The mobile app market continued to grow in 2020 despite the coronavirus outbreak. According to a report, new app downloads rose seven percent year-on-year to 218 billion. Consumer spending for app stores also led to a 20 percent year-over-year growth. The expansion of app downloads and smartphone usage has significantly increased spending on mobile ads. This has indeed helped app developers grow their revenue when many professionals worldwide lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Consumer spending on app stores, which include Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and third-party app stores, was $ 143 billion (around Rs.10.45.988) in 2020, according to mobile analytics company App Annie said in its annual industry report on the state of mobile devices. The spending was led by China, followed by the US and Japan.
The time spent on mobile devices also increased significantly in 2020 – due to the COVID-19 pandemic that locked most of the world’s population in their homes. App Annie’s report noted that eight percent more time was spent on mobile devices than on live TV, particularly in the US. Consumers spent up to 3.5 trillion hours worldwide, especially on Android phones.
In India, the average cell phone hours per day increased from 3.3 hours in 2019 to 4.6 hours. Similar trends have been observed in markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and the UK, among others.
The increased time spent on mobile devices wasn’t limited to any specific demographic. App Annie pointed out that in the United States in particular, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X / Baby Boomers spent 16 percent, 18 percent and 30 percent more time year over year. However, there were some differences in which apps certain populations spent the most time on.
Snapchat, Twitch, TikTok, ROBLOX, and Spotify were the most likely apps for Gen Z users, while Millennials preferred Discord, LinkedIn, PayPal, Pandora Music, and Amazon Music. Gen X / Baby Boomers, on the other hand, spent most of their time with Ring, Nextdoor, The Weather Channel, Kindle and ColorNote Notepad Notes, according to the company.
Among other things, TikTok outperforms the top social apps with hourly growth of up to 325 percent year-on-year in hours per user. This growth has been independent of the ban in India and government criticism in markets like the US. App Annie believes TikTok is on track to reach 1.2 billion active users in 2021.
However, WhatsApp led the race in markets like India. The average time spent on the instant messaging app in the country increased from 17.2 hours in 2019 to 21.3 hours per month.
The increase in time spent and downloads on the App Store has also helped developers earn more in 2020. App Annie mentioned in the report that 25 percent more app developers made over $ 2 million (approximately Rs.14.62 billion) a year through app stores. Apple recently announced its program to cut its commission rate from 30 percent to 15 percent. This move would help 97 percent of developers who make money on the App Store.
The mobile app market also attracted investors. According to App Annie, global funding for wireless companies more than doubled from 2016 to 2020 compared to the last five years. Investment capital flowing into cellular companies increased 27 percent year-over-year to $ 73 billion (roughly Rs. 5.33.939 billion), particularly in 2020.
In terms of mobile games, casual games dominated the market with 78 percent of all game downloads. Among us, ROBLOX and My Talking Tom Friends were among the most downloaded games. The mobile game market is also believed to be on track to surpass the $ 120 billion (roughly Rs 8.77.728 billion) mark in consumer spending in 2021.
In addition to mobile games, financial apps outside of China saw global growth of 45 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. In China, however, it was different. App Annie noted that this was due to the new legislation in the peer-to-peer lending space.
With most people staying indoors in 2020, the annual report shows that 40 percent more hours were streamed on mobile devices. With YouTube, the time expenditure per user could be increased up to six times compared to the closest app. According to the report, the market also ruled the average time spent per user per month.
Business applications like Zoom and Google Meet also saw a 275 percent increase in the fourth quarter as people mostly worked from home and embraced the concept of remote learning.
Facebook dominated the list of the top apps with the most monthly active users worldwide. The native app secured first place, followed by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. However, TikTok became the most downloaded app in 2020, followed by Facebook, WhatsApp and Zoom.
In gaming, PUBG Mobile was the market leader in terms of the most active monthly users. Candy Crush Saga, Ludo King and Among Us took second, third and fourth place. However, Free Fire led the most downloads, followed by Among Us, Subway Surfers, and PUBG Mobile.
Tinder emerged as the leading app with the most consumer spending of the year, while Honor of Kings beat the competition in terms of mobile games.
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