April 18, 2021

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Global App Spending on Christmas Grew 35 Percent in 2020: Sensor Tower

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Worldwide spending on mobile apps reached $407.6 million (roughly Rs. 2,988 crores) across Google Play and Apple’s App Store on Christmas day, according to a report. The record spending shows a 34.5 percent year-over-year growth from $303 million (roughly Rs. 2,221 crores) in 2019. A majority of the Christmas spending was on mobile games, with Tencent’s Honor of Kings emerging as the category leader. Apart from mobile games, TikTok attracted the bulk of consumer spending on apps.

Global app spending on Christmas in 2020 was 17 points higher than the growth experienced in 2019 when spending grew 17.7 percent year-over-year, as per a report released by app analyst firm Sensor Tower. Mobile games led the total app spending, with 27 percent growth to $295.6 million (roughly Rs. 2,165 crores) this year from $232.4 million (roughly Rs. 1,702 crores) on Christmas in 2019.

Honor of Kings by Tencent Games surpassed other mobile games in terms of spending on Christmas. Sensor Tower said the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game garnered $10.7 million (roughly Rs. 78.3 crores). This was up 205.7 percent year-over-year from $3.5 million (roughly Rs. 25.6 crores) on the same day in 2019.

In terms of non-gaming apps, consumers spent $112 million (roughly Rs. 820 crores), which was up 59 percent from $70.5 million (roughly Rs. 516 crores) spent in 2019. Sensor Tower stated that the total spending on non-gaming apps this year grew 4.2 percentage points from last Christmas.

Entertainment was the category that generated the most revenue outside of games on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

“On the App Store, Entertainment apps reached $19.3 million (roughly Rs. 141.3 crores) or 21.8 percent of all non-game spending. On Google Play, the category generated $4.3 million (roughly Rs. 31.48 crores) or 18.5 percent of all revenue generated,” Sensor Tower noted.

TikTok came on top in terms of consumer spend on apps outside of mobile games by generating $4.7 million (roughly Rs. 34.42 crores) globally in revenue on Christmas. Interestingly, TikTok’s popularity grew despite the existence of alternative short video-sharing apps from Facebook and other tech companies in the market. The growth was also despite the widespread criticism TikTok faced over data security in regions including in India where the app has been banned and the US where the company is currently embroiled in a legal battle.

US led global spending
US led the record app spending on Christmas, with consumers in the country spending nearly $130 million (roughly Rs. 952 crores). This shows a 38.7 percent year-over-year growth from $93.7 million (roughly Rs. 686 crores) last year, and exceeds global growth by six points, the analyst firm said.

Just like the global spending, mobile games generated the most revenue in the US. It reached $87.2 million (roughly Rs. 638 crores) to mark a 26.4 percent increase from close to $69 million (roughly Rs. 505 crores) in 2019. Non-gaming app spending in the US, on the other hand, grew 72.2 percent to $42.7 million (roughly Rs. 312 crores) on Christmas from $24.8 million (roughly Rs. 181 crores) last year.

Entertainment also led the non-gaming app spending in the US with $9.6 million (roughly Rs. 70.28 crores) generated on Christmas day.

Sensor Tower said that online game platform Roblox led the total game spending in the US, with the consumer spending growing 40.4 percent year-over-year to $6.6 million (roughly Rs. 48.32 crores) this Christmas from $4.7 million (roughly Rs. 34.40 crores) last year. Disney+ surfaced as the top non-gaming app for consumer spending in the US, with $2.6 million (roughly Rs. 19.03 crores) generated that shows 44.4 percent increase from $1.8 million (roughly Rs. 34.40 crores) in 2019.

Apple’s App Store captured a large part
Globally, Apple’s App Store captured the bulk of spending against Google Play. It received 68.4 percent of the total app spending of $278.6 million (roughly Rs. 2,039 crores), which went up by 35.2 percent year-over-year. In contrast, Google Play saw $129 million (roughly Rs. 944 crores) in revenue, up by more than 33 percent year-over-year.

Sensor Tower said that both App Store and Google Play store have collectively generated over $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,32,225 crores) in consumer spending by November 2020. This comes as the result of a number of apps reaching new heights in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on digital spending.


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