Q3's Global App Revenue Sees a 23% Increase over last year!

The rising popularity of mobile gaming and the growth in subscription economy has resulted in a significant increase in the Global app revenue over the last one year. The consumer revenue witnessed a growth of 22.9% year-over-year in 2019’s third quarter, totaling to around $21.9 billion across both Google Play and App Store worldwide. These numbers were provided by Sensor Tower.

Interestingly, App Store users’ spending made up nearly 65% of this massive revenue ($14.2 billion in Q3 2019). In Q3 2018, their spending peaked at $11.6 billion. As for Google Play, it generated revenue of $7.7 billion in the last quarter, a step up from the $6.2 billion spent in the same quarter last year.

App Annie conducted their own research and found that the year-over-year increase in consumer spending in Q3 2019 was $23 billion. Also, its research claimed the number of downloads to be 31 billion, unlike 29.6 billion as estimated by Sensor Tower.



Both of the researches indicated Google Play to be the main source of first-time installs. In the last quarter, the download count was 29.6 billion, with 21.6 billion belonging to Google Play.

Despite the strong performance worldwide, the growth in China witnessed a slight decline. Sensor Tower claimed that the observed drop in that market year-over-year was around 6%. However, its revenue witnessed a growth of 26.9%, which brought the total from $3.2 billion in Q3 2018 to $4.1 billion in Q3 2019. This makes us believe that the slight decline was due to the game license freeze in China which lasted nine months before it was lifted.

It should be noted that the data gathered by Sensor Tower doesn’t include the third-party app stores, so expect some missing details while looking at the stats concerning the Chinese app market.



According to Sensor Tower, Tinder emerged as the top revenue generating app (non-game) in the last quarter with a whopping $233 million (7% increase year-over-year). It was followed by Netflix and YouTube respectively.

App Annie had slightly different findings however. According to it, the top 3 revenue generating apps were Tinder, Netflix and IQIYI respectively. The reason behind the different rankings could be App Annie’s larger access into the Chinese app market.

Let’s shift the discussion to the number of downloads. Sensor Tower’s findings saw WhatsApp, TikTok and Messenger taking the top 3 spots respectively. As for App Annie, it placed TikTok behind Messenger and Facebook.


In Q3, Mobile gaming grossed massive revenue of $16.3 billion. This constituted around 74% of the total in-app spending. The App Store had a contribution of $9.8 billion in the total, as compared to Google Play’s $6.5 billion.



The number of game downloads across the App Store and Google Play witnessed a growth of 17.6% in Q3, with the total now amounting to 11.1 billion. Fun Race 3D, PUBG Mobile and Mario Kart Tour emerged as the most downloaded games with 123 million, 94 million and 86 million downloads respectively.

As for revenue, PUBG mobile raked in around $496 million, growing 652% over the last 12 months. Tencent’s Honor of Kings secured the 2nd spot by generating $377 million in revenue. The 3rd spot was taken by Fate/Grand Order by Aniplex. It collected revenue close to $354 million.



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