Consumer spending on mobile apps reached $ 170 billion in 2021, according to the recently released “State of Mobile 2022” report by App Annie, released today, which provides a comprehensive overview of the app economy on iOS , Google Play, and third-party Android app stores in China. That figure is up 19% year-on-year, which is only a percentage point decline from the growth rate the company announced in its previous annual report. The growth in app downloads, however, has declined a bit more. Although consumers today are installing more apps than ever before – 230 billion were downloaded in 2021, setting a new record – the growth rate itself is slowing.
In January 2021, App Annie reported year-over-year download growth of 7% in 2021, which has now fallen to just 5% in 2021.
The growth of downloads today is largely driven by emerging markets like India, as well as Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt.
What is also clear is that consumers are spending more time in apps, even exceeding the time they spend watching TV in some cases.
The report noted that the average American watches 3.1 hours of television per day, for example, but over the past year, they have spent 4.1 hours on their mobile device. And they’re not even the biggest mobile users in the world. In markets like Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea, users exceeded 5 hours per day in mobile apps in 2021.
Across the top 10 markets analyzed in the study, the average time spent in apps exceeded 4 hours and 48 minutes in 2021, up 30% from 2019. This included averages for Brazil, Indonesia, from South Korea, Mexico, India, Japan and Turkey. , Singapore, Canada, United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, France, Germany and China combined.
Much of that time was spent on social, photo and video apps, which made up 7 out of 10 minutes spent on mobile over the past year. These categories, along with entertainment apps, are also appealing to Gen Z users, especially in the United States.
Here in the United States, the most used Gen Z apps included Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Netflix. Generation Y preferred Facebook, Messenger, Amazon and WhatsApp. Gen X, who have now been coalesced into the baby boomer demographic (ack!), Have used The Weather Channel, Amazon Alexa, NewsBreak, and Ring.
This increase in time spent in apps has had a direct impact on consumer spending. In the United States, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced users to shop, work, learn, play and play from their homes over the past year. This has led to “phenomenal” growth in consumer spending, App Annie said, as the market added $ 43 billion in 2021, up $ 10.4 billion from 2020, which equates to growth. by 30% year on year, above the world average.
At the peak of consumer spending, there were 233 apps and games that grossed over $ 100 million in 2021 and 13 titles that grossed over $ 1 billion. That’s a 20% increase from 2020, when there were then 193 apps and games topping the $ 100 million mark, and just 8 titles grossing over $ 1 billion a year.
Outside of consumer spending which included paid apps, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, the broader mobile app market topped $ 295 billion in 2021, up 23% year-over-year, despite marketers’ fears over Apple’s privacy changes and the IDFA crackdown. By 2022, the market is expected to reach $ 350 billion, helped by big events such as the Beijing Olympics and the United States at its midpoint.
New versions of mobile apps also increased in 2021, with publishers launching 2 million new apps and games, bringing the total number of apps and games ever released to the App Store and Google Play to over 21 million. . Of course, older apps and games have since been removed over the years, either by the publishers themselves or by the app stores during cleanups. Currently, 5.4 million “live” apps and games are available on app stores, including 1.8 million on iOS and 3.6 million on Google Play.
Google Play also accounted for 77% of all new releases last year, while games made up 15% of all releases at both stores, the report noted.
App Annie’s full report also delved into individual app categories including gaming, finance, retail, video streaming, food & beverage, health & fitness, social media, traveling, dating and more.
Among the highlights of its findings:
- Games: An additional $ 16 billion in consumer gaming spending was added in 2021, bringing total spending to $ 116 billion.
- Finance: Financial app downloads in India topped 1 billion in 2021, bringing the 28% increase in downloads of the category to 5.9 billion globally.
- Purchases: Time spent in shopping apps reached more than 100 billion hours spent worldwide in 2021, up 18% year on year. The fastest growing countries are Indonesia, Singapore and Brazil (52%, 46% and 45%, respectively).
- Video streaming: The total number of hours spent watching video streaming apps has increased 16% globally from pre-pandemic levels. But China saw a decline as users turned to shorthand TikTok and Kwai apps. Netflix is on track to surpass 1 million downloads in more than 60 countries in 2022.
- Food drink: Sessions in foodservice applications reached 62 billion in 2021. Several regions drove growth in the fourth quarter, notably the United States (42% yoy), Russia (154% yoy), Turkey (75% year-on-year) and Indonesia (over 9x growth).
- health and fitness: Global downloads of health and fitness apps topped pre-COVID levels in 2021, despite slowing slightly from pandemic-induced peak in 2020 in most countries. The top five meditation apps around the world saw a 27% year-over-year growth in consumer spending.
- Social: Time spent in top 25 live streaming apps topped the social market year-over-year by a factor of 9 – year-over-year growth of 40% over all social apps at 5%. Global spending on the top 25 live streaming apps in 2021 is up 6.5 times from 2018 and 55% year-over-year. TikTok has seen year-over-year growth rates of up to 75%.
- To travel: Travel app downloads rebounded 20% in the second half of the year with strong increases between July and December 2021. Second half downloads hit 1.95 billion globally, approaching pre-pandemic levels of 2.08 billion in the second half of 2019.
- Encounter: Global consumer spending on dating apps topped $ 4 billion in 2021, an increase of 95% since 2018. Growth was mainly driven by the United States, Japan, China and the United Kingdom. United. Tinder led the market with $ 1.35 billion in global consumer spending in 2021.
The report also lists the top apps and games globally and by country in terms of downloads and consumer spending. Globally, the top five downloaded apps in 2021 were Google Meet, Instagram, TikTok, Microsoft Teams, and InShot. In terms of consumer spending, the list was YouTube, Tinder, Tencent Video, Disney +, and TikTok.
The best games to download include Project Makeover, acquapark.io, WormsZone.io, DOP 2: Delete One Part, and Bridge Race. While spending, the list was ruled by Honor of Kings, Fantasy Westward Journey, Candy Crush Saga, Homescapes, and Empires & Puzzles.
The full report is here.