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14 December 2021
Mobile apps and games look set for record spend
Gaming hardware & softwareDigital media consumptionDevices & apps
2021 was a record-breaking year for mobile apps and games, with total global consumer spend across iOS and Google Play soaring by nearly 25% year-on-year to hit US$135bn as downloads also hit a new milestone, growing 8% year-on-year to reach 140 billion, according to mobile data and analytics provider App Annie’s market data.
Why it matters
Total spend in the two dominant app stores has been rising since they launched more than a decade ago and despite predictions of a slowdown, the app economy keeps growing, with gamers spending the most, while more than one-third of non-gaming spend now comes from entertainment and social apps.
Video sharing and editing apps posted the highest growth in 2021 globally.
CapCut, MX TakaTak and Moj saw big growth in downloads as consumers looked to develop original video content.
In Singapore, Disney+ emerged as the top breakout app by downloads in 2021 while CapCut took the third spot.
Consumer spend is driven by live and content-streaming apps like YouTube, Disney+, TikTok and Twitch as consumers seek entertainment and to reward their favourite livestreamers.
Hyper casual games reigned supreme for downloads; Pokémon Unite’s usage spiked as users socialise in-person or virtually.
TikTok led the spending growth worldwide in social apps, followed by BIGO LIVE and Discord.
Business apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Office and Teams led the growth for usage as working from home and hybrid business models become a mainstay.
“One of the big takeaways is that the global population adapted to the pandemic by embracing a mobile lifestyle. The sectors that did well were the ones that brought people closer together, both virtually and in person.” – Lexi Sydow, head of insights at App Annie.