Mobile book apps all-time high during pandemic

Mobile book apps all-time high during pandemic

Spending on mobile apps has been booming during the pandemic. Book category apps have passed a milestone in worldwide consumer spending. The category generated $1.1 billion in gross revenue from January 1 to June 23, 2021- the first time it has ever passed $1 billion in spending in a half. This was up 58 per cent when compared to the $720 million earned in the first half of 2020, preliminary report from measurement firm Sensor Tower shows.

Worldwide consumer spending in mobile apps reached $64.9 billion across the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2021, up 24.8 per cent from the same period last year. However, the growth during first half of 2020 was higher – 28.4 per cent – but seen as an effect of the pandemic with lock downs.

Apple’s App Store is projected to generate $41.5 billion in consumer spending globally from in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps and games in the first half of 2021. This is about 1.8 times the revenue generated by Google Play, which saw an estimated $23.4 billion in the same period, Sensor said.


“However, Google’s marketplace is projected to experience more Y/Y growth than Apple’s. In the first half of 2021, the App Store has grown 22.1 per cent from about $34 billion in the H1 2020, a little more than 7 percentage points lower than the 29.3 per cent growth experienced during 1H20 due to accelerated spending during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Google Play’s revenue in H1 2021 has grown 30 per cent from $18 billion in 1H20, more than 4 percentage points higher than the 26.8 per cent growth experienced last year when compared to the same period in 2019. The Y/Y revenue growth on Google’s marketplace is being driven by markets such as the Philippines, where the pandemic has resulted in continuing business closures and quarantines, the report said.


TikTok topped revenue charts in 2020 and continued to do so in 1H21 as the highest grossing non-game app worldwide across both the App Store and Google Play, when including Douyin on iOS in China. Consumers are projected to have spent more than $920 million in TikTok during the first half of the year, up 74 per cent when compared to the year-ago period.

TikTok was followed by YouTube, Tinder, Japanese comic reader Piccoma and Disney+.


Global spending in mobile games reached $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021, up 17.9 per cent Y/Y, a bit lower than for the first half of 2020 when it was up 25.5 per cent.

Sports category apps saw a resurgence in the first quarter of the year. Year-to-date, sports apps experienced the most Y/Y growth in consumer spending of any category, climbing 65 percent to $491 million, from $298 million in 1H20.

In terms of the highest spending among non-game apps, the Entertainment category took the top spot with $4.4 billion, up 49 per cent from 1H20.

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