Gamers Contributed 68% of Record $32Bn Spent on Apps in Q1 2021


The global app market is growing at an exponential rate. New data from App Annie data shows that users spent $32 billion on in-app purchases across iOS and Google Play during the first quarter of the year.

This is 40% higher than the $22.85 billion recorded during the same period in 2020.

With over $32 billion spent, Q1 2021 is the biggest quarter for Apps since records began

Gamers Contributed 68% of the Record $32Bn Spent on Apps in Q1

Of all the app categories, consumers spent the most on gaming. The report shows that smartphone users spent a record $22 billion on games during the quarter. This represents about 68% of the total amount spent on apps.

The incredible growth rate of apps can be traced to the stay at home and lockdown that came into effect last year. The restriction order forced people to seek out indoor stimulation, and they found it on their smartphones, through game apps and other highly engaging apps such as video streaming and social sharing platforms.

Looking at the numbers, the impact of the lockdown on the app market went far beyond the thick of the pandemic lockdown. According to App Annie, smartphone users spent around $9 billion more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than they did in Q1 2020.

This means that people didn’t drop the habits they took up even after the lockdown was lifted. The increase in Month Active Users (MAUs) and the amount spent even points to the fact that more people are using and spending longer times on apps.

iOS users spent more but Android users downloaded More

The app growth during the first quarter was shared equally, with the two main platforms (Android and iOS) recorded a 40% increase Year-on-Year. However, iOS users spent more than Android users.

The report revealed that consumer spent $21 billion on iOS and around $11 billion on Google Play.

Gamers Contributed 68% of the Record $32Bn Spent on Apps in Q1

It also showed that the app people spent most on was YouTube followed by TikTok and the dating app Tinder. Disney+ and Tencent Video complete the Top 5.

In terms of downloads, a total of about 31 billion was made across all platforms. This represents a 10% growth Year-on-Year. Google Play had the biggest chunk, recording about 24 billion downloads. iOS on the other hand had around 7 billion downloads during the quarter.

Across both platforms, the most downloaded app was TikTok followed by Facebook and Instagram. The report explained that global stay at home orders made some app categories outperformed others over the quarter.

On Google Play, Social, Tools, and Finance enjoyed the biggest growth quarter over quarter while on iOS, the biggest gains were recorded by Games, Finance and Social Networking.

Gamers Contributed 68% of the Record $32Bn Spent on Apps in Q1

Among Us, PUBG, COD are Favorites as Gamers Spend $22Bn in Q1

In Q1 2021, gaming remained one of the most influential categories in the overall app market. Aside from Consumer Spend which hit a record $22 billion, its growth in downloads was similarly impressive.

iOS gamers spent the most at $13 billion (up 30% year over year), while gamers spent $9 billion on Google Play (up 35%).

Gamers downloaded around a billion titles every week in the quarter. This represents 15% from the same period in 2020.

The most downloaded game during the quarter was Supersonic Studio’s hyper-casual survival game Join Clash 3D. It swapped places with Among Us! at number 2.

At number 3 – rising 308 places – was DOP 2: Delete One Part followed by Phone Case DIY and Free Fire.

Gamers Contributed 68% of the Record $32Bn Spent on Apps in Q1

However, Among Us is still a gamers favourite. The report shows that the game has the highest monthly users during the quarter. PUBG Mobile comes in at Number 2, while Candy Crush, ROBLOX and Free fire take numbers 3,4 and 5 as chart leaders.

Call Of Duty : Mobile comes in Number 6 just behind Free Fire

In Summary

The incredible growth in mobile gaming seen in Q1 shows just how much the pandemic has accelerated gaming and the App market in general. The report forecasts that mobile gaming to reach $120 billion in consumer spending in 2021.

It also highlighted that product development, partnerships, international expansion, user acquisition, marketing, monetization and retention has the more important strategy for gaming publishers going ahead.

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