App Store doubles Google Play Store in subscription spending

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Global consumer spending on app store subscriptions reached new heights in 2021.
  • App Store spending continues to more than double spending on the Google Play Store.
  • Play Store spending grew more than App Store spending last year.

Consumer spending on the App Store continues to dwarf that of the Google Play Store.

In new data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, consumer spending on subscription apps reached new heights of $13.8 billion in 2021, a 41% year over year increase in comparison to 2020.

Worldwide consumer expenditure in mobile apps reached new highs yet again in 2021, and Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that mobile users are spending more than ever in subscription apps. The top 100 non-game subscription-based apps saw their revenue grow 41 percent year-over-year from $13 billion to $18.3 billion globally. This was 7 percentage points greater than in 2020, when spending in these apps climbed 34 percent Y/Y from $9.7 billion in 2019.

Top Subscription Apps 2021 Us

Top Subscription Apps 2021 Us (Image credit: Sensor Tower)

When it comes to a breakdown of Apple's App Store to Google's Play Store, consumer spending on subscription apps in the App Store reached $13.5 billion compared to $4.8 billion on the Play Store. However, Google saw the largest gain with 78% growth in spending from 2020 to 2021.

As in previous years, consumers spent more on subscription-based apps downloads from the App Store than on Google Play. The top 100 non-game subscription apps on the App Store generated $13.5 billion in 2021, up 31 percent Y/Y from $10.3 billion. Worldwide consumers spent $4.8 billion on the top 100 subscription apps on Google's marketplace, up 78 percent from $2.7 billion in 2020. While the top subscription apps on Google Play experienced more growth, the top apps on the App Store saw nearly three times as much spending last year.Consumer spending in the U.S. saw a similar breakdown, with the top 100 subscription apps generating $6 billion on the App Store, up 33 percent Y/Y from $4.5 billion. The cohort saw approximately $2.5 billion in consumer spending on Google Play, up 79 percent from $1.4 billion in 2020.

The top subscription apps by revenue for the App Store in 2021 were YouTube, Tinder, and Disney+.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.