Both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store saw more than 30 percent year-over-year revenue growth in the third quarter thanks to COVID-19.
According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, people stuck at home during lockdowns or avoiding going out because of the pandemic boosted demand for entertainment and apps on both companies’ digital stores. Apple saw 31 percent growth year-over-year, going from $14.5 billion USD (about $19.3 billion CAD) to $19 billion USD in revenue (about $25.3 billion CAD).
Google, on the other hand, grew faster at 33.8 percent year-over-year, but only pulled in $10.3 billion USD in revenue (about $13.7 billion CAD).
Along with overall growth, some app categories surged as well. For example, Sensor Tower says mobile game spending grew 26.7 percent year-over-year and reached $20.9 billion USD ($27.8 billion CAD) worldwide across both stores, with Apple’s App Store generating more than half of that.
TikTok managed to be the highest-earning non-game app globally in Q3 despite being banned in India and almost getting banned in the U.S. Sensor Tower lists the following apps as the 10 top-grossing apps globally:
- Tencent Video
- BIGO Live
- Google One
Several of those apps are not well-known in North America, but have massive followings elsewhere. For example, Tencent Video and iQIYI are Chinese video apps, Piccoma is a Japanese manga app and BIGO Live is a video streaming app from Singapore. It was also surprising to see Google One on the list as it’s Google’s app for purchasing extra cloud storage. Although it came last in global rankings, it topped the Google Play revenue chart.
When you sort by most downloaded globally, things get a bit more familiar.
- Google Meet
- Snack Video
One last interesting note from Sensor Tower’s data is that mobile game Among Us topped the Q3 game download charts for both iOS and Play Store — despite releasing in June 2018 — thanks to strong promotion from streamers and word of mouth. Those interested can dive into all the Sensor Tower data here.