Consumers spent 30% more in-app last year

Anne Freer | January 7, 2021

App Business

Consumers spent a record-setting $111 billion worldwide on in-app purchases and subscriptions in 2020, marking a 30% growth over the previous year.

New data from Sensor Tower highlights that COVID-19 had a decisive influence on consumer app spending.

The App Store generated $72.3 billion, up 30.3% from 2019. Google Play came in at $38.6 billion, up 30%.

That means the App Store saw spending that was 87.3% higher than the Play Store.

The Entertainment category saw the highest spending outside of mobile gaming.

On the App Store, the category grew 29.3% to $5.3 billion and Google Play it climbed a whopping 71.4% to $1.2 billion.

TikTok generated the highest revenues. It grew more than 600% to $1.2 billion. On Android, Google One rose 41.9% to $444 million.

First time installs jumped 14 percentage points on both stores during 2020.

On the App Store, the Photo & Video category had the highest non-game app installs, up 8.7% to 2.5 billion. On Google Play, Tools apps saw the most installs after games, reaching 7 billion.

Mobile games generated more than $79.5 billion in revenues in 2020 on both stores, up 26% from 2019 ($63 billion). It also means that games represent 71.7% of all in-app spending.

Among the top games were Honor of Kings by Tencent and Coin Master by Moon Active.

First time installs of mobile games rose to 56.2 billion in 2020 on both marketplaces. That’s a 33% spike over 2019. Games were downloaded 10.1 billion times on the App Store in 2020, up 9.8%.

The findings highlight that 2020 was an exceptionally good year for many apps and app developers.

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