Users spent more on apps in 2016, with games and entertainment apps major the way

The quantity of cash U.S. users are spending on iPhone apps is steadily climbing, but 1 category in certain saw important development last year: Entertainment apps. The category – home to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO NOW – saw consumers’ average spending boost by 130 percent year-over-year, according to a new report from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

The findings point to people’s developing interest in cord cutting and streaming Tv services – a trend which has currently observed many of these apps scoring a spot as 1 of 2016’s most significant apps by income. HBO, for example, recently announced its app for cord cutters HBO NOW had grown to more than two million subscribers – a lot more than doubling its user base from the year prior. 

Netflix also saw its iOS customer base increase because it launched an in-app subscription providing back in Q4 2015. The app contributed approximately $ 7.9 million in gross income throughout its launch quarter, and that figure grew to far more than $ 58 million by the last quarter of 2016, Sensor Tower estimates.


Subscription services impacted the development in other iOS categories as nicely, the firm found. For example, the Photo &amp Video category benefitted from the development of YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red. Photo &amp Video, which is YouTube’s main category, saw its U.S. App Retailer income per active iPhone grow from $ .30 to $ .70 from 2015 to 2016.

Meanwhile, the Social Networking category increased from $ 1.80 to $ 2.00. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also exactly where you can uncover Tinder, the well-liked dating app which launched its subscription providing in early 2015. Tinder was also one particular of the top apps by revenue last year.

The Music category grew from $ three.40 to $ 3.60, likely impacted by the gains made by its own best apps Spotify and Pandora, both of which supply a selection of subscription tiers to their customers.

Nevertheless, the category that contributes the most to App Store’s bottom line continues to be games. In 2016, much more than 80 % of the U.S. App Store income was generated by the Games category, notes the report.


U.S. iPhone owners spent an average of $ 27 per device on games last year, up from $ 25 in 2015.

Even though spending enhanced, the category saw per-device installs decline last year, going from 10.five in 2015 to 9.9 in 2016. That seems to imply that customers have been spending more money in fewer games – possibly a side impact of the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

Social networking apps also saw fewer installs in 2016 (two.three on typical, down from three.three), but the remaining categories didn’t see such significant declines.

The reality that installs by category dropped across the board, nevertheless, indicates that customers are sticking with established apps, while newcomers are getting a harder time obtaining accomplishment.