We’ve Acquired data.aiLearn more



Global App Spending Reached $407 Million on Christmas, Growing 35% Over 2019

Consumers worldwide spent $407.6 million in apps on Christmas 2020, an increase of 34.5% year-over-year based on Sensor Tower estimates.

Consumer spending reached $407 million on Christmas 2020.

2020 has been a record-setting year for worldwide spending on mobile apps and games, which passed $100 billion in a single year for the first time ever in November. This trend continued on Christmas, when consumers around the globe spent an estimated $407.6 million across Apple's App Store and Google Play, according to preliminary Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. This figure represents 34.5 percent year-over-year growth from approximately $303 million in 2019, and is nearly 17 points higher than the growth experienced last year when spending grew 17.7 percent Y/Y.

Mobile spending on Christmas comprised 4.5 percent of the month's total spending so far, which reached approximately $9 billion globally from December 1 to December 27. The majority of the holiday spending was on mobile games, which climbed 27 percent from $232.4 million on Christmas 2019 to $295.6 million this year. Tencent's Honor of Kings was the category leader with approximately $10.7 million in consumer spending, up 205.7 percent Y/Y from $3.5 million on the same day in 2019.

Global consumer spending on mobile apps this Christmas grew 34.5 percent year-over-year to $407.6 million.

Consumers spent $112 million on non-game apps this Christmas, up 59 percent from $70.5 million in the previous year. Compared to last Christmas, non-game apps saw 4.2 percentage points more total spending.

The category that generated the most revenue outside of games on both Apple's App Store and Google's platform was Entertainment. On the App Store, Entertainment apps reached $19.3 million or 21.8 percent of all non-game spending. On Google Play, the category generated $4.3 million or 18.5 percent of all revenue generated.

Outside of mobile games, TikTok was the top app in terms of consumer spending, generating $4.7 million globally in revenue on Christmas.

As in previous years, Apple's App Store captured the bulk of the spending between the two platforms. It saw 68.4 percent of the spending, or $278.6 million, up 35.2 percent Y/Y. Google Play saw $129 million in revenue, up more than 33 percent Y/Y.

U.S. Led Consumer Spending on Christmas

U.S. consumers spent nearly $130 million across both app stores this Christmas. This figure represents 38.7 percent Y/Y growth from $93.7 million last year, and exceeds global growth by 6 points.

U.S. consumer spending on mobile apps reached nearly $130 million this Christmas.

As on global marketplaces, mobile games generated the most revenue in the U.S., climbing 26.4 percent from nearly $69 million in 2019 to $87.2 million. Non-game apps grew 72.2 percent from $24.8 million to $42.7 million this Christmas, Entertainment leading with $9.6 million generated or 22.5 percent of all non-game spending.

Roblox was the top mobile game in the U.S., with consumer spending climbing 40.4 percent Y/Y from $4.7 million to $6.6 million this Christmas. Disney+ was the top non-game app for consumer spending, generating $2.6 million in the U.S., which was up 44.4 percent from $1.8 million in 2019.

Enduring Trends into 2021

As shown in our retrospective on this year's mobile market milestones, 2020 saw an unprecedented shift in consumer behavior and spending. This year set new records, with both app stores collectively generating more than $100 billion in consumer spending and a number of blockbuster apps jumping to the top of the charts. We'll have an analysis of the full year in early January.

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Stephanie Chan

Written by: Stephanie Chan, Mobile Insights Strategist

Date: December 2020