App Revenue Data (2022)

Mansoor Iqbal

Updated: September 22, 2022

The mobile app industry has been active for over a decade now, generating billions of dollars in revenue for Apple, Google and thousands of mobile app developers.

While originally not perceived as necessary by Apple or Google, which did not add app stores to the first versions of iOS and Android, it has become a key revenue stream for both of them.

Even with less than 15 percent market share, iOS has led the way in revenue generation for app developers. This is partly due to iPhone being more popular in regions with high income, such as Japan and the United States, which also tend to spend more on apps.

In comparison, Google Play’s largest markets are India, South-east Asia and South America, which typically generate less revenue per user. Apple also operates in China, while the Google Play store is banned in the country. Several third-party Android app stores are available in China, and are estimated to generate over $8 billion in yearly revenue.

Both platforms have matured in the past few years, adding new ways for developers to increase revenue generation. These include a multi-purpose advertising platform, in-app purchasing systems and subscription services, all of which is covered in this app market analysis.

Subscription revenues have increased rapidly over the past few years, as every app tries to entice users to purchase a monthly or annual subscription to get premium services. Almost every app category now has leaders which sell subscriptions, whether that’s in music, video, health, fitness, wellness, language learning, or even food delivery.

In the past two years, there has been a collective effort by developers to reduce the percentage of revenue Apple and Google take for in-app purchases, alongside providing alternative ways for users to pay for subscriptions. Apple and Google have compromised slightly, adjusting the percentage take from 30 to 15 percent, but developers and anti-competitive departments are calling for further revisions.

What will be the next big money maker for this app economy? Some expect the metaverse, or some form of it, to be where app developers spend a lot of their resources in the next decade, perhaps trying to replicate the success of Roblox and Minecraft in building an in-game economy.

We have collected data and statistics on app revenues. Read on below to find out more.

App Revenue Key Statistics

  • Android and iOS app revenue reached $133 billion revenue in 2021, a 19% year-on-year increase. iOS was responsible for 63% of total app revenue in 2021
  • Games accounted for 67% of total app revenue in 2021. Google Play contributed $37.3 billion, or about 41% of the total amount
  • Outside of games, iOS was responsible for 75% of the $43.4 billion generated in 2021
  • Subscription revenues increased to $15.5 billion in 2021, iOS was responsible for 78% of that revenue

App and game revenues

App and game revenues increased by 19.1% to $133 billion, with revenues peaking in Q4 2021 at $34.5 billion.

Quarterly app and game revenues 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual app and game revenues 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201643.5
201758.1
201871.3
201989
2020111
2021133

Source: App Data Report

iOS app and game revenue

App and game revenues for iOS increased by 17.7% in 2021 to $85.1 billion. iOS was responsible for 63% of total app revenue in 2021.

Quarterly iOS app and game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual iOS app and game revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201628.6
201738.5
201846.6
201958.4
202072.3
202185.1

Source: App Data Report

Google Play app and game revenue

App and game revenues for Google Play increased by 24% in 2021 to $47.9 billion.

Quarterly Google Play app and game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual Google Play app and game revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201615
201721.2
201824.8
201930.6
202038.6
202147.9

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

Gaming app revenues

Annual game revenues increased by 12.7% to $89.6 billion, the lowest percentage increase in six years. Revenues stagnated in 2021, but remained higher than 2020 in all four quarters.

Quarterly game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual game revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201637.7
201747
201853.9
201963.2
202079.5
202189.6

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

iOS gaming app revenue

Game revenues on iOS increased by 9% in 2021 to $52.3 billion. Even with this downturn in percentage growth, iOS was responsible for 58% of all mobile gaming revenues.

Quarterly iOS game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual iOS game revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201623.4
201729.6
201832.3
201938
202047.6
202152.3

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

Google Play gaming app revenue

Game revenues on Google Play increased by 16.9% in 2021 to $37.3 billion. While still lower than iOS, Google Play has been catching up over the past three years.

Quarterly Google Play game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual Google Play game revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
201614.3
201717.4
201821.6
201925.2
202031.9
202137.3

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

App revenues

While games have struggled to maintain the same growth as previous years, app revenues increased by 35% to $43.4 billion in 2021.

Quarterly app revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
20165.5
201712.7
201817.5
201925.8
202032.1
202143.4

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

iOS app revenue

App revenue on iOS increased by 32.7% in 2021 to $32.8 billion, and revenues increased for four straight quarters.

Quarterly iOS app revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual iOS app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
20164.8
20178.9
201814.3
201920.4
202024.7
202132.8

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

Google Play app revenue

Google Play has seen a massive improvement in revenue generation for apps in 2021, with revenues increasing by 58.2% to $10.6 billion.

Quarterly Google Play app revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)

Annual Google Play app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

YearRevenue ($bn)
20160.7
20173.8
20183.2
20195.4
20206.7
202110.6

Sources: Data.ai, Sensor Tower

App revenue by region

China, Japan and the United States are far ahead of all other countries in terms of app revenue generation, although Taiwan, South Korea and the UK generate over $2 billion each.

Annual app revenue by region 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

Subscription app revenue

Subscription revenue has continued to grow year-on-year, despite several setbacks from major apps, such as Netflix, Spotify and Epic Games, removing subscription services from both platforms/

Annual subscription app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

DateRevenue ($bn)
20151.5
20162.4
20173.8
20184.6
20199.7
202013
202115.5

Source: Sensor Tower

iOS subscription app revenue

Apple’s App Store generated the lion’s share of subscription revenue, $12.1 billion in 2021, or 78% of all subscription revenue.

Annual iOS subscription app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

DateRevenue ($bn)
20151.3
20161.9
20173.1
20183.6
20197.8
202010.3
202112.1

Source: Sensor Tower

Google Play subscription app revenue

Google Play generated far less subscription revenue than iOS, but the ecosystem has continued to grow each year.

Annual Google Play subscription app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)

DateRevenue ($bn)
20150.2
20160.5
20170.7
20181.1
20191.9
20202.7
20213.4

Source: Sensor Tower

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