Global consumer spending on mobile apps grew nearly 20% year-on-year to $ 133 billion in 2021: report

Global consumer spending on in-app purchases, premium apps, and App Store and Google Play subscriptions is expected to reach around $ 133 billion, according to data from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence.

Adoption and spending for mobile games and non-gaming applications saw a significant increase in 2020. However, market trends started to normalize in 2021.

Global consumer spending on mobile apps is expected to grow 19.7% year-on-year from $ 111.1 billion in 2020, almost reflecting the 21% year-on-year growth in consumer spending recorded in 2019.

Globally, consumer spending on the App Store will reach $ 85.1 billion, up 17.7% year-over-year from $ 72.3 billion in 2021, according to the report. Spending on Google Play is expected to experience higher year-over-year growth, climbing 23.5% to $ 47.9 billion from $ 38.8 billion, although users spent less on the store.

The spending of the two platforms relative to each other remained the same as in 2020. The App Store recorded about 1.8 times the market revenue of Google.

TikTok, including Douyin on iOS in China, is expected to stay ahead as the highest revenue non-gaming app in the two app stores combined.

The ByteDance-owned short video platform surpassed $ 3 billion in lifetime revenue earlier this year. In the first 11 months of 2021, the app recorded $ 2 billion in revenue, up 67% year-over-year from $ 1.2 billion. By the end of the year, Sensor Tower predicts that the app will see expenses of $ 2.3 billion, bringing its total lifespan to $ 3.8 billion.

“Although TikTok is the most lucrative non-game app when looking at the two app stores together, it lags behind Google Play when this platform was studied on its own,” Sensor Tower said. .

Google One continued to generate the most revenue in 2021 on Android devices. By the end of 2021, the app will reach $ 1 billion in consumer spending, up 123% year-over-year from $ 448.5 million in 2020.

First downloads were relatively stable from 2020, increasing 0.5% year-on-year on the App Store and Google Play to 143.6 billion in 2021 from 142.9 billion in 2020, mainly driven by adoption apps on Google Play, which will see installs climb 2.6 percent year-on-year to 111.3 billion from 108.5 billion. Apple’s App Store will generate about 32.3 billion installs this year, down 6.1% from 34.4 billion.

TikTok was also the most downloaded app on the App Store for 2021, registering 745.9 million installs in both app stores, despite a 24% year-on-year decline from 980.7 million. ‘installations in 2020, “demonstrating the app’s global popularity even when it was phased out of its primary market in India,” the report says.

On Google Play, Facebook tops the charts with around 500.9 million installs in that market alone. In both markets, the app will experience approximately 624.9 million installs, down 12% year-on-year from 707.8 million.

Mobile games

Consumer spending on mobile games is also on the rise in 2021 and is expected to reach $ 89.6 billion on the App Store and Google Play, representing a 12.6% year-over-year growth from 79, $ 6 billion in 2020 and also 67.4% of all investments. app expenses this year.

“As the category continues to climb each year, its share of overall consumer spending has declined,” according to the report.

In 2019, mobile games accounted for 74.1% of all app spending. Its share has declined by more than 2 percentage points in 2020 to 71.7%, and in 2021, its share is expected to drop by around 6.7 percentage points from 2019.

“This indicates the continued growth of non-gaming categories such as entertainment, which have received a big boost from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the report.

However, mobile games still make up the majority of spending in each market, accounting for 61.5% of iOS revenue and 78% of Google Play revenue.

On the App Store, gamers are expected to spend $ 52.3 billion globally by year-end, up 9.9% year-on-year from $ 47.6 billion in 2020 .

Tencent’s Honor of Kings was the highest-grossing iOS game, grossing $ 2.9 billion on that platform, up 16% year-on-year from $ 2.5 billion. The stock recently crossed the $ 10 billion mark earlier in 2021.

Games on Google Play will record $ 37.3 billion in global consumer spending in 2021, up 16.6% year-over-year from $ 32 billion a year earlier. Moon Active’s Coin Master was once again the highest-grossing title on Google Play, which saw a 13% year-over-year revenue increase to nearly $ 912 million from the total of $ 809.8 million in 2020 in this market.

The first mobile game installations will reach 55.3 billion in 2021 on the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower. This is a decrease of 1.6% year-on-year from 56.2 billion in 2020.

“This slight decline is expected, however, following the unprecedented increase in adoption observed in 2020 due to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the report.

Almost 84% of all game downloads, or 46.7 billion, were made on Google Play, up 1.3% year-on-year. On Google’s platform, Garena Free Fire will see the highest number of downloads, reaching 218.8 million installs on this platform, down 14% year-on-year.

The App Store saw approximately 8.6 billion mobile game downloads in 2021, down 14.9% year-on-year.

Tencent will also take the top spot with PUBG Mobile, including the localized Chinese version of Game for Peace. The title is expected to reach around 47.5 million installs on the App Store by the end of 2021, down 18.5% from 58.3 million.

Casey J. Nelson