A new report from analytics firm Sensor Tower notes that consumer spending on the top 100 non-game subscription-based apps across mobile platforms grew 41% year-on-year to $18.3 billion in 2021, up from 13 billion in 2020.
Revenue from subscription apps on the App Store and the Google Play Store accounted for approximately 14% of the $131.6 billion that consumers spent on in-app purchases last year, up from 11.7% in 2020.
86 of the top 100 earning non-game apps worldwide offered subscriptions during the fourth quarter of 2021, down a point from the 87 apps in the same quarter of 2020.
As usual, spending on subscription-based apps in Apple’s App Store was quite a bit more than in the Google Play Store:
As in previous years, consumers spent more on subscription-based apps downloads from the App Store than on Google Play. The top 100 non-game subscription apps on the App Store generated $13.5 billion in 2021, up 31 percent Y/Y from $10.3 billion. Worldwide consumers spent $4.8 billion on the top 100 subscription apps on Google’s marketplace, up 78 percent from $2.7 billion in 2020. While the top subscription apps on Google Play experienced more growth, the top apps on the App Store saw nearly three times as much spending last year.
The only performance indicator in which the Google Play Store beat the App Store was in terms of year-on-year growth for U.S. user spending on subscription apps, a repeat performance from 2020.
Consumer spending in the U.S. saw a similar breakdown, with the top 100 subscription apps generating $6 billion on the App Store, up 33 percent Y/Y from $4.5 billion. The cohort saw approximately $2.5 billion in consumer spending on Google Play, up 79 percent from $1.4 billion in 2020.
As for overall subscription app spending, Google grabbed the top spot again for both the US and globally in 2021, as U.S. YouTube generated $1.2 billion worldwide and $566.5 million in the U.S., while Google One earned $1.1 billion worldwide and $698 million in the U.S. in 2021.
Usually, Apple takes a 30% cut of the action when it comes to app revenue. However, Apple’s cut drops down to 15% on subscriptions where a customer has subscribed for longer than a year.