Welcome to YouAppi’s App Trends Report, a regular rundown of actionable insights to help better market your app. In our fourth installment, we’re spotlighting global app engagement in June and overall global app performance for the first half of 2020.

Global App Engagement

Overall In-App Revenue Remains Strong - Consumer spend in apps has remained consistent following the 45% jump in IAP revenue during lockdown. Consumer spend in non-gaming apps has been particularly steady, growing week-over-week consistently to over 50% growth since mid-March. Game apps also continue to drive revenue, though at a slower rate over time. Following the 42% surge in IAP in May, gaming revenue has since dropped 22%. This indicates possible “app tourism” during the gaming boom, with first time gamers downloading and engaging with apps like never before. In-app spending behavior as a whole remains 20% higher, on average, compared to pre-lockdown days indicating the app economy is showing no signs of slowing down.


Weekly Percentage of Installs, Sessions and Revenue in Measured Time Frame (Normalized)

global app installs and sessions

Source: AppsFlyer

Ad Spend is Down - App install ad spend is down but remains higher than pre-lockdown days. Since early May, ad spend has dropped by 12% but remains close to 5% higher than before Shelter-in-Place measures. Overall spend in non-gaming apps has dropped 10% since the end of May. Overall spend in gaming apps has gradually decreased 22% since April. 


Weekly Percentage of App Install Ad Spend in Measured Time Frame (Normalized)

Global app install ad spend

Source: AppsFlyer


Cost of Media is Climbing - Despite natural declines in ad spend, the cost of media (CPI) has steadily increased week-over-week. Currently, costs for gaming ads are 40% higher compared to rates in mid-March and non-gaming ads are 30% higher. This suggests that the price of media has finally felt the effects of brands transitioning from cutting their spending early on in the lockdown to ramping up spend in April and May.

The Mobile Gaming Gold Rush in Finally Slowing - After a massive spike in mobile game installs (+25% in organic, +35% non-organic in early April), organic game installs have declined 16% since mid-March. Lower demand and rising media costs have also led to a 30% drop in marketing activity.

The Leading Verticals 

First place: Finance - Finance revenue has grown 75% since lockdown started, driven by greater use of financial services and investment apps.

Second place: Shopping - Demand for online shopping is rising, contributing to an 8% increase in revenue in the last month. This accounts for a total 50% rise in revenue since the start of lockdown. Shopping apps have curbed their ad spend 11% in the last month. That said, their marketing activity continues to be 15% higher than prior to the pandemic. Organic installs have also flattened in the past month.

Honorable mention:  Lifestyle Apps

Revenue for lifestyle apps has doubled since mid-March. In the past month, lifestyle apps have generated an additional 35% in revenue.

Global App Revenue & Downloads in H1 2020 

In the first half of 2020, consumers spent a combined total of $50.1 billion worldwide in the Apple App and Google Play stores. This is 23.4% more than mobile users spent during the same period in 2019. This also represents a greater revenue increase than growth between the first half of 2018 and 2019.


global app revenue H1 2020

Source: Sensor Tower


In terms of downloads, 71.5 billion app installs took place in the first half of 2020, up by more than 26% from the same period in 2019. Apple’s App Store accounted for 18.3 billion of these downloads. 


Source: Sensor Tower


In terms of revenue, Tinder took the number one spot for highest-grossing non-game app, generating $433 million in spending across both stores. The second highest-grossing non-game app was YouTube at $431 million in consumer spending. Number three was TikTok at $421 million.


global top grossing apps revenue

Source: Sensor Tower


In terms of downloads, TikTok took the number one spot for most-downloaded non-game app, driving 626 million installs across both stores. TikTok was followed by WhatsApp and Zoom. 


top app downloads global

Source: Sensor Tower


We’re keeping a close watch on app engagement as user behavior changes during the pandemic. Check back for more actionable insights to better market your app in the “new normal”.