App revenue is soaring with $21.9bn spent in Q3 alone, up 22.9% YoY

App revenue is soaring with $21.9bn spent in Q3 alone, up 22.9% YoY
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Research from Sensor Tower reveals a range of insights about the app development industry and its rapid growth.

Sensor Tower’s research shows app development is a more lucrative business than ever with almost $22 billion spent in the third quarter alone. The huge spending represents an increase of close to 23 percent over last year’s Q3 2019 spend of $17.9 billion.


As the chart above shows, the App Store remains the most lucrative distributor of apps.

Apple’s app store generated around $14.2 billion of gross app revenue for developers worldwide, an increase of 22.3 percent over the same period last year.

Google’s Play Store remains a hugely important marketplace but it maintains its reputation for not bringing in the same amount of cash as Apple’s counterpart. In fact, with $7.7 billion revenue generated in Q3 2019, the Play Store generated almost half as much as the App Store.

Where the Play Store continues to beat the App Store is in the number of app downloads. 21.6 billion apps were downloaded via the Play Store in Q3 2019, compared to just eight billion using the App Store. Furthermore, the Play Store had the largest YoY growth in app downloads (11.4%) compared to the App Store (5.3%), so that lead is set to extend.


The Play Store’s dominance in app downloads is most likely due to Android’s global marketshare of around 76.24 percent, compared to iOS’ 22.46 percent. There are more price levels and handsets available running Android which makes them a popular choice in both emerging and established markets.

Sensor Tower’s research shows it continues to be highly lucrative to target both iOS and Android, but there are significant differences to consider if you opt for just one platform.

If you’re looking to gain as much profit from your paid app as possible, and you don’t mind fewer overall downloads, iOS is your best choice. If you’re looking to distribute your free app as widely as possible, Android is the clear winner.

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