Top subscription app revenue grew 41% in 2021 to $18.3 billion – TechCrunch

It’s no wonder mobile publishers are fighting to keep more of their subscription revenue out of the hands of platforms like Apple and Google – a new report reports that the top 100 non-gaming, subscription-based apps saw consumer spending rise 41% in 2021 to $18.3 billion, from $13 billion in 2020.

And that’s only a small fraction (14%) of overall revenue from in-app purchases in apps and games, which totaled $131.6 billion in 2021, according to this latest data from the app intelligence firm. . Detection tower.

However, the market share of this group is growing. In 2020, non-gaming app subscription revenue was just 11.7% of total consumer spending for the year, for comparison.

Picture credits: detection tower

The report also noted that the 41% year-over-year increase in in-app purchases revenue in 2021 represented stronger growth than the 34% growth rate between 2019 and 2020.

Of course, the global coronavirus pandemic may have played a role here. In 2020 and beyond, consumers have increasingly turned to apps for shopping, entertainment, health and fitness, work, education and more as the world adapts to lockdown measures, virtual work and school, and were starting to do more of their previously online in-person activities – like shopping or events, for example.

The U.S. numbers mirror global trends in mobile spending on subscriptions, the data shows. Last year, US consumers spent $8.5 billion on the top 100 non-gaming subscription apps, up 44% from $5.9 billion in 2020 – more growth than the 28% increase observed the previous year. In total, US consumers spent $40.7 billion on in-app purchases in 2021.

Picture credits: sensor tower

Subscriptions have also become the main way to generate revenue on app stores. In the fourth quarter, 90 of the top 100 U.S. apps included a subscription. This figure is only slightly down from 91 in Q4 2020 or 93 in Q4 2019.

Apple’s App Store continues to overtake Google Play in terms of subscription revenue. Last year, the top 100 non-gaming subscription apps on the App Store spent nearly three times as much as those on Google Play, at $13.5 billion versus $4.8 billion, respectively. That represented 31% year-over-year growth from $10.3 billion for the same group on the App Store in 2020, and 78% growth from $2.7 billion. dollars for the group on Google Play.

The United States, again, saw a similar trend. Here, the top 100 subscription apps on the App Store grew 33% year over year, from $4.5 billion in 2020 to $6 billion in 2021. subscriptions on Google Play, meanwhile, grew by 79%, from $1.4 billion in 2020 to $2.5. billion in 2021.

Picture credits: sensor tower

Google’s apps top the charts, alongside other streaming and dating apps, when it comes to consumer spending. Google’s subscription service, Google One, grossed $1.1 billion globally through its app last year, including $698 million in the United States. And Google’s YouTube app brought in $1.2 billion last year, including $566.5 million in the United States.

Other top-grossing US apps include Disney+, HBO Max, and Tinder. Worldwide, you can add Piccoma to this list.

Picture credits: detection tower

Such analysis of the subscription market is interesting, given the increased regulatory scrutiny of app store business models over the past year.

Some markets, such as South Korea, even passed new laws to limit Apple and Google’s control over in-app purchases. Currently, Dutch regulators are at an impasse with Apple over dating app payments, claiming that Apple is violating antitrust orders. And while this data only looks at non-gaming trends, the money that app stores make from game companies is also huge – which is why Epic Games, for example, is appealing the decision. court in his own antitrust case.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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