How to keep Consumer App Spending on Trend Up in 2021

How to keep Consumer App Spending on Trend Up in 2021

2020 was a banner 12 months for client app spending. It was one of many largest cell app developments of 2020. Many elements influenced this spike in-app revenues, however many consultants thought it will drop this 12 months because the pandemic started to wane. Alas, we now know that’s not the case.

The info factors to spend persevering with to pattern upwards, which is nice information for app firms. However what’s the explanation for this? And can it calm down?

The First Half of 2021 Generated $64.9 Invoice in Income

Based on Sensor Tower, international client spending in cell apps was $64.9 billion for the primary half of 2021. This contains the Apple App Retailer and Google Play. The income consists of in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps. That represents a 24.8 % enhance over 2020. These are some massive numbers.

Apple App Retailer vs. Google Play

Apple continues to be dominating although Google Play has a larger market share. Apple accounted for $41.5 billion to Google’s $23.4 billion. Nonetheless, Google did expertise extra progress year-over-year at 30%.


  • Opening economies don’t translate to folks spending much less time or cash on apps. They’ve possible change into habits now. Customers aren’t reverting to earlier spending patterns.
  • Apple customers are greater spenders, which is why many apps allocate extra of their consumer acquisition (UA) price range right here.
  • Google’s progress represents extra spending in areas the place COVID-19 is conserving quarantines in place, such because the Philippines.

TikTok Tops the Income Charts

For each Apple and Google, TikTok earned probably the most income for non-gaming. This contains its equal Douyin on iOS in China. The projected spend within the app for January – June 2021 was $920 million, a 74% enhance from 2020.


  • TikTokers spend on digital cash to buy digital items for different customers to point out appreciation for his or her content material. It’s not a subscription, neither is it precise merchandise. That’s an fascinating dynamic for in-app income.
  • TikTok at the moment ranks because the quantity seven hottest social media profile with roughly 732 million customers. Its gaining customers whereas many platforms are utilizing them.
  • All generations get pleasure from TikTok. It’s not simply Gen Z or millennials. Whereas its heaviest demographic is beneath 19, it’s rising in different segments, together with these over 40.

Different Leaders within the Non-Gaming Sector

Following TikTok had been YouTube, Tinder, Piccoma, and Disney+. That’s all kinds of classes. YouTube has streaming, as does Disney+. Tinder’s a courting app, producing income from largely a la carte purchases of SuperLikes and specialty buying and selling playing cards, whereas Piccoma is a Japanese comedian reader, getting cash from subscriptions.

These are wildly totally different enterprise fashions making financial institution from app spending. They every have a recipe that appeals to their goal market.

App Installs Barely Up for Google however Down for Apple

Although spending is rising, it’s not the results of extra app downloads. Google solely had a 1.7% enhance from the primary half of 2020. Apple was down 10.9%.


  • Apps don’t essentially want extra customers to generate extra income.
  • Longer retention of customers on apps usually results in them spending extra.
  • Google’s slight enhance could also be resulting from Android prevalence in areas of the world the place the pandemic continues to be raging, reminiscent of India.

Cellular Sport Spending Nonetheless Climbing

Cellular sport spending was up significantly within the first half of 2021, reaching $44.7 billion. It is a 17.9 enhance from 2020. Apple wins once more on numbers alone at $26 billion versus Google’s 18.7 billion. Nonetheless, Google’s YOY progress was 24.7%, whereas Apple’s was solely 13.5%.


  • Cellular sport spending is rising, not on the identical tempo as 2019 to 2020, nevertheless it’s not declining. This could possibly be an indication of the expansion leveling out or normalizing.
  • Google’s greater progress is once more possible resulting from Android utilization in areas the place persons are nonetheless quarantining.

China’s Tencent Continues to the Be the Highest Grosser

Tencent’s Honor of Kings took the general title of the largest earner. At quantity two was one other of the corporate’s video games, PUBG Cellular. Google Play’s prime grosser was Coin Grasp.


  • Tencent is the king of cell video games proper now, however a current condemnation by China State Media calling Honor of Kings is “religious opium.” That despatched their inventory tumbling. Tencent’s response was to state they’ll institute stricter limitations on playtime for minors. We’ll need to see if it impacts in-app revenues.

Downloads for Video games Aren’t Eclipsing 2020 Numbers Both

Apple had probably the most dramatic lower at 22.8%. Google did see an uptick, however solely at 3.9%.


  • It will be arduous to maintain up with the document tempo of downloads from 2020.
  • Fewer downloads don’t equate to much less spending.
  • Once more, Google’s edge right here is probably going due to its market share in areas nonetheless dealing with quarantine and lockdowns.

A number of Classes See Vital Development

E book app income exceeded $1 billion for the primary time. It’s up 58% over final 12 months. Different classes with substantial will increase embody:

  • Sports activities (65%)
  • Finance (62%)
  • Enterprise (59%)
  • Leisure (49%)

Although leisure has the bottom progress, it nonetheless gained on spend, reaching $4.4 billion.


  • Customers are studying extra, which is probably going a seamless pattern from the pandemic.
  • Finance app spend will increase align with earlier information confirming larger adoption of Fintech apps.

Subscription App Income Hits $8.3 Billion

Subscription fashions are extremely profitable and cross all classes of apps. The primary half of 2021 generated $8.3 billion, which is a 43% enhance from 2020. Round 85% of non-game apps have a subscription providing.


  • Customers proceed to undertake subscription fashions, offering recurring income for apps.
  • Any apps that don’t have a subscription choice ought to extremely contemplate implementing one.

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