Lockdowns boost app usage and in-app spending during Q2 2020

Anne Freer | July 13, 2020

App Business

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on how people are using their mobile devices.

According to new new data from App Annie, mobile apps saw a 40% surge in the time users spent in-app monthly during the second quarter of 2020.

During April 2020, overall hours jumped to a record 200 billion hours as people were confined to their homes during countrywide lockdowns.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has caused seismic shifts in the way consumers and businesses interact. With the average user now spending 4 hours and 20 minutes per day on smartphones, it’s more important than ever for brands to have a strategy in place to help them win on mobile. While the timeline for a full “return to normal” is still unclear, app developers from all sectors will need to focus on how they can leverage and adapt mobile technology to create personalized and engaging customer experiences. One thing is clear: the present and the future are mobile,” App Annie wrote in a blog post.

Time spent in apps in India grew 35% during Q2 2020 compared to 30% in Italy, 25% in Indonesia and 15% in the US.

The rise in hours spent was predominantly driven by more users staying at home turning to apps to entertain themselves.

However, now that lockdowns are coming to an end, app developers are cautious to find strategies to maintain momentum.

The data also shows that iOS downloads grew twice the rate (20% to 10 billion) compared to Google Play (10% to 25 billion) during the quarter.

Non-gaming apps accounted for 55% of all Google Play downloads compared to 70% on iOS.

India and Brazil dominated app downloads on Google Play, while the US and China dominated on iOS.

In terms of categories, games, tools and entertainment were the largest drivers of download growth.

Specifically, business, health & fitness and education apps saw noticeable gains – 115%, 75% and 50%, respectively, on Google Play. Video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Meet saw noticeable growth.

Consumer spending on iOS jumped 15% to $17 billion and 25% to $10 billion on Google Play, marking record figures for mobile app usage. Non-gaming apps accounted for 35% of consumer spending on iOS and 15% on Google Play. This is because iOS offers subscription models.

The apps that stood out included Zoom Cloud Meeting which ranked in second spot for the most downloaded apps during Q2 2020, after TikTok.

In terms of consumer spend, TiKTok, Tinder and YouTube rounded out the top three while Facebook-owned apps (Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger) were the apps with the highest number of monthly active users.

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