Consumer spending in-app continues to climb while installs fall flat

Anne Freer | December 10, 2021

App Business

Global consumer spending in non-game apps grew 19.7 percent to $133 billion in 2021.

Consumer spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions is predicted to reach $133 billion this year, a near 20% increase over 2020s $111.1 billion.

App Store spending worldwide reached $85.1 billion, up around 18% from 2020 while users were spending 23.5% more in Google Play to $47.9 billion.

TikTok saw revenues skyrocket to over $3 billion in lifetime revenues, jumping 67% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Sensor Tower forecasts that spending will climb to a total $3.8 billion by the end of this year.

However, TikTok wasn’t the highest grossing app on Google Play. Instead, Google One took the top spot here reaching $1 billion in consumer spending, up 123%.

2021's top non-game apps by revenue.

First-time installs were flat compared to 2020, growing just 0.5% across both app stores.

TikTok was also the most downloaded app overall and on the App Store, with over 745 million installs. However Facebook and Instagram are still leading the Google Play charts for downloads.

The report finds that mobile game spending has grown to reach $89.6 billion across both app stores, representing a near 13% rise over 2020.

Worldwide app downloads grew 0.5 percent year-over-year to 143.6 billion in 2021.

Share of overall consumer spending, however, has declined somewhat compared to previous years highlighting the continued rise of non-gaming apps such as entertainment apps.

PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings were among the top grossing games worldwide in 2021.

First time installs of games reached 55.3 billion in 2021 across both app stores, dropping 1.6% from 56.2 billion in 2020.

The majority of game installs were happening on Google Play (84%).

Following phenomenal app growth in 2020, it seems 2021 has levelled a little.

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