Top Grossing Apps (2022)

David Curry

Updated: May 4, 2022

As detailed in our app revenues market post, Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store both earn a majority of revenue from games, accounting for 71 percent across both platforms.

It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the majority of top grossing apps are games, especially as certain apps have found ways to avoid users paying for subscriptions on the platform.

For example, Netflix and Spotify have both removed the ability to subscribe in-app on iOS and Android. We estimate that Apple and Google missed out on $1.8 billion in 2020 from Netflix removing the ability to subscribe in-app.

In-app purchases are more of a difficult workaround, as users often make impulsive purchases. That means almost all games use Apple and Google’s payment solutions for in-app purchases.

In terms of countries, China, Japan and the US are the three largest spenders worldwide, in that order. Japan has the highest spending per capita, while China, due to the amount of mobile users, can often elevate a game to top grossing completely on its own.

An example of this would be Honor of Kings, which has consistently held a top three position in grossing for five years. The game is only available in China, and is a semi-port of the popular PC game League of Legends.

We have collected data and statistics on the top grossing apps of 2021. Read on below to find out more.

Top Grossing Apps Key Statistics

  • PUBG Mobile was the top grossing game of 2021, generating $2 billion revenue
  • TikTok was the top grossing app of 2021, generating $1.7 billion revenue
  • Genshin Impact saw the most growth in 2021, with a 220% increase in revenue to $1.3 billion

Top Grossing Apps by Country

China, Japan and the US are the three key markets for top grossing apps, accounting for approximately 80% of all revenue generated on the app store. These three countries have a much higher spend per user than the rest of the world.

Top Grossing Apps 2021 (Global)

PUBG Mobile was the top grossing app of 2021, for the third time running. The vast majority of PUBG revenue comes from China. TikTok is far ahead of other social platforms for in-app purchases, possibly accounting for over 50% of its total revenue.

App Revenue
PUBG Mobile $2.01 billion
TikTok $1.71 billion
Honor of Kings $1.64 billion
Genshin Impact $1.33 billion
Roblox $1.00 billion
Coin Master $936 million
Pokemon Go $904 million
YouTube $891 million
Candy Crush $856 million
Garena Free Fire $836 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Apps 2021 (United States)

In the US, Roblox is the top grossing app with $588 million revenue. Apps make up more of the top 10 mix, in comparison to global, with Disney+, YouTube, HBO Max, Google One and Tinder all making the top ten.

App Revenue
Roblox $588 million
Candy Crush Saga $556 million
Coin Master $433 million
Disney+ $428 million
YouTube $412 million
HBO Max $398 million
Garena Free Fire $388 million
Google One $383 million
Pokemon Go $320 million
Tinder $306 million

Sources: AppMagic, Sensor Tower

Top Grossing Apps 2021 (United Kingdom)

Roblox is the top grossing app in the U.K. as well, with £42 million revenue in 2021. Games like Homescapes and Clash of Clans remain popular in the country, while they have dropped off in North America.

App Revenue 
Roblox £42 million
Disney+ £34 million
Coin Master £33 million
Tinder £30 million
Candy Crush Saga £26 million
YouTube £19 million
Homescapes £16 million
State of Survival £16 million
Pokemon Go £16 million
Clash of Clans £15 million

Sources: AppMagic, Sensor Tower

Top Grossing Apps 2021 (India)

Even though India has some of the highest downloads, it has yet to see similar growth in revenue. PUBG Mobile’s ban in the country (due to Tencent publication) has led to Garena Free Fire taking over the top grossing spot.

App Revenue
Garena Free Fire $17.7 million
Chamet $8.5 million
Hotstar $6.9 million
Google One $6.8 million
Call of Duty: Mobile $6.5 million
Tango Livestream $5.9 million
Battlegrounds Mobile $5.9 million
Coin Master $5.2 million
Tinder $5.1 million
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense $4 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Apps by Category

In this section, we look at the top ten most grossing apps in specific categories.

Top Grossing Apps (Games excluded) 2021

TikTok is far ahead of all other apps in total revenue generation, primarily from its Chinese app Douyin. Video streaming platforms take up the majority of the list.

App Revenue
TikTok $1.71 billion
YouTube $891 million
Tinder $769 million
Disney+ $767 million
Tencent Video $666 million
Google One $626 million
Kakao Piccoma $613 million
iQiyi $518 million
HBO Max $410 million
Line $395 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Games 2021

Almost all revenue generation comes from two countries: China and Japan. A lot of these games are marketed specifically to Eastern audiences, like Honor of Kings, Garena Free Fire and Uma Musume Pretty Derby, although some have crossover appeal like Genshin Impact.

App Revenue
PUBG Mobile $2.01 billion
Honor of Kings $1.64 billion
Genshin Impact $1.33 billion
Roblox $1.00 billion
Coin Master $939 million
Pokemon Go $904 million
Candy Crush Saga $856 million
Garena Free Fire $836 million
Uma Musume Pretty Derby $813 million
Rise of Kingdom: Lost Crusade $687 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Entertainment Apps 2021

Netflix would be much higher on this list, but tries with all of its might to get users to sign-up on the web, avoiding Apple and Google’s fees. Disney+ and HBO Max do not do this, which is why in-app revenue is higher.

App Revenue
TikTok $1.71 billion
YouTube $891 million
Disney+ $767 million
Tencent Video $666 million
iQiyi $518 million
HBO Max $410 million
Twitch $366 million
Bigo Live $313 million
Youku TV $276 million
Netflix $259 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Music Apps 2021

Spotify and Apple Music are missing from this list, because Apple doesn’t reveal its revenue and Spotify pushes users to pay on the web. QQ Music being top grossing is perhaps surprising, but shows how Chinese users are more willing to pay for music than five years ago.

App Revenue
QQ Music $286 million
Pandora Music $270 million
YouTube Music $208 million
Line Music $154 million
Netease Music $145 million
Amazon Music $127 million
Kugou Music $96 million
SoundCloud $57 million
Smule Karaoke $52 million
Simply Piano $51 million

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Social Apps 2021

Outside of TikTok, dating apps appear to be the best social platforms for revenue generation, as many offer premium features to their customers. Kwai, a TikTok competitor that is branching out from China, is anticipated to be the next big social platform, at least in South-east Asia.

App Revenue
Tiktok $1.71 billion
Tinder $769 million
Line $310 million
Bumble $224 million
Kwai $172 million
QQ $144 million
Facebook $135 million
Azar Video Chat $115 million
Hinge $111 million
Pairs $101 million

Source: AppMagic

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