I’ve spent a decent chunk of time this morning trying to think about the number of apps I downloaded in the last year. And then how many of those weren’t free. And which ones I’ve paid for in-app purchases while using. Not many, ultimately. I finally caved and sprang for the ad-free model of a certain running app; a tricked out version of that app that makes your pictures and videos sparkly for a couple of bucks; and a Spotify family account I split three ways with two former roommates. That’s about it. But it turns out, according to a forthcoming study, that my total spending on apps was low compared to that of the average American iPhone user.
According to a new report from Sensor Tower due out later this week, revenue generated per U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent, from $58 in 2017 to $79 last year. As is typical, much of that increase can be attributed to mobile gaming, which accounted for more than half of this per-device average.
For comparison, the jump between 2016 and 2017 was from $47 to $58. The study breaks down the types of apps where people spend the most money. Unsurprisingly, gaming apps top the list. (Which, looking at my non-gaming phone habits, makes my markedly below-average spending total make a little more sense.) Health and fitness apps saw significant growth, too, up 75 percent from 2017. The average user spent $44 on gaming apps in 2018, compared to $8 on entertainment and $5 on music.
Come to think of it, the most money I think I spent on apps in a year was after Beyoncé dropped “Lemonade” and I forgot to cancel my Tidal subscription after the free trial ran out.