One of the effects of the pandemic has been the increased use of smartphones and other digital gadgets, whether for commercial, educational or recreational purposes. A trend confirmed by a recent report by the analysis firm Sensor Tower. In the “Store Intelligence” study, we read that in the first half of 2020, consumer spending on mobile apps increased by 28.4% compared to the same survey in 2019. And it’s a non-stop increase: in the first six months of 2021 there was another jump by 24.8% compared to last year. Translate it means $64.9 billion users spent, overall, on the App Store and Google Play. Two digital stores owned by antitrust authorities are under the lens of a duopoly.
Profit share, according to Sensor Tower, hangs on Apple’s side, at $41.5 billion, while Android brought the remaining 23.4 billion to Google’s coffers. In the first half of 2021, the App Store grew by 22.1%, and Google Play grew by 30%. Google’s broader growth is being driven by markets like the Philippines, where Covid-19 has led to continued lockdowns and quarantines, driving e-commerce and delivery apps. In terms of individual apps, TikTok surpassed revenue in 2020, and the non-gaming app remained the highest-earning worldwide on both the App Store and Google Play, including also the Chinese version for iOS named Douyin. YouTube ranks second, with $564.7 million spent. The third is Tinder, ahead of Japanese comic reader Piccoma and Disney+ streaming platform. Also a huge success for video games.
Global spending reached $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021, up 17.9% year over year. Growth follows that seen last year, when the mobile video game segment rose 25.5%. The App Store recorded $26 billion in in-game spending, up 13.5%. Google Play Store maintained the same trend observed in the first half of 2020, at +24.7%. The gaming sector on smartphones and tablets has slower growth rates than in 2020, but for Sensor Tower, this does not indicate a decline in the sector, but rather a normalization after a boom during the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. The game that generated the most revenue globally was Tencent’s Honor of Kings, which also ranked first in the App Store. On the Google side, Coin Master reigns supreme, but is only ranked fifth in the overall ranking. PUBG Mobile is stable at the top while Pokémon Go is back in vogue, the game that focuses on augmented reality and the desire to take to the streets, where you can find new pets for your character. With regard to the gaming sector, a legal battle is taking place in the United States between Apple and Epic Games, the company that owns the popular game Fortnite, which has chosen to separate from the App Store in order not to pay a 30% commission. For the Cupertino Giant. On every product it came to iPhone owners.
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