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Mobile users spend over $350 million daily on games and apps in 2021

13 Dec 2021
Mobile users spend over $350 million daily on games and apps in 2021

Smartphones are increasingly playing a key role in consumers' lives, an aspect that has accelerated in the last few months. The significance of smartphones is well highlighted by the amount consumers spend on various apps like games. 

Data presented by Burga indicates that consumers globally are projected to spend $133 billion on mobile apps and games in 2021 for both Google Play and App Store. The App Store spend ranks the highest at $85.1 billion, while spending on Google Play apps and games is $47.9 billion. Therefore, users are approximately spending $370 million daily, translating to $11 billion monthly on mobile apps and games in 2021. The cumulative spend for 2021 represents a growth of 19.71% from last year's figure of $111.1 billion. 

Elsewhere, 2021 mobile apps and game downloads are expected to hit 143.6 billion. Google Play accounts for the highest figure at 111.3 billion, while the App Store figure stands at 32.3 billion. The 2021 figure represents a slight growth of 0.48% from the 142.9 billion recorded in 2020. For both years, Android outshined Apple in downloads but trailed in revenues. Data on mobile apps spending is provided by mobile app intelligence platform Sensor Tower.



Drivers for increasing mobile apps spending 

The expected mobile app spending in 2021 follows a supercharged 2020 when the ecosystem underwent various changes with a shift in consumer behavior inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. 

As the world embarks on normal operations, the growth in spending and downloads indicate that the trends established last year continue to develop alongside being engraved in consumers' daily lives. Initial signals were that the pandemic-driven changes in consumer spending would outlast the lockdowns to continue impacting mobile trends. 

Generally, the pandemic, which compelled most people to work from homes, has increased focus on mobile devices helping people shop, work, learn, gaming, exercise, among others. However, the downloads appear to be stalling correlating with the general reopening of the economy amid the ongoing vaccine rollout. Earlier assumptions were that growth experienced in the smartphone space might stall once the pandemic had been contained.

The spending and downloads also align with mobile devices' growing purpose in running businesses. As smartphone penetration continues to grow, most businesses leverage the devices to offer various services. Notably, businesses focusing on mobile are likely to stay ahead of the competition compared to peers. For instance, banking and investment services are occurring more via mobile apps, giving consumers the much-needed convenience. 

Furthermore, the App Store spending has remained significantly high for two years, but Google Play is making inroads to catch up. The variance can slightly be attributed to the penetration rate among the two operating systems for the devices. For instance, Play Store downloads are higher considering Android serves more people mainly due to the considerably affordable prices. 

Worth noting is that App Store spending might be a reflation of the tiff between Apple and developers. The company has faced several antitrust claims and a controversial 30% commission fee for developers.


The growth of mobile games 

Mobile games are part of the genre that propelled the smartphone sector over the past year. With quarantine, consumers turned to mobile games as a means of keeping entertained and killing time. The demand pushed most publishers to invest more in mobile games, introducing improvements like bringing console experience to smartphones. 

With the demand for mobile games, publishers also explored various ways to monetize different titles, like enabling alternative means of payments like credit/debit cards, direct carrier billing, and the use of popular digital wallets. 

Alongside the changing consumer behavior, mobile app downloads and spending is likely to increase amid the growing penetration of smartphones and the internet. Furthermore, there is potential for increased spending and downloads as developers focus on offering low-end and high-end smartphones apps to cover all demographics.

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