Mobile app spending close to $65 billion in the first half of 2021

Mobile app and game revenues continue to increase.
Sensor Tower report
Mobile app revenues and player spending continue to rise.

According to the report on the mobile application and game industry, presented by Sensor Tower with various analyzes, global consumer spending in mobile apps in the App Store and Google Play Store reached a total of 64.9 billion dollars in the first half of 2021. In the same period of 2020, this number fell behind by 24.8% with 52 billion dollars.

While consumer spending continues to climb highs, the year-over-year growth the mobile market has achieved so far in 2021 has not exceeded 2020 rates. In the first half of last year, consumer spending increased by 28.4% year-on-year as the pandemic imposed restrictive conditions. This rate was around $40.5 billion in the first half of 2019.

How about global mobile app revenue and downloads?

In the first half of 2021, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps and games on the App Store totaled $41.5 billion in consumer spending worldwide. This amount is 1.8 times the $23.4 billion revenue spent by Google Play in the same period. However, it is predicted that the Google market will see more year-over-year growth than Apple’s.

Top-grossing mobile apps worldwide in the first half of 2021
Top-grossing mobile apps worldwide in the first half of 2021

TikTok topped the revenue charts in 2020 and with the inclusion of Douyin in China remains the highest-grossing non-game app worldwide on both the App Store and Google Play. Consumers are expected to spend more than $920 million on TikTok in the first half of the year, up 74 percent from the previous year.

YouTube remained the second-highest-grossing non-gaming app with an estimated consumer spending of $564.7 million. Tinder came in third with estimated revenues of about $520.3 million, while Japanese comics subscription system Piccoma came in fourth and Disney’s streaming platform Disney+ came in fifth.

First-time installs on Google Play increased 6% year-over-year in the first half of 2021 to 56.2 billion, from 53 billion the previous year. In the first half of this year, app adoption in Google’s market was about 3.5 times higher than what was seen in Apple’s store.

Most downloaded mobile apps worldwide in the first half of 2021
Most downloaded mobile apps worldwide in the first half of 2021

Player spending in mobile games continues to rise

Global consumer spending on mobile games reached $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021. This was a 17.9% increase over the previous year. In-game spend on the App Store reached $26 billion, up 13.5% year-on-year. While the Google Play market does not generate as much mobile gaming revenue as Apple’s, it continued to grow year-over-year as seen in the first half of 2020, increasing 24.7% to $18.7 billion from $15 billion a year earlier.

Player spending in mobile games in the first half of 2021
Player spending in mobile games in the first half of 2021

As expected, Chinese tech giant Tencent continued to reign at the top of the highest-grossing mobile gaming chart. Honor of Kings regained its #1 spot after dropping to #2 in the first half of 2020, generating more than $1.5 billion in revenue in the first half of 2021 alone. Right after, PUBG Mobile, featuring Tencent’s localized version of Game for Peace/Peacekeeper Elite for China, took second place in consumer spending approaching $1.5 billion.

Top-grossing mobile games worldwide in the first half of 2021
Top-grossing mobile games worldwide in the first half of 2021

Apart from Garena Free Fire, the top five most downloaded games in the App Store and Google Play Store were casual games. Supersonic Studios’ game Join Clash 3D ranked #1 with 115.6 million downloads worldwide in the first half of 2021. Garena Free Fire took second place with approximately 101.6 million first-time installs in the first half of the year. High Heels, Zynga’s newest game, placed third, Supersonic Studios’ game Bridge Race came fourth and Innersloth’s game Among Us came fifth.

Most downloaded mobile games worldwide in the first half of 2021
Most downloaded mobile games worldwide in the first half of 2021

What happened in the second quarter of 2021?

In the second quarter of 2021, spending on mobile apps increased by 18% compared to the previous year, reaching a total of 32.8 billion dollars. Player spending on mobile games rose 9.9% year-on-year in the second quarter to $22.2 billion, up from around $20.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

For the first time in the second quarter, app downloads reached 37.7 billion worldwide, down 4.5% from the second quarter of 2020. Mobile game downloads, on the other hand, fell 6.7% year-on-year to 14 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

The ongoing pandemic continues to affect a number of industries around the world, and as various countries begin to recover, the mobile landscape will undoubtedly continue to shape up. Sensor Tower’s full report on the global app ecosystem in Q2 2021 will be available soon, examining the latest trends and analyzing the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on user behavior.

You can access the full report published by Sensor Tower here.

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