Subscription-based apps boost App Store revenue

Anne Freier

In App Business. February 14, 2019

Apple is finally noticing the impact of its subscription-based apps on App Store revenue, according to data soon to be published by Sensor Tower and shared early by TechCrunch.

Indeed, revenues from in-app spending grew 36% from $58 in 2017 to $79 in 2018 per US iPhone.

Whilst mobile gaming was still responsible for some of the largest growth, subscription-based apps tended to dominate other app categories.

On average, iPhone users spent $21 or more for in-app purchases and paid downloads in 2018, representing an increase of 36% over 2017 (23%).

Sensor Tower noted that this was still slightly lower than a 42% rise in average device spending between 2015 to 2016.

Mobile gaming accounted for 56% (or $44 out of the total $79) of consumer spending on average in 2018.

However, apps in other categories are beginning to play an important role in helping Apple increase consumer spend.

Categories including entertainment managed to grow their per device in-app spending by 82% to $8, whilst lifestyle apps increased by 86% to $3.90.

Meanwhile, health and fitness apps grew 75% to $2.70, compared to Music and Social Networking apps which grew just 22%.

For Apple, the news couldn’t come at a better time as the company recently reported a 15% drop in revenues from iPhone. By shifting focus to its subscription services including iCloud and Apple Music, the company could be able to make up for some lost ground.

In line with this, it was reported that Apple recently signed with publishers to work on a news subscription service at a 50% split.

Similarly, the company has plans to launch a TV subscription service with Viacom Inc, CBS and Lions Gate Entertainment among others by April 2019.