This is similar to recent findings in Distimo's recent end-of-year report, which showed a 43 percent increase in Google Play's aggregated daily revenues, though Distimo said Apple continues to command a sizeable lead.

App Annie suggested that the Asia-Pacific region, where sales of Android-based handsets have been strong, accounted for much of the strong performance within Google Play. Japan and South Korea, for example, contributed close to half of Google's app revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For more:
- read the full App Annie report

Related articles:
Apple disputes App Annie report on App Store growth 
Flurry: 1.76B apps downloaded during the holidays
Distimo: Google Play revenue climbs 43%, Apple App Store jumps 21%