Mobile users in the United States spent an estimated $1.27 billion in the top 10 subscription video on demand (SVOD) apps last year, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals. This represented year-over-year growth of 62 percent from the $781 million spent by consumers in the top SVOD apps during 2017. Mobile spending in these apps during 2018 was nearly three times more than in 2016.
For the second year in a row, Netflix led U.S. consumer spending in mobile SVOD apps, grossing an estimated $529 million from in-app subscriptions and growing 81 percent from 2017. Last year's second highest earning U.S. SVOD app, YouTube, took in less than half as much revenue at approximately $223 million, but grew more significantly year-over-year at 114 percent, up from $104 million in 2017.
HBO NOW, the top-earning U.S. SVOD app in 2016, retained its 2017 ranking at No. 3 overall, but saw its subscriber spending decrease year-over-year—the only app among the top 10 to do so. Its gross revenue fell by 12 percent over 2017 to $166 million (down from $189 million) as the streaming service contended with a year devoid of its most popular original content, Game of Thrones.
Hulu and YouTube TV rounded out the top five and both witnessed significant growth in user spending over 2017, at 68 percent and 419 percent, respectively. YouTube's live TV streaming service revenue was boosted by a continued rollout into new markets across the U.S. throughout 2018, while Hulu benefitted from its own live TV offering and growing library of exclusive original content.
CBS, ranked No. 8 for overall revenue, saw less substantial—yet still significant—year-over-year growth in subscriber spending at 57 percent. The app's revenue between 2016 and 2017, when its first CBS All Access original series The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery debuted, grew by 126 percent.
Overall, the top 10 SVOD apps accounted for close to 22 percent of all non-game app revenue in the U.S. last year, and their 62 percent revenue growth outpaced that of all non-game apps combined, which grew 56 percent over 2017 according to Sensor Tower data.
Note: The revenue estimates presented in this report are not inclusive of any in-app advertising. Subscription refunds are also not reflected in the provided figures.