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Consumers Spent Nearly $200 Million in Apps on Christmas, Up 12% Over 2016

Gross revenue on both app stores grew, with Entertainment spending nearly doubling over last year.

Christmas 2017 App Revenue Hero Image

Worldwide consumer spending on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps grew 12.3 percent year-over-year on December 25, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data. Spending surpassed a combined $196 million on the App Store and Google Play, up from approximately $174 million the year before.

Non-Game Revenue Grew Most, Entertainment Nearly Doubled

The $196 million figure, which excludes Android revenue in China, represents year-over-year growth of about 5.2 percent for mobile game spending and approximately 66 percent for non-game apps. As the chart below shows, spending in mobile games grew $8 million, from $150 million in 2016 to an estimated $158 million this year, while non-games climbed $14 million, from $24 million to $38 million.

Christmas 2017 vs. 2016 App Revenue

Our data reveals that Entertainment category apps in particular witnessed tremendous year-over-year growth on the holiday, with consumers spending nearly 98 percent more in them versus a year ago. We estimate that approximately $9.5 million was spent in these apps, which include top earners such as Netflix and HBO NOW, on Christmas, up from about $4.8 million in 2016.

As in years past, in-app spending should continue to remain higher than normal through the new year as consumers continue to explore the possibilities of their newly acquired devices and tap into app store gift cards. We'll continue to track both stores and take a look at total year-end spending once we've officially bid farewell to 2017.

Note: The above figures represent spending on in-app purchases (IAP), subscriptions, and premium apps only on the App Store (iPhone/iPad) and Google Play. Spending on purchases in apps such as Amazon, or apps which do not monetize through either platform, is not included, nor is spending on music, movies, TV, or other content.

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Randy Nelson

Written by: Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights

Date: December 2017