Consumer spending on mobile apps and app installations increased significantly in the first half of 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data from Sensor Tower. Consumers spent $ 50.1 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of the year – up 23.4% from the first half of 2019. Previously, revenues had increased by 20 % between the first half of 2018 and 2019, in comparison. In addition, first installs of apps increased 26.1% year over year in the first half of 2020 to reach 71.5 billion downloads.
Apple’s App Store accounted for 18.3 billion of these downloads, up 22.8% year-over-year, while Google Play delivered 53.2 billion new application installations, up 27.3%.
Although Google Play has seen many more application installations, the Apple App Store has continued to outpace its consumer spending rival.
In the first half of the year, the App Store generated $ 32.8 billion in in-app purchases, subscriptions and premium apps and games, estimates Sensor Tower. This figure is up 24.7% year-over-year from the $ 26.3 billion spent in the first half of 2019. It also represents nearly double the estimated gross earnings on Google Play of 17, $ 3 billion, an increase of 21% over twelve months. .
The impacts of the pandemic are only somewhat reflected in the most profitable (non-fun) applications of the first half of 2020. The biggest income, for example, was the Tinder Match online dating application – an application that, one would think, would have been dropped from the top 5 due to the demands of social distancing.
In the first half of the year, Tinder generated estimated spending of $ 433 million in the two combined app stores. However, this number represents a decrease of about 19% compared to the first half of 2019, or $ 532 million. It is not known to what extent this drop is linked to the change in behavior and consumption habits of consumers during the pandemic. While on-site shelter orders and quarantines keep people indoors and away from society, social networking apps – especially those focused on online communication – have exploded amid locks.
Tinder has embraced the growing interest in online networks by making its “Passport” function free. This setting allows users to correspond with other singles around the world, turning Tinder into a more social app than focusing on real-world dating. But this change could also have resulted in a decrease in Tinder’s total revenues for the first half.
The # 2 most profitable app in the first half of 2020 was YouTube, grossing around $ 431 million worldwide. This was followed by ByteDance’s TikTok with $ 421 million. The social video app, which includes Douyin in China, also broke download records in the first half, exceeding 2 billion global downloads, Sensor Tower reported earlier.
Tencent Video and Netflix were the most profitable apps # 4 and # 5 respectively.
Meanwhile, consumers stuck at home during the pandemic are downloading more and more apps and games. In the first half, consumers installed 71.5 billion apps for the first time, up 26.1% from the first half of 2019.
TikTok was the most downloaded application in the first half with 626 million downloads. But its position could seem very different in the second half, given the recent changes in India where the government has now banned 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok.
Apps # 2 and # 3 were WhatsApp and Zoom, respectively – the latter being an indication of the rapid shift to homework and consumer adoption of online video conferencing in general. In addition to WhatsApp, Facebook grabbed the positions 4, 5 and 6 in the top 10, with Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, in that order.
Snapchat’s social app was # 7 and # 8 was the Likee video app, which is similar to TikTok but offers a variety of facial effects and filters. Netflix and YouTube completed the top 10.
Mobile gaming also saw an increase during the pandemic, with gaming spending increasing 21.2% year-over-year to around $ 36.6 billion in the first half, Sensor Tower found. Spending on the App Store increased 22.7% year-over-year to $ 22.2 billion, while spending on Google Play games increased 19% to $ 14.4 billion.
Tencent’s PUBG Mobile beat Honor of Kings as the most profitable game of the first half. Tencent’s game, which includes its localized versions (Game for Peace and Peacekeeper Elite), generated $ 1.3 billion in both app stores, except for Chinese third-party Android app stores. Honor of Kings, meanwhile, grossed around $ 1 billion.
The remaining top 10 included, in order, Monster Strike ($ 632 million), Roblox, Coin Master, Candy Crush Saga, AFK Arena, Gardenscapes, Fate / Grand Order and Pokémon Go. The latter has recently adapted to the game indoors amidst government blockages.
Roblox, in particular, has increased due to the pandemic as children trapped inside have gone online to play and socialize with friends in its virtual environment. In June, Sensor Tower reported that Roblox had exceeded a milestone of $ 1.5 billion in lifetime player spending, for example. Coin Master, meanwhile, is approaching the billion dollar lifetime gamer milestone, the firm said.
When it comes to the best gaming facilities, PUBG Mobile also came out on top, followed by another battle royale title, Garena Free Fire. Hunter Assassin from Ruby Game Studio, Brain Out from Eyewind Limited and Gardenscapes from Playrix – which many have found to be a relaxing distraction during a stressful period – round out the top five.
Across the entire mobile game market, downloads increased 42.5% year over year to reach 28.5 billion first installs in the first half of 2020. Among these, downloads from Google Play increased 46.2% year over year to 22.8 billion while Downloads from the App Store increased 29.5% to 5.7 billion.
The impacts of COVID-19 are more apparent in Q2
Indications of the impact of COVID-19 on the application market are among the figures for the first half of the year – such as the growth observed by Zoom or social gaming platforms like Roblox, for example. But a closer look at the second quarter of 2020 alone makes the impacts of COVID-19 more apparent.
Initial Sensor Tower projections show that consumer spending on apps and games jumped 11% quarter on quarter from Q1 to Q2, and increased 28.8% year over year to reach $ 26.4 billion worldwide. This is a significant increase from the 1.4% growth between Q1 2019 and Q2 2019. Downloads increased 12% on a quarterly basis and 31.7% year-over-year to reach 37.8 billion worldwide. Again, a significant increase compared to the 2.5% growth between Q1 2019 and Q2 2020.