2020 has been a record-setting year for worldwide spending on mobile apps and games, which passed $100 billion in a single year for the first time ever in November. This trend continued at Christmas, when consumers around the globe spent an estimated $407.6 million across Apple’s App Store and Google Play, according to preliminary Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. This figure represents 34.5 per cent year-over-year growth from approximately $303 million in 2019, and is nearly 17 points higher than the growth experienced last year when spending grew 17.7 per cent Y/Y.
Mobile spending on Christmas comprised 4.5 per cent of the month’s total spending so far, which reached approximately $9 billion globally from December 1st to December 27th. The majority of the holiday spending was on mobile games, which climbed 27 per cent from $232.4 million on Christmas 2019 to $295.6 million this year. Tencent’s Honor of Kings was the category leader with approximately $10.7 million in consumer spending, up 205.7 per cent Y/Y from $3.5 million on the same day in 2019.
Global consumer spending on mobile apps this Christmas grew 34.5 per cent year-over-year to $407.6 million.
Consumers spent $112 million on non-game apps this Christmas, up 59 per cent from $70.5 million in the previous year. Compared to last Christmas, non-game apps saw 4.2 percentage points more total spending.
The category that generated the most revenue outside of games on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s platform was Entertainment. On the App Store, Entertainment apps reached $19.3 million or 21.8 per cent of all non-game spending. On Google Play, the category generated $4.3 million or 18.5 per cent of all revenue generated.
Outside of mobile games, TikTok was the top app in terms of consumer spending, generating $4.7 million globally in revenue on Christmas.
As in previous years, Apple’s App Store captured the bulk of the spending between the two platforms. It saw 68.4 per cent of the spending, or $278.6 million, up 35.2 per cent Y/Y. Google Play saw $129 million in revenue, up more than 33 per cent Y/Y.
US consumers spent nearly $130 million across both app stores this Christmas. This figure represents 38.7 per cent Y/Y growth from $93.7 million last year, and exceeds global growth by 6 points.
As on global marketplaces, mobile games generated the most revenue in the US, climbing 26.4 per cent from nearly $69 million in 2019 to $87.2 million. Non-game apps grew 72.2 per cent from $24.8 million to $42.7 million this Christmas, Entertainment leading with $9.6 million generated or 22.5 per cent of all non-game spending.
Roblox was the top mobile game in the US, with consumer spending climbing 40.4 per cent Y/Y from $4.7 million to $6.6 million this Christmas. Disney+ was the top non-game app for consumer spending, generating $2.6 million in the U.S., which was up 44.4 per cent from $1.8 million in 2019.
According to Sensor Tower, 2020 saw an unprecedented shift in consumer behaviour and spending. The year set new records, with both app stores collectively generating more than $100 billion in consumer spending and a number of blockbuster apps jumping to the top of the charts.