Global downloads of mobile consumer apps, including games, hit a new quarterly record in this year’s third quarter, at 38.7 billion —up 8% versus Q3 2021, according to data.ai’s latest data.
Despite the download growth, however, global consumer spend on apps declined to $32.4 billion — down 5% from $34 billion in Q3 2021.
The trend reflects some leveling off of the boost in app spend driven by the pandemic, although spending remains higher than it was pre-pandemic.
Gaming apps continue to dominate non-gaming apps in both spending and download growth.
On iOS, spending shrank 3% to $21 billion, while on Google Play, it slipped 5% to $11.4 billion.
The Apple platform attracts a more affluent user base and has historically dominated global app spending, according to data.ai.
But iOS still accounted for 65% of all app spend — consistent with the previous four quarters — and commands an even higher 71% of consumer spend in non-gaming apps (thanks largely to the mainstreaming of in-app subscriptions for news media, podcasts etc). So the contraction in iOS spend made a significant impact on the market overall.
On Google Play, the U.S., Japan and South Korea were the largest markets by consumer spend. The U.S., France and Vietnam showed the most growth as compared with Q2 2022.
Across Google Play and iOS, games, entertainment and social were the biggest categories by consumer spend, with entertainment, productivity, and books and reference showing the largest quarter-over-quarter increases. Events grew 162%, auto/vehicles 49%, and house/home 47%.
Looking more closely at Q3 downloads, Google Play’s grew 9% YoY, to 30 billion, while iOS’s grew 6%, to about 8.7 billion for the quarter.
In terms of specific apps, the now-mature global market continues to be dominated by the social, messaging and streaming giants, with the top five in Q3 exactly the same as in Q2 by all measures: spend, downloads and monthly active users/MAUs (chart top of page).One change in the lower ranks stood out: Amazon’s audiobook product, Audible, rose two places to reach No.9 in the consumer spend top 10, driven in part by heavy marketing spend over the summer. However, Spotify is now gunning for Amazon, having launched its own audiobook service in September.