China's mobile short-video app Kwai (Kuaishou) and TikTok (Douyin) ranked the second and third grossing photo & video category apps worldwide, estimated by market intelligence company SensorTower.
The revenue estimates, representing gross user spending, are from the App Store and Google Play worldwide between April 1, 2018 to Jun 30, 2019, excluding spending from third-party Android stores.
YouTube became the top grossing Photo & Video app, with global gross user spending close to USD 138 million.
Chinese short-video platform Kwai ranked the second, gaining gross revenue of USD 78 million, 99 percent of which came from China.
TikTok follows to be the third in gross revenue but retained the most downloaded app after the Facebook series apps. Before Q2 2019, TikTok has been the top downloaded app for five consecutive quarters for Apple App Store.
TikTok and Kwai are different from YouTube in that they provide user-generated short videos only. Besides, instead of depending on users' word-by-word searching with clear targets or channel-by-channel browsing with vague interests, these two platforms directly feed below-60-second short videos to users. Therefore they are highly reliant on AI algorithms to build the high-frequency content recommendation system.
Advertising is the major revenue generator for TikTok, while Kwai depends more on virtual gifts 'tax' from live streamers. Both of the UGC video providers are exploring E-commerce businesses as well.
Pure SVOD (subscription video on demand) apps were not included in this ranking. Typical SVOD apps include Tencent Video who earned about USD 135 million gross revenue as of Q2 2019 and IQIYI followed.
Besides, video subscription Netflix got kicked off the ranking lists due to its decision last year. The VOD giant no longer allowed new users to subscribe to its services through in-app purchase. New users or users who missed billings are required to register and subscribe through Netflix website. Noticeably, Netflix used to generate the most in-app revenue as a video provider. The streaming giant alone earned USD 139 million in Q4 2018.