Consumers spent $32 billion on in-app purchases in Q1 2021: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 02, 2021

Global consumer spending on in-app purchases across iOS and Google Play amounted to $32 billion in Q1 2021, according to a report by App Annie.

Between January-March 2021, app spending grew 40 per cent as compared to the same quarter for 2020.

“The numbers illustrate the remarkable impact that the pandemic has had on the app market,” the report said.

Smartphone users spent around $9 billion more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than they did in Q1 2020, as per the report.

Two primary mobile platforms, iOS and Android, shared the growth equally in Q1 2021. Consumer spend on iOS grew 40 per cent year over year to $21 billion and around $11 billion on Google Play.

Total downloads also grew significantly.

“Downloads on both iOS and Google Play combined rose by around 10 per cent to 31 billion in the quarter,” the report said.

Most popular categories

As for the most popular app categories, Social, Tools, and Finance witnessed the highest growth quarter over quarter on Google Play. Weather (40 per cent) and Dating (35 per cent) also performed well.

On iOS, the biggest gains were recorded by Games, Finance and Social Networking, as per the report.

“However, the most eye-catching move was Health and Fitness. Downloads of these apps rose 25 per cent quarter over quarter,” it added.

TikTok, YouTube and Facebook were the top apps by downloads, consumer spending, and MAU (Monthly Active Users).

Telegram also made it the list of top apps by downloads, followed by WhatsApp Messenger.

The report further added, “It’s telling that Signal, a privacy-focused messaging app, was the quarter’s fastest-growing app by downloads and MAUs – and that the similar Telegram was at number 3 and 2.”

Signal and Telegram witnessed a significant rise in usage earlier this year following WhatsApp's controversial privacy update.

Notably, India short-video app MX Takatak was on the list of the top ten apps by downloads. According to App Annie’s estimates, it was the fastest-growing app by downloads in Q1 2021.

Overall, mobile adoption has witnessed significant growth over the past year. In 2020, the demand for new apps and games was up 7 per cent YoY to 218 billion downloads, while total spend hit new heights at $143 billion at 20 per cent growth YoY. Users spent 3.5 trillion hours annually on Android alone.

Published on April 02, 2021

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