App revenue increased by almost a quarter to $21.9b in 2019 Q3

iPad app Store
iPad app Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • App revenue increased by 23%.
  • $21.9 billion was spent.
  • App Store makes up the lion's share.

Independent developers might be struggling to make money in various app stores, but there is money going somewhere. App revenue has increased to $21.9 billion for the third quarter of 2019, up from $17.9 billion the previous year. That's growth of a massive 22.9%.

These numbers crom from the latest data published by Sensor Tower and highlights the fact that people continue to spend money despite warnings from developers that people won't pay for apps.

Sensor Tower app revenue stats

Breaking things down it appears App Store users spent more than those using Google Play on Android – $14.2 billion, up 22.3% and $7.7 billion, up 24%, respectively. But paradoxically Google's Play Store is the one where the most downloads occur.

Google Play generated nearly three-times more first-time app installs in Q3 2019 than the App Store, accumulating 21.6 billion during the quarter, up 11.3 percent Y/Y from 19.4 billion in Q3 2018. The App Store also saw growth for the period, with first time app installs increasing by 5.3 percent Y/Y from 7.6 billion to just under eight billion. The total number of downloads in Q3 2019 was 29.6 billion, up 9.7 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Game downloads remained strong with both Google Play and the App Store seeing increases. PUBG – $496 million – was the game that made the most money, whereas Tinder – $233 million – took the top spot for non-games.

Most downloaded apps

(Image credit: SensorTower)

For the 2019 quarter, the games category represented 74 percent of total in-app spending, a decline from the 76 percent share it took in Q3 2018. As with overall app spending, App Store users forked out the most money on games, spending $9.8 billion in Q3 2019, up 19 percent Y/Y from $8.2 billion the year prior.

Most downloaded games

(Image credit: SensorTower)

With Tinder generating $233 million and PUBG managing to rake in $496 million, it's clear where phone users see their priorities these days!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.