App analytics firm Sensor Tower is starting 2021 with a look-back at 2020’s apps spending by customers of the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play.

“Consumers spent nearly $111 billion globally on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps across both marketplaces,” claims the company, citing its own preliminary data for the year. “This figure represents 30.2 percent year-over-year growth from 2019 when app stores generated $85.2 billion.”

Apple’s store accounted for 65% of the total in 2020 – around the same as previous years.

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok alone generated $1.2bn of App Store spending in 2020 – that’s in-app purchases by users, since the app is free to download and use.

The company also cites a new record for ‘first-time installs’ of apps in 2020 – as in, not re-downloads of apps people already own – up 23.7% to nearly 143bn installs last year.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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