Half of the $120m in revenue paid in the US to mobile app developers for downloads and in-app sales in the first 20 days of November went to just 25 developers, reported the Register, citing research from analyst firm Canalys.
While each claims a catalogue of over 700,000 apps, Apple's App Store and Google Play's app repository do not generate significant cash flow for the vast majority of their developers.
Most of the 25 top-paid companies in Canalys' study were game developers, including Disney, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Glu, Kabam, Rovio, Storm8, and Zynga, with only one - radio app maker Pandora - falling into a different category. Canalys reported that nearly half of the top 300 apps in the Apple App Store were games during the focus period, while nearly 40% of Google Play's top 300 were games.
Canalys believes that the top manufacturers' practice of offering multiple titles at any given time has helped their brands gain recognition in the sea of offerings. Rovio currently offers eight different incarnations of Angry Birds as well as its Bag Piggies spinoff and Electronic Arts publishes around 962 games for iOS under various brands.
"With the holiday season now underway, we expect to see many of these top game developers employing discounts and special offers, taking advantage of their ability to cross-promote within their app portfolios," says Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones.
"This is expected to ensure that over the Christmas period in the US, the dominance of key game developers will only increase."Canalys predicted that only those small developers who use discounts, brand tie-ins, social media promotion, and in-app advertising will have the chance to be recognised among the huge cluster of brands and titles. However, the market for paid apps is growing. Analyst company App Arnie reported in November that during the first 10 months of 2012 Google Play revenues more than tripled, while App Store sales were up 12.9%.