As 2014 enters its final countdown, it is time for the “Best Of” lists to begin to make their appearance. Never one to fall down on the job, Google Play has announced the most popular entertainment of the year, based on downloads from the Google Play app store. But never the sort to make a simple list when a snazzy graphic will do, Google released a nifty list of the various entertainment options that had captivated Android users this year.
There’s not much to shock in the list. Frozen was the most popular movie this year, everyone is watching The Walking Dead, and people can’t stop playing Candy Crush. The New York Times is the most popular source for news, and the Health and Fitness apps category is growing rapidly with Android entering the market of wearables, cars, and your TV. After Robin Williams died in August, searches for his name spiked rapidly, making him the most searched for actor on Google Play. Fifty Shades of Gray, for some crazy reason, is still popular with readers, while Hollywood movies spurred readers towards Divergent, Insurgent, Twelve Years a Slave, and The Fault In Our Stars, which won the title of most downloaded book of 2014. Said the company in a blog post:
It was a big year for entertainment, from games that fed your sweet tooth to apps that kept you fit. Icy movies warmed your hearts, and your go-to party song was literally a dark-horse favorite. You loved reading stories — real and imagined — of love, adventure, and, OK, sometimes lust.
According to Greenbot, part of Google’s motivation behind this “Best Of” list is continuing to boost revenue in its app store as it chases Apple’s market. According to the report cited by Derek Walter at Greenbot, around 10 percent of Google Play visitors paid for content in the past year. While Google did pay out around $5 billion between May, 2013 and June, 2014, that’s only half of what Apple paid out in the same timeframe. Greenbot suggests that many app developers focus on their iOS version first, since the fragmentation of Android over various brands of phones can cause app problems for some users, and additional challenges for developers.
Greenbot also cites that Google Play is not yet available in China, even though that’s the fastest growing market for Android phones. Google continues to work with Chinese officials to make the service available; it’s assumed by many that content restrictions are at the heart of the ongoing negotiations.
From games to music, what was your favorite Google Play download this year?
Image from Flickr