Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Garena Free Fire and Among Us help drive global app spending above $110B a year

Consumers spent close to $111B globally on apps from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play during 2020 – a 30% increase from 2019 – according to data presented by comparison and education site Trading Platforms.

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns saw mobile devices increase further in influence and become a key connection to education, employment, and entertainment for many people.

While both the App Store and Google Play recorded almost identical YoY growth at 30%, data shows that the App store generated 87.3% more spending than Google Play. The App store recorded $72.3B in consumer spending compared to $56B in 2019. Google Play generated $39B in 2020 compared to $30B in 2019.

There was also a record number of first-time downloads for the year of 2020 with Apple and Google Play recording a combined 143 billion downloads – a 23.7% increase from 2019. Notably, Google Play generated higher YoY growth of 27.9% compared to 12.1% YoY growth for the App Store.

Google Play recorded 46.1B mobile game downloads compared to the App Store’s 10.1B downloads in 2020. More significantly, Google Play’s almost 40% YoY growth rate quadrupled the App Store’s 10% YoY growth rate. Spearheading this growth is Garena Free Fire which ranks as the most downloaded Google Play Game of 2020, while the breakout game Among Us leads in App store downloads for 2020.

For more results from the Trading Platforms research, click here.