App Store Spending Reached $72 Billion in 2020, Says Sensor Tower

Apple device users spent a record $72 billion on the App Store in 2020, a 30% increase on app spending the previous year, according to a new Sensor Tower report.

global app spending 2020

Globally, consumer spending on the ‌App Store‌ reached $72.3 billion, up 30.3 percent Y/Y from $55.5 billion in 2019. As in previous years, this exceeded the amount users spent on Google Play, which grew 30 percent Y/Y from $29.7 billion in 2019 to $38.6 billion. The ‌App Store‌ generated 87.3 percent more in consumer spending than the Play store, and both platforms experienced roughly the same Y/Y growth. The spending gap between the platforms remained relatively flat compared to 2019.

Apart from games, most user spending in the ‌App Store‌ focused on the Entertainment category, which grew 29.3% year on year to $5.3 billion. TikTok was the non-game app that generated the most revenue globally in the ‌App Store‌ in 2020, growing more than 600% year on year to $1.2 billion.

First-time installs also set a new record in 2020, with the ‌App Store‌ and Google Play collectively reaching nearly 143 billion, up 23.7% from approximately 115.5 billion in 2019. This figure is about 14% higher than the year-on-year growth experienced by both stores in the previous year.

The gaming category also reached new heights, generating $79.5 billion last year across both app stores globally. The report notes that this is up 26% from slightly more than $63 billion in 2019, and represents 71.7% of all in-app spending for the year.

According to Sensor Tower data, around $47.6 billion was spent on iOS games in 2020, up 25% in 2019. Games accounted for 66% of all ‌App Store‌ revenue, and the highest grossing game on iOS was Tencent's Honor of Kings.

The report notes that the mobile market experienced "unprecedented growth" in 2020 as the global health crisis dramatically shifted consumer needs and behavior, and could even indicate a permanent change in consumer habits.

Top Rated Comments

steve09090 Avatar
15 weeks ago

Monopolies lead to record sales. Who knew?
Not sure that Apple having an App Store is bad for consumers. Choices...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
15 weeks ago
“We’ve reached peak app”

Walt Mossberg, 2016 ('https://www.google.it/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2016/7/20/12231176/walt-mossberg-delete-your-unnecessary-apps')
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shanghaichica Avatar
15 weeks ago
And I’m guilty of spending between £60-100+ monthly on iTunes purchases and app subscriptions.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikaru Avatar
15 weeks ago

And I’m guilty of spending between £60-100+ monthly on iTunes purchases and app subscriptions.
I haven't spend a dollar on the App Store/iTunes in 10 years of usage. Plenty of free apps for everything I need and I also do listen to music on youtube/dailymotion and similar video services for free.

If you take the average wage in the UK, you are working one full day of each month for Apple and various other companies for paying subscriptions for electronic services, many of which have free alternatives (although less convenient ones). We are talking about two weeks of work (two weeks of your life) per year. Maybe not your case because you are earning a lot more, but still, your spending is what I see many people around me spend also and have always wonders if they make any calculation of annual basis to find what all these small subscriptions actually cost.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
15 weeks ago
I have not purchased an app in years. What are you all spending your money on lol
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
15 weeks ago

I have not purchased an app in years. What are you all spending your money on lol
I think most of the spending these days are in-app subscriptions and game in-app content, not apps themselves which are mostly free.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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