The App Stores Favored by Top Global Brands

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The world’s biggest and best-known brands have pumped out mobile apps almost as quickly as the latest start-up. Their reasons for doing so vary: improving reach, increasing engagement, offering incentives and many more. But not all apps are available at every app store, and the reason surely is more substantive than that the brands do not want to spend time and money developing for different app platforms.

Research firm Distimo has looked at the top three apps stores to see which get the most interest from the world’s top brands. It should be no big surprise that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) gets the most attention. Of the top 100 global brands, 92 have an app available at the Apple App Store. Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google Play store gets 75 of the top brands, and Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Appstore gets 28.

The most notable difference between the two leading apps stores is the presence of luxury brands. Apple’s App Store gets far more of the leading luxury brands like Cartier, Hermès, Porsche and Prada. None of these has an app available at Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.

Oddly, perhaps, only two top brands appear among the top five apps providers at all three stores. The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) both have apps available at all three stores. Disney, ranked 14th in the top 100 global brands, has 287 apps available at the App Store, 57 at Google Play and just 14 at Amazon’s Appstore. Sony, ranked 46th of the top brands, has 287 App Store apps, 216 Google Play apps and just 21 apps at the Appstore.

At the App Store and Google Play, the top two brand sectors measured by number of downloads are Technology and Media, in that order. At Amazon’s Appstore, the order of the top two was reversed, and Retail apps were the third most downloaded, which is probably no surprise.

The overwhelming preference of luxury brands for Apple’s App Store is likely due to the belief that Apple’s iPhone and iPad remain the gold standard among global devices and luxury brands want to be identified with other high-end brands.

Disney and Sony want to reach as wide an audience as possible, and the App Store and Google Play allow them to do that. Also, Amazon’s foray into streaming video and now original video is a dart aimed straight at the heart of Disney’s and Sony’s business. There is little to gain from helping a competitor.

Distimo noted that there were a few top global brands that did not have any apps available at all. Most were in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Alcohol sectors. Distimo noted that neither Gillette nor Corona has any app available. That seems out of whack somehow, but perhaps these brands are just now figuring out what sort of impact they can achieve with mobile apps and we will soon be seeing some new apps from these sectors.

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