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European Consumer Spending in Mobile Apps Grew 21% in Q3 2021 to $4.6 Billion

Europe accounts for 13.6 percent of global mobile app consumer spending, Sensor Tower data shows.

European Mobile App Consumer Spending Grew 21% in Q3 2021 to $4.6 Billion main image feature

European consumers spent an estimated $4.6 billion across the App Store and Google Play during Q3 2021, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows. This represented an approximately 21 percent year-over-year increase in gross revenue from Q3 2020, based on user spending for in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps. European spending accounted for 13.6 percent of global mobile app revenue in Q3 2021, which exceeded $33.7 billion. For comparison, in Q3 2020, Europe accounted for approximately 13 percent of global consumer spending in mobile apps.

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 $2.4 billion in gross revenue in Q3 2021, a Y/Y rise of 20 percent. Google Play revenue, meanwhile, grew by 23.5 percent Y/Y to $2.1 billion.

Overall, the App Store accounted for 53 percent of user spending in Europe during Q3, with Google Play making up the remaining 47 percent.

European Consumer Spending in Mobile Apps and Games for Q3 2021

When it comes to downloads, the App Store and Google Play accumulated a combined 6.4 billion unique installs in Q3, down by 3 percent Y/Y.

As is typically the case globally, Google Play drove a greater number of downloads than the App Store, amassing 4.7 billion installs in Europe in Q3, a decrease of approximately 4 percent Y/Y. The App Store, meanwhile, generated 1.7 billion downloads, with installs growth remaining flat Y/Y.

Google Play accounted for 73.2 percent of all downloads, while the App Store made up 26.8 percent.

European Downloads of Mobile Apps and Games for Q3 2021

Europe’s Top Countries

The European country that drove the most revenue in Q3 2021 was the United Kingdom, generating more than $894 million in user spending last year, up 21.4 percent Y/Y. Germany ranked in No. 2 with $839.4 million, an increase of close to 17 percent, while France ranked No. 3, having accrued close to $489.8 million, up 14.6 percent. Turkey entered the top five revenue-generating countries in Europe last quarter, as user spending rose more than 80 percent to $234.7 million. The big earners driving the Turkish market were PUBG Mobile from Tencent, Garena Free Fire from Garena, and TikTok from ByteDance.

The U.K. represented the largest share of App Store revenue in Europe with $583.5 million, or approximately 24 percent of all user spending on the store. Germany, meanwhile, took the lion’s share of Google Play revenue, generating $454.5 million, or about 21 percent of the total.

Europe’s Top Revenue Generating Countries for Mobile App Spend in Q3 2021

The biggest generator of downloads was Russia with 1.4 billion installs in Q3, down approximately 1 percent Y/Y. For comparison, Turkey ranked No. 2 for downloads with more than 819 million installs for the year, a decrease of 6.6 percent, while the U.K. ranked No. 3 with 573 million, down 7.4 percent.

Russia was the largest driver of downloads on Google Play, where it accrued 1.1 billion installs, or 23.8 percent of all downloads on the store in Europe. The U.K., meanwhile, led the way on the App Store with nearly 312.7 million 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 Q3, generating approximately $105 million in user spending, while Disney+ ranked No. 2 and YouTube ranked No. 3.

Top Grossing Mobile Apps in Europe for Q3 2021 – App Store and Google Play

TikTok topped the downloads chart for Europe with 24.2 million installs during Q3. It was followed by Facebook’s WhatsApp at No. 2 and Instagram at No. 3.

Top Mobile Apps in Europe for Q3 2021 by Downloads – App Store and Google Play

European Mobile Game Revenue and Downloads

Mobile games generated $2.8 billion in Europe during Q3, an increase of 16.7 percent Y/Y. In total, gaming accounted for about 60 percent of all mobile app revenue in Europe based on player spending.

While on a global level the App Store generated more game revenue than Google Play, in Europe the opposite was true. Google Play generated $1.6 billion from mobile games in the region during the last quarter, up 14.3 percent Y/Y, while the App Store accumulated close to $1.1 billion from user spending, an increase of 10 percent.

Overall, Google Play represented 58.3 percent of total gaming revenue in Europe, while the App Store accounted for 41.7 percent.

Germany was a key driver for Google Play games revenue, with player spending on the storefront representing more than $366 million. On The App Store, meanwhile, the U.K. ranked No. 1 with $269.7 million in revenue from games.

European Consumer Spending in Mobile Games for Q3 2021

Combined game downloads across Europe declined by 3.4 percent Y/Y from 2.9 billion in Q3 2020 to 2.8 billion in Q3 2021. Unique installs for Google Play remained flat year-over-year at approximately 2.3 billion, while App Store downloads decreased by 9 percent to 488.4 million. Overall, Google Play accounted for 82.4 percent of total game downloads in Europe last year, while the App Store made up 17.6 percent.

European Downloads of Mobile Games in Q3 2021

PUBG Mobile ranked as the No. 1 revenue generating mobile game in Europe during Q3, taking in more than $100 million, a rise of 56.7 percent Y/Y. It was followed by Coin Master from Moon Active at No. 2 and State of Survival from FunPlus at No. 3.

Top Grossing Mobile Games in Europe for Q3 2021 – App Store and Google Play

Hypercasual hit Count Masters from Tap2Play was the most downloaded mobile title in Europe during Q3, amassing close to 16 million unique installs in Q3. Fidget Toys Trading, also from Tap2Play, ranked No. 2, while My Talking Angela 2 from Outfit7 ranked No. 3. Despite having its official launch as recently as September 22, 2021, Pokémon Unite from The Pokemon Company ranked No. 9.

Top Mobile Games in Europe for Q3 2021 by Downloads – App Store and Google Play

Europe’s mobile app market largely followed global trends when comparing market performance to Q3 2020 and the more immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Downloads have declined Y/Y compared to 2020’s outsized gains, but consumer spending has continued to rise, reflecting new user habits of increased mobile device usage for anything from shopping and fitness to entertainment. Meanwhile, while games continue to account for the largest share of app revenue in Europe at approximately 60 percent, this share has declined from 63.6 percent in Q3 2020. Other categories take up a larger share than at a global level, where games accounted for 66.7 percent of consumer spending in Q3 2021.

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: October 2021