Android Lollipop (Forest teaser 001)

Google’s Play store has paid about seven billion dollars in revenue to Android app makers over the past 12 months, the company said Thursday. By comparison, Apple paid out ten billion dollars in 2014 App Store revenue to iPhone and iPad devs.

With more than 100 billion searches every month on Google.com, the company has now kicked off a pilot program designed to inject sponsored search results into the Play store apps.

“Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed,” said the firm.

Here’s what app ads on Play search listings will look like.

Google Play store paid search ads

An example given involves a user searching for travel apps.

The Play store would put clearly labeled paid ads at the top, marked with a small “Ad” marker. The move should help Android developers better promote their apps in Play store and generate more revenue for the company.

Advertisers will be permitted to bid for specific queries like “coupon apps” or “travel apps,” just like with normal Google.com search results.

“In the coming weeks, a limited set of users will begin to see ads from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running Google search ads for their apps,” said the firm.

Apple back in January shared record-breaking numbers, saying billings on the App Store rose 50 percent in 2014. All told, the iPhone and iPad apps and games generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers last year.

New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day ever in App Store sales history. App Store developers have earned a cumulative $25 billion from the sale of apps and games, the iPhone maker said.

That’s after Apple took its customary 30 percent cut.

There have been over one billion iOS devices sold since the original iPhone was released roughly seven years ago, CEO Tim Cook said while discussing quarterly earnings last month.

Source: Google