Consumers spend a record $32bn on apps in Q1 2021 globally

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Consumers spent $32 billion on in-app purchases across iOS and Google Play globally in Q1 this year, the biggest quarter ever and 40 percent from the same quarter last year, a new report has revealed.

The market grew at unprecedented speed during the Covid-19 pandemic as millions stayed home, and smartphone users spent around $9 billion more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than they did in Q1 2020, according to app analytics firm App Annie.

The growth in Q1 2021 was shared equally by the two platforms. Consumers spend grew 40 per cent (year-over-year) to $21 billion on iOS, and by the same percentage to around $11 billion on Google Play.

“Total downloads also grew significantly. Downloads on both iOS and Google Play combined rose by around 10 percent to 31 billion in the quarter,” the report mentioned.

In Q1 2021, gaming proved to be the most influential category in the overall app market.

Gamers downloaded around a billion titles every week in the quarter, while total consumer spend on gaming hit $22 billion.

iOS gamers spent the most at $13 billion (up 30 per cent on-year), while gamers spent $9 billion on Google Play (up 35 per cent).

In Q1 2021, gamers downloaded around a billion games every week.

“This is 15 percent up on 2020, and 35 percent up on the weekly average for Q1 2019. Google Play game downloads grew 20 percent year over year to 11 billion,” said App Annie.

The quarter’s most downloaded game was Supersonic Studio’s hyper casual survival game ‘Join Clash 3D’. It swapped places with Among Us! at number 2.

In 2021, mobile gaming is set to reach $120 billion in consumer spend, 1.5 times all other gaming formats combined, said the report.

On Google Play, in terms of spend, Games, Social and Entertainment saw the strongest quarter over quarter growth while on iOS, the largest categories by growth were Games, Photo and Video and Entertainment.

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