According to new data from App Store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, US consumers spent an average of $ 138 on the iPhone app last year, a 38% increase year-over-year, driven by the impact of the epidemic. Throughout 2020, consumers turned to the iPhone app for work, school, entertainment, shopping, and more, pushing per user spending to a new record and the biggest annual increase since 2016, when it was then 42% was over the year.
Sensor Tower tells Tech Crunch that it expects a trend of increased consumer spending in 2021, when it spends $ 180 per consumer active iPhone in the US to reach $ 180. It will again be tied, at least in part, to the lift caused by the pandemic – and, in particular, the spending on pandemic-fuel-lift mobile games.
Last year’s increased spending on the iPhone app in the US showed global trends, which saw consumers spend $ 111 billion on both iOS and Android apps, per Sensor Tower, and $ 143 billion per App Annie, with some analyzing Third-parties were also involved in the Android App Store in China.
Where the US iPhone was focused on consumer spending in 2020, the biggest category was, of course, gaming.
In the US, per-device spending on mobile games increased from $ 53.80 to $ 43.80 in the year 2019 to $ 76.80 in 2020. This is 20 points more than the 22% increase seen between 2018 and 2019, when the in-game spending increase was $ 44 to $ 53.80.
US users spent the most money on puzzle games such as the Candy Crush Saga and the Gardennads, which may have helped to get people’s minds off the epidemic and related tensions. $ 15.50 per active iPhone in that category, followed by the casino game, which averages $ 13.10, and was powered by physical casino closures. Strategy games also saw an increase in spending in 2020, which averaged $ 12.30 per iPhone user spend.
Another major category for in-app spending was entertainment. With the closure of theaters and concerts, consumers ran a large number of streaming apps. Disney + debuted at the end of 2019, a few months before the epidemic lockdown and soon after HBO Max in May 2020.
The average per-device spend in this category was $ 10.20, up 26% from the $ 8.10 spent in 2019, for comparison, per-device spending increased by only 1% between 2018 and 2019.
Other categories in the top five by spending per device included photos and videos (up 56% to $ 9.80), social networking (up 41% to $ 7.90), and lifestyle (up 14% to $ 6.50).
These increases were linked to apps such as TikTok, YouTube and Twitch. Twitch saw a 680% increase in year-over-year revenue on US iPhones, especially in 2020. Meanwhile, TikTok saw a 140% increase. In the lifestyle category, dating apps were on the rise in growth as consumers appeared to be engaging with others during lockdowns, while bars and clubs were closed.
Overall, to make 2020 specific it was not necessary that people use apps where they are being used, but how often they are being used and how much is being spent.
App Annie previously reported that the epidemic accelerated mobile adoption in two to three years’ time. And Sensor Tower tells us today that the industry did not see the same type of “seasonality” as some apps and games in particular, spent around the previous year, although pre-pandemic, usually the slower part of the year Are for expenses. This was not the case in 2020, when anytime was a good time to spend on apps.