Like it or not, mobile games were more profitable than ever in 2019, so they’re here to stay.
Between Apple and Android, mobile users spent more than $80 billion on apps and mobile games in 2019, a massive figure that continues to increase every year.
Chances are most of you reading this will be avid gamers, furious with the plight that is the emergence and success of mobile gaming. To people who mainly play games on consoles and PCs, the appeal of mobile gaming for anything more than a short bus ride can be baffling. However, some demographic must be playing them more extensively as the mobile gaming industry is an absolute goldmine right now.
The amount of revenue apps and mobile games bring in across Apple and Android grows with each passing year. In fact, Sensor Tower has just released figures for 2019 and although we knew they’d be big, we have been absolutely blown away by them. Apps and mobile gaming had another record-breaking year as people spent $83.5 billion on them in total.
The majority of that staggering figure goes to Apple and iOS (sorry, Android fans). $54.2 billion of that total was spent by iPhone users, and it was a 16.3% increase in what those same users spent the year before. It’s not all bad for Google Play, though. Although it didn’t make the lion share of the revenue, the $29.3 billion it did make was 18.1% more than it racked up in 2018.
Even more impressive is the number of first-time app installs. Apps were installed for the first time across iOS and Android an incredible 114.9 billion times. That’s 9.1% more first-time downloads than the 105.3 billion in 2018. Considering there are only 7 billion people on the planet, and we’re a long way off all of them owning a smartphone, those numbers are hard to get your head around.
For those avid gamers who despise the direction in which mobile gaming is taking the industry, all is not lost. 74% of the money spent on and in apps in 2019 went to mobile games, which is a drop versus the 77% share mobile gaming had in 2018. Sensor Tower attributes that drop to the arrival of subscription services last year, so it might continue to drop in 2020 and beyond.