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Mobile consumers spent $143 billion on apps in 2020

Mobile consumers spent $143 billion on apps in 2020

Mobile consumers spent $143 billion on the platform in 2020, according to the State of Mobile 2021 report from App Annie.

The monetary spending is across the App Store, Google Play and third-party Android stores in China. Moreover, the impressive figure represents a growth rate of 20 per cent year-on-year.

It's not just revenue that soared last year, but the amount of time that consumers spent on mobile devices too. In 2020, users racked up 4.2 hours a day on smartphones, amounting to 3.5 trillion hours on Android.

Meanwhile, across iOS and Android devices, 218 billion downloads were racked up worldwide, an increase of seven per cent year-on-year.

Undoubtedly, the success seen by the mobile games market last year can be somewhat attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. Worldwide, many people were forced to stay at home in mandatory lockdowns; as such, they turned to their smartphones for entertainment.

Wanna play a game?

When it comes to games specifically, core gamers are responsible for 66 per cent of all revenue across the App Store and Google Play. As well as 55 per cent of the total time spent on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, casual games accounted for 23 per cent of generated earnings, while casino titles came in at 11 per cent. However, the latter only took up two per cent of time spent on mobile games, leaving the remaining 43 per cent to the casual genre.

Core games may have dominated in revenue, but downloads were overrun by casual titles, as they accounted for 78 per cent of downloads. Core and casino games were responsible for 20 per cent and two per cent of installs, respectively.

Events proved to be the most lucrative features for mobile titles in 2020. Overall, in-game events generated $53 billion. However, leaderboards and customisation also proved to be good earners with $46.6 billion and 47.1 billion, respectively.

However, this year, App Annie predicts that the mobile games market will generate $120 billion.

Top performers

According to App Annie, PUBG Mobile reigned supreme when it came to monthly active users, taking the top spot worldwide. Last year proved to be a big one for the battle royale as it hit 600 million downloads and $3.5 billion in lifetime spending.

However, other games that had a high number of MAUs include Candy Crush Saga, Free Fire, Roblox and Among Us. The latter of which hit 500 million monthly active users in November 2020.

Meanwhile, Garena Free Fire proved to be the most downloaded game worldwide. It was followed by Among Us, Subway Surfers – which has hit three billion lifetime downloads – PUBG Mobile and Gardenscapes.

When it comes to consumer spending, Tencent's Honor of Kings – known as Arena of Valor in the west - was the top dog. It was followed by Pokemon Go, which has hit $4 billion in lifetime revenue. The top five games were rounded off with Roblox, Monster Strike and Coin Master.

Catch those ads

Overall, mobile ad spends in 2020 hit $240 billion, a growth rate of 26 per cent year-on-year.

Moreover, mobile ad placements in the US grew by 95 per cent year-on-year, while Turkey, Mexico, France and Brazil grew by 335 per cent, 175 per cent, 165 per cent and 170 per cent, respectively.

It is expected that smartphone advertising will reach $290 billion by the end of 2021.


Staff Writer

A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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