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European Mobile App Consumer Spending Grew 19% in 2019 to More Than $11 Billion

User spending in Europe accounted for 13.5 percent of global app revenue, Sensor Tower data shows.

Average Revenue Per App Publisher Q1 2019

European mobile consumers spent an estimated $11.2 billion across the App Store and Google Play during 2019, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows.

This represented an 18.9 percent year-over-year increase in gross revenue from 2018, based on user spending for in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps. European spending accounted for 13.5 percent of global mobile app revenue in 2019, which exceeded $83 billion.

In this report, we delve deeper into mobile non-gaming and gaming apps revenue and download figures, and identify which countries are driving the region’s market forwards.

European Mobile App Revenue and Downloads

The App Store drove the majority of user spending in Europe, generating $6 billion in gross revenue in 2019, a Y/Y increase of 19.6 percent. Google Play revenue, meanwhile, grew 18 percent Y/Y to $5.2 billion.

Overall, the App Store accounted for 53.7 percent of user spending in Europe during 2019, with Google Play making up the remaining 46.3 percent.

European mobile app revenue grew to $11.2 billion in 2019

When it comes to downloads, the App Store and Google Play accumulated a combined 24.1 billion unique installs in 2019, up 7.2 percent Y/Y.

As is typically the case globally, Google Play drove a greater number of downloads than the App Store, amassing 17.6 billion installs in Europe in 2019, an increase of 8.7 percent Y/Y. The App Store generated 6.5 billion downloads, growing 3.6 percent Y/Y.

Google Play accounted for 73.1 percent of all downloads, while the App Store made up 26.9 percent.

European app downloads grew to 24.1 billion in 2019

Europe’s Top Countries

The European country that drove the most revenue in 2019 was Great Britain, generating more than $2.1 billion in user spending last year, up 20 percent Y/Y. Germany was close behind with just under $2.1 billion, an increase of 17.9 percent, while France ranked No. 3, having accrued close to $1.4 billion, up 15.7 percent.

Great Britain represented the largest share of App Store revenue in Europe with $1.4 billion, or 23.6 percent of all user spending on the store. Germany, meanwhile, took the lion’s share of Google Play revenue, generating $1.2 billion, or 23.3 percent of the total.

Europe top grossing countries for mobile app spend 2019

The biggest generator of downloads was Russia with 5.3 billion installs in 2019, up 13.5 percent Y/Y. For comparison, Turkey ranked No. 2 for downloads with close to 3 billion installs for the year.

Most of Russia’s downloads came from Google Play, where it accrued close to 4.3 billion installs, or 24.3 percent of all downloads on the store in Europe. Great Britain, meanwhile, led the way on the App Store with nearly 1.2 billion downloads, or 18.2 percent of the total.

Europe’s Top Mobile Apps

Dating app Tinder was the top grossing non-game app in Europe in 2019, generating $303.1 million in user spending, significantly ahead of the No. 2 app Netflix, which accumulated $199.4 million.

Top non-game mobile apps in Europe in 2019 by revenue and downloads

Facebook dominated the downloads chart for Europe, with four apps—WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook—in the top five. The only non-Facebook-published app was TikTok in fourth place, which picked up 91 million downloads in Europe in 2019. While TikTok didn’t make the top 10 for revenue, user spending in the app increased by 162.5 percent Y/Y to $11.1 million. Globally, the app generated $176.9 million last year.

European Mobile Game Revenue and Downloads

Mobile games generated $7.4 billion in Europe in 2019, an increase of 14.6 percent Y/Y. In total, gaming accounted for 66.3 percent of all mobile app revenue in Europe based on user spending.

While on a global level the App Store generated more game revenue than Google Play, in Europe the opposite was true. Google Player users spent $4.2 billion in the region last year, up 15.4 percent Y/Y, while the App Store generated close to $3.3 billion from user spending, an increase of 13.6 percent.

Overall, Google Play represented 57 percent of total gaming revenue in Europe, while the App Store accounted for 43 percent.

Germany was a key driver for Google Play games revenue, with user spending on the storefront representing more than $1 billion, or 66 percent of all mobile game revenue in the country.

European gross mobile game revenue for 2019

Combined gaming downloads across Europe increased by 9.5 percent Y/Y from 9.5 billion in 2018 to 10.4 billion in 2019. Unique installs for Google Play increased 10.2 percent to 8.2 billion, while App Store downloads grew 7.1 percent to just under 2.3 billion. Overall, Google Play accounted for 79 percent of total downloads in Europe last year, while the App Store made up 21 percent.

European mobile game downloads for 2019

Coin Master from Moon Active was a fast riser in 2019, working its way to the top of the pile in Europe as the top revenue-generating mobile game with $211 million. That was higher than Candy Crush Saga from King, which accumulated $206.8 million in user spending, and Clash of Clans from Supercell, which grossed $182.8 million. Coin Master’s impressive growth has been powered by new updates and downloads nearly tripling to Y/Y to 16.7 million.

The top mobile games in Europe in 2019 by revenue and downloads

Beating out the hyper-casual games in the top downloads chart was Brawl Stars from Supercell, which amassed 56.5 million unique installs in 2019 following its global launch in December 2018. One of the year’s biggest launches, Call of Duty: Mobile from Activision, developed in partnership with Tencent’s TiMi Studio, was the fourth most downloaded game in Europe with 48.9 million installs.

Europe’s mobile market continues to experience double digit revenue growth at consistent levels across both the App Store and Google Play, though when it comes to downloads, Apple’s storefront is growing at less than half the pace of Google’s.

Much like on a worldwide level, games are a key driver for Europe’s app revenue. However, this category takes up a smaller chunk of the pie in the region: Globally, games made up 74 percent of all user spending, while in Europe that fell to 66.3 percent. Another unique facet of the European market compared to other lucrative regions is that Google Play is the biggest driver of revenue in Europe, thanks in part to the success of the storefront in Germany.

Note: The revenue estimates contained in this report are not inclusive of local taxes, in-app advertising, or in-app user spending on mobile commerce, e.g., purchases via the Amazon app, rides via the Uber app, or food deliveries via the GrubHub app. Refunds are also not reflected in the provided figures.

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Craig Chapple

Written by: Craig Chapple, Mobile Insights Strategist, EMEA

Date: January 2020