Consumers spent $135 bn on mobile apps in 2021: App Annie report

Consumers spent $135 bn on mobile apps in 2021: App Annie report

Total consumer spend across iOS and Android rose by 25 per cent YoY to $135 billion.

Top breakout apps for India (Photo: App Annie) Top breakout apps for India (Photo: App Annie)

The pandemic kept us mostly indoors throughout 2021 as well and that translated to people spending more time on their devices. And that in turn translated into spends online. According to App Annie’s latest report, 2021 was a record-breaking year that witnessed the total consumer spend on iOS and Android going up by 25 per cent YoY to hit $135 billion. App downloads also hit a new milestone this year, growing 8 per cent to touch 140 billion.

Video sharing and editing apps witnessed the highest growth in 2021 globally with apps like CapCut, MX TakaTak, and Moj garnering the largest growth in downloads.

Consumer spend on apps was driven primarily by live and content streaming apps like YouTube, Disney+, TikTok, and Twitch.

Apps used for communication and work, like Zoom, Microsoft Office, Teams, etc., also made their presence felt on the ‘Breakout Monthly Active Users’ list.  On the gaming front, hyper-casual games like Bridge Race, Hair Challenge, and Project Makeover topped the list of downloads in 2021. However, games like Genshin Impact and Roblox ruled the in-app purchases’ list. Roblox, AmongUS, Pokemon Unite saw big increases in usage over 2021 as these games allowed users to socialise in person or virtually.

“One of the big take-aways is that the global population adapted to the pandemic by embracing a mobile lifestyle. The sectors that did well were the ones that brought people closer together both virtually and in person,” said Lexi Sydow, Head of Insights, App Annie.

The other notable app sectors that witnessed significant growth on mobile were social apps and dating apps. TikTok led the spending growth worldwide in social apps, followed by Bigo Live, and Discord. Other notable video apps that saw the largest growth include Likee and Azar.

Tinder topped the charts for growth in consumer spend globally among dating apps followed by Bumble, whose lifetime consumer spend just surpassed $1 billion, and Hinge, who recently surpassed 250 million pounds in spend.

“The 'TikTok' effect is readily apparent in the breakout app data for 2021. ByteDance's video-sharing app is a global cultural force now. In fact, we project that it will surpass 1.5 billion users in the next 12 months,” App Annie said in its report.

For India, MX TakaTak was the top breakout app (downloads) for 2021, followed by Meesho and Share Karo India. Bridge Race, FAU-G: Fearless and United Guards, and Legend Squad 3D are the top games.

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