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Report: Users spent nearly $60 billion on apps in 2017

Users spent more than ever on apps in 2017. Between owners of iOS and Android devices, apps generated nearly $60 billion dollars—a 35% increase from 2016.

Published onJanuary 5, 2018

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  • Users spent nearly $60 billion on apps in 2017—up roughly 35% from 2016.
  • Apple’s App Store led Google’s Play Store in revenue— $38.5 billion vs. $20.1 billion
  • While games only grew 30%, they still generated more than 80% of app revenue in 2017.

Revenue from paid apps, subscriptions, and in-app purchases rose 35% in 2017, according to a new report. The numbers come from Sensor Tower, and show that users spent nearly $60 billion on apps last year on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

Apple has led Google in app revenue for years, and 2017 was no different. Sensor Tower shows that iOS users spent $38.5 billion on apps last year, compared to $20.1 billion for Android users. Not only does iOS have the lead in total money spent, but it is also growing faster. Revenue from the app store increased by 34.7%, whereas revenue from Google Play rose 34.2%.

When you combine the numbers for the two marketplaces, users spent $58.7 billion in 2017, up 35% from $43.5 billion in 2016.

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First-time installs of apps rose about 13.5% in 2017, growing to more than 91.5 billion installs. That seems to indicate that a large portion of the increase in revenue is coming from emerging markets. As more customers get their hands on their first device, more apps than ever are being downloaded.

Games grew this year too. Gaming revenue was up 30%, slightly less than apps as a whole, but generated an estimated $48.3 billion. Even though revenue grew slower than other kinds of apps, games still accounted for nearly 82% of all app revenue. Android seems to be the platform of choice for gamers, as the Play Store accounted for 27.2 billion of the 35.5 billion (77%) games downloaded in 2017.

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