App market in great shape: this is why 2021 is the year of records

$ 18.3 billion: this is the impressive figure earned in 2021 by top 100 apps that require subscriptions on the App Store and Play Store. And if the data in itself can also mean relatively little, just know that compared to the previous year revenue increased by 41 percentage points. As always, SensorTower offers us the opportunity to analyze in detail various aspects of the thriving mobile application market, and the incipit of the latest report is unequivocal:

Worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps hit new records once again in 2021. […] Mobile users have never spent so much on subscription apps.

The analysis focuses on non-games apps: from $ 9.7 billion in 2019 to $ 13 billion in 2020, up to last year’s 18.3 billion. This value represents the 14% of the $ 131.6 billion spent in 2021 for total in-app purchases, also including app games. As a comparison, it should be taken into account that the previous year the expenditure for subscriptions in non-games apps represented 11.7% of the total.

The graph above basically tells us three things:

  • Consumer spending in the top 100 subscription-based apps increased in 2021 by 41%
  • the highest spend per subscription app is on App Store ($ 4.8 billion Play Store, $ 13.5 billion App Store)
  • Play Store is the market on which the highest growth: + 78% compared to + 31% of the App Store

YouTube generated $ 1.2 billion revenue worldwide, and ranks first in the overall rankings and on the App Store. On the Play Store, Google One occupies the top step of the podium, followed by the Japanese Piccoma (webtoon subscription service) and Disney +. On the App Store behind YouTube there are Tinder and Tencent Video, the dating app is also second overall in front of Piccoma.

All the big platforms are destined to embrace this form of paid subscription business: the opportunity is greedy, as the numbers tell us, and TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and others know it very well.