Consumers spent $32B on apps in Q1 2021, the biggest quarter on record

The pandemic’s remarkable impact on the app industry has not slowed down in 2021. In fact, consumer spending in apps has hit a new record in the first quarter of this year, a new report from App Annie indicates. The firm says consumers in Q1 2021 spent $32 billion on apps across both iOS and Google Play, up 40% year-over-year from Q1 2020. It’s the largest-ever quarter on record, App Annie also notes.

Last year saw both app downloads and consumer spend increase, as people rapidly adopted apps under coronavirus lockdowns — including apps for work, school, shopping, fitness, entertainment, gaming and more. App Annie previously reported a record 218 billion in global downloads and record consumer spend of $143 billion for the year.

Image Credits: App Annie

These trends have continued into 2021, it seems, with mobile consumers spending roughly $9 billion more in Q1 2021 compared with Q1 2020. Although iOS saw larger consumer spend than Android in the quarter — $21 billion vs. $11 billion, respectively — both stores grew by the same percentage, 40%.

But the types of apps driving spending were slightly different from store to store.

On Google Play, Games, Social and Entertainment apps saw the strongest quarter-over-quarter growth in terms of consumer spending, while Games, Photo & Video, and Entertainment apps accounted for the strongest growth on iOS.

By downloads, the categories were different between the stores, as well.

On Google Play, Social, Tools, and Fiance saw the biggest download growth in Q1, while Games, Finance and Social Networking drove download growth for iOS. Also on Google Play, other top categories included Weather (40%) and Dating (35%), while iOS saw Health and Fitness app downloads grow by a notable 25% — likely a perfect storm as New Year’s Resolutions combined with continued stay-at-measures that encouraged users to find new ways to stay fit without going to a gym.

Image Credits: App Annie

The top apps in the quarter remained fairly consistent, however. TikTok beat Facebook, in terms of downloads, and was followed by Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp and Zoom. But the short-form video app only made it to No. 2 in terms of consumer spend, with YouTube snagging the top spot. Tinder, Disney+, Tencent Video, and others followed. (Netflix has dropped off this chart as it now directs new users to sign up directly, rather than through in-app purchases).

Image Credits: App Annie

Though Facebook’s apps have fallen behind TikTok by downloads, its apps — including Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — still led the market in terms monthly active users (MAUs) in the quarter. TikTok, meanwhile, ranked No. 8 by this metric.

Up-and-comers in the quarter included privacy-focused messaging app Signal, which saw the strongest growth in the quarter by both downloads and MAUs — a calculation that App Annie calls “breakout apps.”  Telegram closely followed, as users bailed from mainstream social after the Capitol riot. Another “breakout” app was MX TakaTak, which is filling the hole in the market for short-form video that resulted from India’s ban  of TikTok.

Image Credits: App Annie

Gaming, meanwhile, drove a majority of the quarter’s spending, as usual, accounting for $22 billion of the spend — $13 billion on iOS (up 30% year-over-year) and $9 billion on Android (up 35%). Gamers downloaded about a billion titles per week, up 15% year-over-year from 2020.

Among Us! dropped to No. 2 in the quarter by downloads, replaced by Join Clash 3D, while DOP 2: Delete One Part jumped 308 places to reach No. 3.

Image Credits: App Annie

Roblox led by consumer spend, followed by Genshin Impact, Coin Master, Pokemon Go and others. And although Among Us! dropped on the charts by downloads, it remained No. 1 by monthly active users in the quarter, followed by PUBG Mobile, Candy Crush Saga, Roblox and others.

App Annie notes that the pandemic also accelerated the mobile gaming market, with game downloads outpacing overall downloads by 2.5x in 2020. It predicts that mobile gaming will reach  $120 billion in consumer spending this year, or 1.5x all other gaming formats combined.

#android, #app-annie, #apps, #computing, #disney, #facebook, #google-play, #india, #messenger, #mobile-applications, #netflix, #roblox, #tiktok, #whatsapp


Report: social audio app Clubhouse has topped 8 million global downloads

Social audio app Clubhouse has now topped 8 million global downloads, despite still being in a prelaunch, invite-only mode, according to new data released today by mobile data and analytics firm App Annie. Per its estimates, Clubhouse grew from over 3.5 million global downloads as of Feb. 1, 2021, to reach 8.1 million by Feb. 16, 2021. This sharp growth is attributed to several high-profile guest appearances, including those from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example.

App Annie also estimates that 2.6 million-plus of the total global installs took place in the U.S. — a figure that highlights the app’s global appeal.

Image Credits: App Annie

Clubhouse, meanwhile, hasn’t officially shared its total number of downloads or registered users, but CEO Paul Davison revealed in January the app had grown to 2 million weekly active users — which means the app’s monthly active user figure and total registered user count would be much higher. Other estimates have put the app’s registered user base in between 6 million and 10 million (the latter citing unnamed sources.)

Reached for comment on App Annie’s report, Clubhouse said it doesn’t publish user numbers.

It’s worth noting that app install figures aren’t typically a valid proxy for registered users as many people often download an app but then never open it or sign up. But in Clubhouse’s case, the two figures could be more closely aligned as people who are installing the app are motivated to join. The app is not open to the public, so the users installing the app are likely either in possession of a Clubhouse invite or are aiming to get one from a friend or trusted contact who’s already joined.

Also in the new report, App Annie noted how Clubhouse phenomenon is having an impact on the larger app ecosystem. Local rivals to Clubhouse offering their own social audio experience have also gained downloads in recent days, including Dizhua, Tiya and Yalla, which have attracted users in China, the U.S., Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

Dizhua, for example, has 174,000 downloads; Tiya has 6 million; and Yalla has 34.5 million, the report says. Yalla, notably, has been live since 2016, but Clubhouse’s popularity is giving it a boost. 

Beyond this small handful, there’s been an explosion of social audio experiences, including those in  from startups like Sonar, Locker Room, Quilt, Yoni Circle, Roadtrip, Space,, Yac, Cappuccino, and others. Twitter, meanwhile, is building its own Clubhouse rival with Spaces, which it said yesterday will expand to Android by March. Facebook, too, is reportedly planning a Clubhouse competitor.

The question on everyone’s minds now is how much of this growth is sustainable. Skeptics say Clubhouse lends itself to those who tend to dominate conversations by talking at length; that many of its conversations are just kind of boring; that the app favors the “hustle culture”-obsessed; and so on. Some also wonder to how well social audio apps will fare when the world reopens post-COVID and there’s more to do — including the return traditional networking events.

But these concerns don’t take into account that social audio has the potential to carve out space for itself by supplanting users’ other mobile spoken-word audio activities, like podcast listening or audiobooks. Of course, questions about Clubhouse’s future can’t really be answered now, as the pandemic continues, and with an app that’s not fully open to the public.

#app-annie, #apps, #audio, #clubhouse, #mobile-applications, #social, #social-audio, #social-media


With its new Pulse app, App Annie offers a more digestible view of its data

Mobile analytics and market data company App Annie launched a new app today that CEO Ted Krantz said is built not for the analyst who’s “immersed in the data,” but rather the executive who needs “a much more elevated, top-down view.”

The biggest new piece of the company’s Pulse app is something called the App Annie Performance Score, which Krantz compares to a FICO score for mobile apps. The idea is to take an app’s user acquisition, engagement, monetization and sentiment and boil them down into a single score that benchmarks how the app is performing relative to the competition.

Krantz said that eventually, the performance store could become more customizable for each customer, so that  “you can tailor it to the metrics that matter to you.” The app also highlights any shifts in key app metrics and identifies potential causes, and it includes a newsfeed showing what’s happening to the apps and markets that a user follows.

App Annie Pulse

Image Credits: App Annie

The goal, Krantz added, is to provide executives with a quick overview of the data they need without requiring them to dig through it or wait for a report — especially as “mobile is becoming such an imperative.” It’s the team’s “aspiration” to create an app that executives check every day, though he’s not necessarily expecting that to happen initially.

The Pulse app is based on App Annie’s market-level data, so Krantz said it shouldn’t be affected by Apple’s upcoming privacy changes. At the same time, he acknowledged that the company’s broader goals of bringing together first-party and third-party data are starting too look “a little tricky.”

App Annie Pulse is currently available on iOS, with the company planning to launch an Android version in the second quarter of this year. And while Pulse is only available to paying App Annie customers, Krantz said there are also plans for “revamping the free side of the equation and make that a little more meaty.”

#advertising-tech, #app-annie, #apps, #mobile, #startups, #tc


App stores saw record 218 billion downloads in 2020, consumer spend of $143 billion

Mobile adoption continued to grow in 2020, in part due to the market forces of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to App Annie’s annual “State of Mobile” industry report, mobile app downloads grew by 7% year-over-year to a record 218 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, consumer spending grew by 20% to also hit a new milestone of $143 billion, led by markets that included China, the United States, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Consumers also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices alone, the report found.

In another shift, app usage in the U.S. surged ahead of the time spent watching live TV. Currently, the average American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spends four hours on their mobile device.

The increase in time spent is a trend that’s not unique to the U.S., but can be seen across several other countries, including both developing mobile markets like Indonesia, Brazil and India, as well as places like China, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., Germany, France and others.

The trend isn’t isolated to any one demographic, either, but is seen across age groups. In the U.S., for example, Gen Z, millennials and Gen X/Baby Boomers spent 16%, 18% and 30% more time in their most-used apps year-over-year, respectively. However, what those favorite apps looked like was very different.

For Gen Z in the U.S., top apps on Android phones included Snapchat, Twitch, TikTok, Roblox and Spotify.

Millennials favored Discord, LinkedIn, PayPal, Pandora and Amazon Music.

And Gen X/Baby Boomers used Ring, Nextdoor, The Weather Channel, Kindle and ColorNote Notepad Notes.

The pandemic didn’t necessarily change how consumers were using apps in 2020, but rather accelerated mobile adoption by two to three years’ time, the report found.

Investors were also eager to fuel mobile businesses as a result, pouring $73 billion in capital into mobile companies — a figure that’s up 27% year-over-year. According to Crunchbase data, 26% of total global funding dollars in 2020 went to businesses that included a mobile solution.

From 2016 to 2020, global funding to mobile technology companies more than doubled compared with the previous five years, and was led by financial services, transportation, commerce and shopping.

Mobile gaming adoption also continued to grow in 2020. Casual games dominated the market in terms of downloads (78%), but Core games accounted for 66% of games’ consumer spend and 55% of the time spent.

With many stuck inside due to COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines, mobile games that offered social interaction boomed. Among Us, for example, became a breakout game in several markets in 2020, including the U.S.

Other app categories saw sizable increases over the past year, as well.

Time spent in Finance apps in 2020 was up 45% worldwide, outside of China, and participation in the stock market grew 55% on mobile, thanks to apps like Robinhood in the U.S. and others worldwide, that democratized investing and trading.

TikTok had a big year, too.

The app saw incredible 325% year-over-year growth, despite a ban in India, and ranked in the top five apps by time spent. The average monthly time spent per user also grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed, including 65% in the U.S. and 80% in the U.K., surpassing Facebook. TikTok is now on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021, App Annie forecasts.

Other video services boomed in 2020, thanks to a combination of new market entrants and a lot of time spent at home. Consumers spent 40% more hours streaming on mobile devices, with time spent in streaming apps peaking in the second quarter in the west as the pandemic forced people inside.

YouTube benefitted from this trend, as it became the No. 1 streaming app by time spent among all markets analyzed except China. The time spent in YouTube is up to 6x that of the next closet app at 38 hours per month.

Of course, another big story for 2020 was the rise of e-commerce amid the pandemic. This made the past year the biggest ever for mobile shopping, with an over 30% increase in time spent in Shopping apps, as measured on Android phones outside of China.

Mobile commerce, however, looked less traditional in 2020.

Social shopping was a big trend, with global downloads of Pinterest and Instagram growing 50% and 20% year-over-year, respectively.

Livestreaming shopping grew, too, led by China. Downloads of live shopping TaoBao Live in China, Grip in South Korea and NTWRK in the U.S. grew 100%, 245% and 85%, respectively. NTWRK doubled in size last year, and now others are entering the space as well — including TikTok, to some extent.

The pandemic also prompted increased usage of mobile ordering apps. In the U.S., Argentina, the U.K., Indonesia and Russia, the app grew by 60%, 65%, 70%, 80% and 105%, respectively, in Q4.

Business apps, like Zoom and Google Meet among others, grew 275% in Q4, for example, as remote work and sometimes school, continued.

The analysis additionally included lists of the top apps by downloads, spending and monthly active users (MAUs).

Although TikTok had been topping year-end charts, Facebook continued to beat it in terms of MAUs. Facebook-owned apps controlled the top charts by MAUs, with Facebook at No. 1 followed by WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.

TikTok, however, had more downloads than Facebook and ranked No. 2 by consumer spending, behind Tinder.

The full report is available only as an online interactive experience this year, not a download. The report largely uses data from both the iOS App Store and Google Play, except where otherwise noted.

#amazon, #android, #app-annie, #apps, #argentina, #brazil, #china, #computing, #e-commerce, #facebook, #financial-services, #france, #freeware, #germany, #google, #india, #indonesia, #instagram, #japan, #kindle, #linkedin, #messenger, #mobile-app, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce, #mobile-device, #mobile-devices, #mobile-technology, #operating-systems, #pandora, #paypal, #pinterest, #roblox, #russia, #snapchat, #social-media, #software, #south-korea, #spotify, #the-weather-channel, #tiktok, #twitch, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #video-services


U.S. shopping app downloads on Black Friday reached a record 2.8M installs

Many U.S. consumers spent this year’s Black Friday sales event shopping from home on mobile devices. That led to first-time installs of mobile shopping apps in the U.S. to break a new record for single-day installs on Black Friday 2020, according to a report from Sensor Tower. The firm estimates that U.S. consumers downloaded approximately 2.8 million shopping apps on November 27th — a figure that’s up by nearly 8% over last year.

However, this number doesn’t necessarily represent faster growth than in 2019, which also saw about an 8% year-over-year increase in Black Friday shopping app installs, the report noted. This could be because mobile shopping and the related app installs are now taking place throughout the month of November, though, as retailers adjusted to the pandemic and other online shopping trends by hosting earlier sales or even month-long sales events.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

The data seems to indicate this is true. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 29, U.S. consumers downloaded approximately 59.2 million shopping apps from across the App Store and Google Play — an increase of roughly 15% from the 51.7 million they downloaded in Nov. 2019. That’s a much higher figure than the 2% year-over-year growth seen during this same period in 2019.

Another shift taking place in mobile shopping is the growing adoption of app from brick-and-mortar retailers. During the first three quarters of 2020, apps from brick-and-mortar retailers grew installs 27%. This trend continued on Black Friday, when 5 out of the top 10 mobile shopping apps were those from brick-and-mortar retailers, led by Walmart.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Walmart saw the highest adoption this year, with around 131,000 Black Friday installs, followed by Amazon at 106,000, then Shopify’s Shop at 81,000. Combined, the top 10 apps saw 763,000 total new installs, or 27% of the first-time downloads in the Shopping category.

Because the firms are only looking at new app installs, they aren’t giving a full picture of the U.S. mobile shopping market, as many consumers already have these apps installed on their devices. And many more simply shop online via a desktop or laptop computer.

To give these figures some context, Shopify reported on Saturday it had seen record Black Friday sales of $2.4 billion, with 68% on mobile. And today, Amazon announced its small business sales alone topped $4.8 billion from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, a 60% year-over-year increase, but it didn’t break out the percentage that came from mobile.

Sensor Tower and rival app store analytics firm App Annie largely agreed on the top 5 shopping apps downloaded this Black Friday. They both saw Walmart again beating Amazon to become the most-downloaded U.S. shopping app on Black Friday — as it did in 2019. The two firms reported that Amazon remained No. 2 by downloads, followed by Shopify’s Shop app, then Target. However, Sensor Tower put Best Buy in 5th place, followed by Nike, while App Annie saw those positions swapped.

Image Credits: App Annie

The rest of Sensor Tower’s top 10 included SHEIN, Sam’s Club, Klarna, then Offer Up, while App Annie’s list was rounded out by SHEIN, Sam’s Club, Wish, then Offer Up.

The pandemic’s impact may not have been obvious given the growth in online shopping this year, but the recession it triggered has played a role in how U.S. consumers are paying for their purchases. “Buy Now, Pay Later” apps like Klarna were up this year, even breaking into the top 10 per Sensor Tower’s data. The firm also noted that many new shopping apps launched this year focused on discounts and deals and retailers ran longer sales this year, as well.

#amazon, #app-annie, #app-store, #apps, #best-buy, #black-friday, #business, #cyber-monday, #e-commerce, #ecommerce, #google-play, #klarna, #marketing, #mobile, #nike, #online-shopping, #sams-club, #sensor-tower, #shopify, #shopping, #target, #united-states, #walmart


Top mobile apps see declines in consumer engagement amid increased competition

Mobile consumers are downloading and using more apps than ever before. According to recent data from App Annie, mobile users now have 93 apps on their phone as of the end of 2019, up from 85 apps at the end of 2015. They also now use around 41 apps per month, up from 35 in 2015. Related to this increase, users are now also spending more hours per day using apps. Worldwide, daily time spent in apps has grown to 3.1 hours per day in 2019, up from 2.1 hours per day in 2015, for instance.

But with that growth has also come increased diversity among the top apps, the report found. That means top apps now make up a smaller proportion of consumers’ total time spent in apps, compared with five years ago.

Image Credits: App Annie

It’s worth noting that this report was commissioned by Facebook, App Annie says, with a goal of offering a more detailed look at the evolving app ecosystem over the past five years. The report aims to determine how growth is playing out in terms of popular app categories, among the top publishers, and how quickly newly successful apps are achieving sizable growth.

Facebook, in the past, had generated this sort of market research data first-hand by way of its Onavo VPN application — now shuttered over privacy concerns — and other similar efforts.

Turning to App Annie’s data team is just a new way for the company to get at the same sort of data.

App Annie’s market analysis, in part, is similarly derived by way of third-party apps. The company acquired Distimo in 2014, and as of 2016 has run the VPN app Phone Guardian under the Distimo brand. It also acquired Mobidia in 2015 and has operated My Data Manager (now on the App Store under Distimo). Both apps disclose their relationship with App Annie and explain that the apps are used for market research purposes, with specific examples of the type of data collected.

The new report’s findings may not be all good news for Facebook and other top app publishers. As the app economy evolved, users now have more places to spend time on mobile.

Image Credits: App Annie

Over the past five years, worldwide downloads continued to grow to reach a record of 120 billion in 2019, with several key countries now driving growth including India (10% year-over-year growth in 2019), Brazil (9%), Indonesia (8%) and Russia (7%).

Downloads in mature economies also hit record levels in 2019, including the U.S. (12.3B), Japan (2.5B), U.K. (2.1B), South Korea (2B), Germany (1.9B), and France (1.9B).

As users grew their time in app to 3.1 hours per day, they also began to use more of a variety of apps. According to the report, 35 of the top 100 apps were new entrants in 2019, up from 27 in 2016 across categories that included social, photography, video, communications, entertainment, and more.

Image Credits: App Annie

This is likely worrisome data for top app publishers, like Facebook, which has for years maintained a suite of top apps including not only its flagship app, but also Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. As the competitive pressure increases, these top apps make up a smaller proportion of the time spent on mobile devices as users have grown more comfortable trying out newcomers — particularly across gaming, entertainment, and video categories.

The top 30 non-game apps accounted for 69.4% of U.S. users’ total time spent in 2016 among non-games. That dropped to 65.5% in 2019, a nearly 4% decline. Among games, the share fell from 49% to 39%, a 10% drop. (This data was sourced from Google Play in the U.S.)

Image Credits: App Annie

Not only are consumers more open to trying new apps, the report found that new apps can also quickly achieve app store success. In the U.S., for example, over 60% of apps are able to reach their category’s Top 30 in their first 6 months.

This is aided by larger initial marketing pushes as well as improvements in terms of consumer’s devices themselves — like more storage and processing power, which encourages more downloads.

Image Credits: App Annie

There are also more apps than ever before capable of achieving the once milestone metric of 1 million monthly active users (MAUs). In 2019, over 4,600 apps saw 1 million MAUs, including those outside of social and communications like Netflix, Roku, Disney, CBS, Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, Target, PayPal, Venmo, Chase, Capital One, Uber, DoorDash, McDonald’s, and Starbucks.

Image Credits:

Apps are also achieving the 1 million downloads milestones more quickly, in data analyzed from 2015 to 2018. In the video, finance, communications, social, photo, and entertainment categories, 67% of apps achieved the 1 million downloads milestone within their first 12 months, App Annie says.

Image Credits: App Annie

Because of the increases, there’s now a lot of overlap in between top apps. Today, mobile consumers will often choose and use multiple apps within and across categories to address similar needs, including on social, the report found.

For example, 89% of Snapchat’s users also used YouTube in April 2020 in the U.S., and 75% also used Instagram.

Image Credits: App Annie

TikTok saw the greatest year-over-year increase in cross-app usage of Snapchat, rising from 17% in April 2019 to April 2020 — an indication of how much it has captured the youth demographic.

Meanwhile, video apps and gaming are taking up more of users’ time spent in apps. This broad category of “play”-focused apps accounted for 22% of the growth in time spent in apps in 2019.

Image Credits: App Annie

Plus, top gaming apps are also implementing social features, including Top 50 games like Fortnite, Clash of Clans, Call of Duty: Mobile, Township, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, New Yahtzee With Buddies, Golf Clash, and Slotomania, for example.

More than two-thirds of the Top 50 games have added at least one social feature, whether that’s inviting friend to play, social assists for progressing, guilds or clans, or in-app chat. This, in turn, has led to players spending more time in games as they can connect with friends there.

Image Credits: App Annie

Fortnite, as one key example of this trend, rolled out Party Hub based on its acquired Houseparty technology, in September 2019. In the three months after the rollout, time spent in Fortnite grew 130%.

Image Credits: App Annie

Outside of games, TikTok has risen by blending elements of top categories like social, video and entertainment. After merging with, it has rapidly rolled out more video editing features and increased ad spend aggressively to grow its user base and drive engagement. By December 2019, U.S. users were spending 16 hours, 20 minutes in the app per month, on average, up from 5 hours, 4 minutes in August 2018.

Image Credits: App Annie (note above chart only showcases Google Play data)

The full report also delves into country-by-country breakdowns but, overall, found that most countries saw record downloads in 2019 and similar trends in terms of app usage frequency increases and time spent.

One notable point of comparison is that U.S. users have more apps installed than in other markets (97 vs. 93), but tend to use fewer apps compared with worldwide trends (36 vs. 41). They also spend slightly fewer hours per day in apps, on average, than the worldwide average at 2.7 hours versus 3.1 hours.

“This report shows that the app industry is more competitive today than ever. New companies are succeeding with innovative apps that meet needs people might not even know they have,” said Ime Archibong, Head of Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team, an internal team at Facebook looking to find new models for social apps. “All of this choice and competition fuels innovation, and that’s the heart of our work at Facebook,” he added.

App Annie’s report is available upon request here.

#app-annie, #app-economy, #app-stores, #apps, #mobile