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.

Popular Stories

ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
sequoia

macOS Sequoia and iPadOS 18 Drop Support for These Macs and iPads

Monday June 10, 2024 4:13 pm PDT by
macOS Sequoia is still compatible with several Intel-based Macs, but it does drop support for 2018 and 2019 models of the MacBook Air. macOS Sequoia is compatible with the following Macs, according to Apple: MacBook Pro: 2018 and later MacBook Air: 2020 and later Mac mini: 2018 and later iMac: 2019 and later iMac Pro: 2017 Mac Studio: 2022 and later Mac Pro: 2019 and later The...
maxresdefault

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2024 in Nine Minutes

Monday June 10, 2024 7:59 pm PDT by
Apple crammed an overwhelming number of new features into its WWDC 2024 keynote event, introducing Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, visionOS 2, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18. It was hard to keep up with everything that Apple highlighted, so we did a video of all of the new additions you won't want to miss. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've also...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...

Top Rated Comments

steve09090 Avatar
45 months 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
45 months 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
45 months ago
And I’m guilty of spending between £60-100+ monthly on iTunes purchases and app subscriptions.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikaru Avatar
45 months 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
45 months 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
45 months 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)