Consumer spending in mobile apps to reach new heights

As global consumer spending in mobile apps is projected to again reach new heights in 2021 and the number of publishers seeing their first $1 million or more in annual net income this year has nearly doubled since 2016.
Apple iPhone 12 5G smartphone for businessSlightly more than 900 publishers worldwide are projected to surpass this significant milestone across the App Store and Google Play in 2021, up close to 91 percent over 2016’s total of 475, reports Sensor Tower.

The number of iOS publishers alone exceeding this mark will reach 581, up 87 percent from 310 in 2016. Google Play will see a similar trajectory, growing its first-time million-dollar-plus publishers from 165 in 2016 to 325 this year. This represents 97 percent growth, surpassing the App Store’s performance in this regard by 6 percentage points.

While consumer spending has continued to see positive growth, the number of publishers surpassing the $1 million net income milestone for the first time this year is expected to decline year-over-year in 2021.

The App Store saw 636 publishers reach or exceed $1 million in annual net revenue for the first time in 2020, a figure that will decline by nearly 9 per cent in 2021. Google Play had 367 publishers cross that milestone last year, placing this year’s total 11 percent below that figure.

Though more publishers have historically earned their first $1 million or more in net revenue on the App Store each year, the gap between Apple’s marketplace and Google Play is shrinking.

The delta between the two was at its peak in 2017 when the App Store produced 2.7 times the number of Google Play, while this year Apple’s store will produce about 1.8 times more first-time $1 million-plus earning publishers than Google’s.

This trend reflects the increased velocity in overall consumer spending on Google’s platform; in 2021, consumers are projected to spend $47.9 billion on Google Play, up 23.5 percent. That is nearly 6 percentage points higher than the 17.7 growth Apple’s store is expected to see this year as iOS consumer spending reaches an estimated $85.1 billion.

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