Consumers Spent a Record $32 Billion on Apps in Q1 2021, Up 40% YoY

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 1 Apr 2021

iPhone App Store

The COVID-19 led lockdowns last year across the world led to a massive increase in consumer spending on apps and games. That trend is still continuing as consumers reportedly spent $32 billion on IAPs across iOS and Google Play in the first quarter of 2021.

This is the biggest quarter ever for both app stores, with consumer spending increasing by a staggering 40% from the same quarter in 2020. Consumers spent $9 billion more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than they did in Q1 2020.

2020 itself was a good year for both Google Play and App Store, with consumer spending increasing noticeably every quarter. It is estimated that over 218 billion apps and games were downloaded in 2020, with consumer spending reaching $143 billion.

IAP Consumer Spending

The iOS App Store continued to lead Google Play in terms of consumer spending. Consumers spent $21 billion on the iOS App Store versus $11 billion on the Google Play Store in Q1 2021. Gaming was once again the biggest moneymaker and accounted for $22 billion of the total spends. This includes $13 billion on iOS and $9 billion on Android.

On the iOS App Store, Games, Photos and Videos, and Entertainment category apps registered the highest growth. On Google Play, Games, Social and Entertainment apps saw the highest growth in consumer spending.

Despite the ban in India and the setback that the Trump administration had given, TikTok remained the most downloaded app of the quarter. This was followed by Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Zoom. YouTube was the top video app for IAP spending, followed by TikTok, Disney+, and Tencent Video.

Thanks to the backlash that WhatsApp faced due to its new privacy policy, messaging app Signal saw the highest growth in Q1 2021, both in downloads and MAUs. This was followed by Telegram and MX TakaTak, a popular short-video app in India. You can also check out the most download iPhone apps and games of 2020 here.

We Want to Hear From You

Did you also spend more on apps and games in Q1 2021 than you have done in previous quarters? If so, what apps and games did you purchase? Drop a comment and let us know!

[Via TechCrunch, App Annie]