Sensor Tower: iOS users spent $13.5 billion on top 100 subscription apps in 2021, up 31% year-over-year

Consumer spending on the top 100 non-subscription gaming apps on mobile platforms grew 41% year-over-year to $18.3 billion, according to a new report from analytics firm Sensor Tower. in 2021, compared to 13 billion in 2020.

According to the data, revenue from subscription apps purchased on the App Store and Google Play Store accounted for about 14% of the $131.6 billion consumers spent on in-app purchases last year, up from $11.7 billion. % in 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, however, 86 of the top 100 highest-earning non-gaming apps worldwide offered subscriptions, which is actually down slightly from 87 in the same quarter of 2020.

Consistent with historical trends, spending on subscription apps in Apple’s ‌‌App Store‌‌ was significantly higher than Google Play Store:

As in previous years, consumers spent more on subscription app downloads on the App Store than on Google Play. The top 100 non-gaming subscription apps on the App Store generated $13.5 billion in 2021, up 31% year-on-year from $10.3 billion. Consumers around the world spent $4.8 billion on Google’s top 100 subscription apps on the market, up 78% from $2.7 billion in 2020. subscribers on Google Play saw greater growth, top App Store apps saw nearly three times the spending last year.

As in 2020, the only performance indicator in which the Google Play Store beat the ‌‌App Store‌‌ was in terms of year-over-year growth in US user spending on subscription apps.

US consumer spending saw a similar split, with the top 100 subscription apps generating $6 billion on the App Store, up 33% year-on-year from $4.5 billion. The cohort saw roughly $2.5 billion in consumer spending on Google Play, up 79% from $1.4 billion in 2020.

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Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was once again the big winner this year in subscription app spending, both globally and in the US. in 2021.

Despite the numbers, subscription apps generally divide ‌‌App Store‌‌ users into those for and against the revenue model. Apple started incentivizing developers to sell their apps for a recurring fee instead of a one-time cost when it made changes to its ‌‌‌App Store‌‌‌ subscription policies in 2016. Usually, Apple takes 30% of app revenue , but developers who are able to sustain a subscription with a customer for more than a year see Apple’s discount drop to 15%.

In late 2017, Apple began allowing developers to offer discounted introductory prices and time-limited free trials on auto-renewable app subscriptions, based on the idea that subscriptions offer a greater likelihood of an engaged audience.

Lance B. Holton