App Store, Google Play Spending to Reach $156B by 2023

By 2023, consumer spending in mobile apps on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play will increase drastically by 120% to reach $156 billion worldwide in a new report from app store intelligence firm, Sensor Tower. The projection assesses that the two stores will double their revenues for the next five years. China, US, and Japan markets are leading the way on iOS, while the US, South Korea, and Japan are leading on Google Play.

Sensor Tower estimates that Apple will reach $96 billion in worldwide consumer spending by 2023, an increase of 104% compared to $47 billion of 2018. Google’s Play Store will kick off to expand by 140 percent over 2018 to reach $60 billion. On the other hand, the Sensor Tower says that the Apple store will account for approximately 62% of all revenue generated by the two platforms.

The app store intelligence firm’s estimates for 2018 are a bit lower than App Annie’s data that estimated iOS and Google Play stores peaked $76 billion in consumer spending last year. Sensor Tower estimated only $72 billion. However, App Annie’s estimate was calculated before the end of the year. It estimated consumer spending grew to $101 billion in 2018 across Apple’s App Store, Google Play and third-party Chinese app stores after the year ended. Sensor Tower does not dig into third-party app store data.

The new forecast also proposed growth for up-and-coming markets. Over the next five years, Africa and Latin America will see the biggest revenue growth, with the previous poised for 296% growth to $420 million on the Apple App Store by 2023 and the second having 239% growth to $2.4 billion.

With Latin America reaching $2.8 billion in 2023, Google Play’s revenue growth is going to be even larger to 408% from 2018. By 2023, African countries will grow to 296% during this same time to reach $430 million.

As expected, these are still far smaller digits compared to what is projected for top markets.

The US, for instance, is on target to reach $40 billion in consumer spending across both app stores by 2023, up 110% over 2018’s total of $19 billion. Google Play will account for the remaining $15 billion, while Apple’s App Store will account for $25 billion of that figure.

One outstanding move included the Taiwan market becoming a top-five App Store country by revenue in 2023 with $2.1 billion, and the US getting ahead Japan in Google Play revenue in 2019. Top games like Monster Strike and Fate/Grand Order placed Japan’s Google Play revenue in 2018. However, it is expected to slow this year.

Sensor Tower also estimated that the US will momentarily bypass China in App Store revenue by 2020. These figures tie to Apple’s slower iPhone sales in China that led it to pull out its revenue forecast. Game-licensing freeze also significantly impacted which saw app downloads fall at 4% between 2017 to 2018, after growing to 8% in 2016. Consumer spending then grew only 14% in 2018, over 60% the prior year.

The revenue of China is projected to recover with the renewal of mobile game licensing, but the US is estimated to reach China’s levels for the next few years.

For the next five years, revenue growth in non-game apps on iOS by 24% and will pass growth of revenue in games by 10%. With this given, it will lead non-game apps to account for 40% of App Store’s revenue in 2023 by $38.8 billion.

Games still play a larger share on Google Play as of this moment, accounting for 86% of revenue by 2023, down from only 89% in 2017.

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