That number includes spending on in-app purchases and premium apps, the report stated. It does not include commerce apps like Amazon or rideshare apps like Uber — any app in which the purchases aren’t directly processed by the App Store.
The average in-app spending was the greatest since 2016 when it grew 42 percent. At the same time, the growth was significantly more than the 27 percent year-over-year increase between 2018 and 2019. At that time, the average spending on apps rose from $79 to $100.
The boost in global app spending was representative of the global trend, which saw consumers spending larger amounts related to their mobile devices overall as they tried to stave off the boredom of the pandemic.
Games were the biggest category of spending, going from $53.80 in 2019 to $76.80 in 2020, representing a growth of 43 percent, the report stated. iPhone spending on entertainment also saw a boost during the pandemic, going from $8.10 to $10.20, a 26 percent increase. That came as theaters shut down and studios like Disney had to turn fully to streaming for most of 2020 in order to get movies out.
“Average consumer spending on apps per iPhone in the U.S. has grown considerably each year at no less than 20 percent, and that trend is unlikely to change soon,” the report stated. “Since consumer habits may shift as in-person spaces begin to open once again, 2021 might very well see less significant year-over-year growth than 2020. However, this doesn’t point to a decline in the growth of mobile revenue, but rather exemplifies how extraordinary last year was due to the unanticipated global pandemic.”
PYMNTS reported this week that App Annie found that consumers set a record for in-app purchases in the first quarter of 2021, which comes out to the biggest increase since records began. Smartphone users, beginning 2021 still in the midst of the pandemic, spent $9 billion more this year as opposed to what the number was in 2020.
Apple’s App Store has been doing well, with the company seeing over $1.8 billion from the 2020 holiday season.