Google has confirmed that it has now paid out over $80 billion to Play Store developers since the launch of the digital marketplace in March 2012.

The news was announced over on Twitter by Google senior vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer, who tweeted a little while after the Alphabet Q4 2019 earnings call. While this is an impressive figure in isolation, for full-time software and app developers, Apple’s App Store still remains a far more lucrative proposition.

Apple confirmed during its WWDC 2018 keynote that it had reached the $100 billion milestone back in 2018 and has over 500 million weekly App Store visitors each week. Google has worked hard to incentivise developers and it would be interesting to see the breakdown of how developers have earned this substantial figure.

Beyond the outright figure, we don’t know the demographics or regions where developers earn the most money from the Play Store — with paid apps available from the digital store now available in over 139 nations.

It’s also worth noting that the actual sales figure will be slightly higher, as Google does take a 30% cut of all developer sales. We could actually be looking at a figure closer to $114 billion in sales for paid-for applications. Given that Android is the biggest smartphone platform, the sales figures are quite disappointing.

However, despite the disparity between the App Store and the Play Store, there clearly is money on the table for app and game developers on Google’s platform. If you’re a budding developer, this new information proves that making money is definitely possible on the Android platform.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: