Spending on app stores increased 25% to $112 billion in 2020

Anne Freer | December 11, 2020

App Business

2020 was a strong year for mobile and apps in light of COVID-19 lockdowns. Mobile adoption accelerated 2 to 3 years because of the shift in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic.

Now, App Annie has released an overview of the trends driving this year in mobile.

Global spending on iOS and Google Play Store apps rose 25% to $112 billion in 2020.

The main markets that led much of this growth were US, Japan and the UK for iOS and US, South Korea and Germany for Google Play.

The category attracting the most spending was games across both stores with every $0.71 of every dollar going to mobile games.

In the non-gaming categories, in-app subscriptions drove most growth. Social networking, video and photo led the non-gaming app categories.

Mobile app downloads came to almost 130 billion in 2020 and downloads rose 10% year-on-year overall. Google Play downloads outnumbered those on iOS by 160%.

Games represented 40% of downloads across both app stores. The biggest categories also include business, finance and utilities.

People spent 200% more time in business apps this year with Zoom emerging as a top used app.

App Annie expects to see further growth in the ‘at home’ mobile services market in 2021.

The top three apps for downloads this year were TikTok, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Tinder, TikTok and YouTube led for consumer spending.

“2020 has made clear that mobile apps and games are at the center of our lives even when we stay at home,” said Bertrand Salord, Global VP Marketing, App Annie. “To win on mobile, brands and publishers need more than ever to benchmark their own mobile performance to market data estimates.”

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