During the United States presidential election, the top mental wellness apps on the U.S. App Store and Google Play saw a surge in first-time installs and an uptick in daily active users. Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that the top five meditation apps saw their installs collectively grow 30 percent week-over-week in the period from November 3 to November 5 as compared to October 27 to October 29. This cohort's average daily users also grew 26 percent year-over-year when compared to November 3 to November 5, 2019.
Our research focused on Calm, Headspace, Pray.com, Breethe, and Insight Timer, which were the top-grossing mental wellness apps on the U.S. App Store and Google Play in both periods studied. Collectively, these five apps reached a combined 215,000 installs from November 3 to November 5, up 30 percent from 166,000 installs in the prior week period.
Following an Election Day ad campaign, Calm's installs grew 31 percent W/W. Pray.com saw the most growth out of the cohort with an 80 percent W/W increase in installs.
The surge of interest in mental wellness apps during the week of the U.S. general election was not out of place in 2020. From November 3 to November 5, the top mental wellness apps' daily active users saw 26 percent year-over-year growth when compared to the same period in 2019.
Beyond Election Day, usage of these apps is up this year when compared to 2019 as users grapple not only with tumultuous political events but also a global pandemic and economic recession. The same apps' daily active users grew 27 percent Y/Y during the first 10 months of this year.
While the election certainly drove more installs and active users for the top apps in the mental wellness and meditation category, this uptick was part of a larger overall trend. Installs for the five apps we studied surpassed 20 million in the U.S. from January to October, up 22 percent from a little more than 17 million during the same period in 2019. Even once countries around the globe begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, mental wellness apps will likely see their user base continue to grow and more competitors will enter this already hotly contested space.