Global consumer spending on mobile apps up 15% to $33.6 billion in Q3 2021: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 04, 2021

The growth was driven mainly by Google Play, which recorded an 18.6 per cent YoY growth in consumer spending

Worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps grew 15 per cent year-over-year to reach $33.6 billion in Q3 2021, according to a report from Sensor Tower.

Meanwhile, first-time installs of mobile apps climbed to 35.7 billion across Apple’s App Store and Google Play during the quarter, preliminary Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data revealed.

Despite the mobile market experiencing consistent growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, the year-over-year growth has slowed since the initial surge in adoption and spending in Q2 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. In Q3 2021, consumer spending increased 15.1 per cent YoY from $29.2 billion in Q3 2020, about half of the 32 per cent YoY growth seen last year.

The growth was driven mainly by Google Play, which recorded an 18.6 per cent YoY growth in consumer spending to $12.1 billion, up from $10.2 billion.

Although Apple’s App Store witnessed modest growth, it recorded higher consumer spending as in previous years with revenue climbing 13.2 per cent to $21.5 billion from $19 billion. As in prior periods, consumers spent about 1.8 times as much on Apple’s marketplace when compared to Google’s, Sensor Tower said.

In terms of top earners, TikTok continued to be the highest-earning app across both stores globally in the third quarter of 2021.

Consumer spending in the app, which includes Douyin on iOS in China, witnessed a 41 per cent YoY growth. Although TikTok was the top-grossing app overall and on the App Store, on Google Play, Google One was the highest-earning app globally.

Manga reader Piccoma took the second spot overall with its revenue increasing 130 per cent YoY, followed by YouTube. YouTube saw consumer spending grow 17 per cent YoY. Google One and Disney+ completed the list of the top five overall apps, taking the fourth and fifth spot, respectively.

Mobile app installs

Across both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, app installs declined 1.9 per cent to 35.7 billion from 36.4 billion in Q3 2021. Google’s marketplace saw a YoY growth in app adoption in H1 2021. However, a decline was witnessed for both app stores during Q3 2021.

According to Sensor Tower estimates, first-time app installs in the quarter declined 1.2 per cent on Apple’s App Store. Installs were down to 8.1 billion from 8.2 billion. Google’s marketplace recorded a decline of 2.1 per cent YoY from 28.2 billion to 27.6 billion.

In terms of the most popular apps, TikTok recently topped the list as well, crossing 3 billion installs globally, becoming the first non-Facebook app to do so, as per Sensor Tower.

Reflecting this continued success, the app topped charts with the most installs across both stores in Q3 2021 with about 1 per cent growth YoY, it said.

Mobile game spending grew 7.7 per cent YoY to $22.4 billion globally during the quarter, driven primarily by Google’s marketplace

High earners spend more on digital ads

Sensor Tower’s Pathmatics data further showed that the top five highest-grossing apps in Q3 2021 spent more on digital ads in the past quarter compared to the year-ago period except for Facebook.

TikTok led the cohort. It spent nearly $23 million on digital ads, focusing heavily on social platforms. This was up 113 per cent YoY compared to its digital advertising spend of $10.8 million in Q3 2020.

“Although Facebook’s digital ad spend decreased YoY in the third quarter of 2021, it spent the second most on advertising after TikTok,” the report said.

In Q3 2021, the app spent around $6.3 million on digital ads, half of the $12.6 million in the year-ago period.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, the mobile market has seen some normalisation in the last three quarters. However, recent developments such as the outcome of the Epic v. Apple case in the US and shifts in China’s mobile gaming policies may very well affect the marketplace in unexpected ways. Some of the trends that emerged in 2020—such as increased use of Business category mobile apps with the proliferation of remote work—are also continuing to impact the mobile market,” Sensor Tower further said in its blog post.

Published on October 04, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

You May Also Like