As Apple looks to increase Services revenue from existing iPhone users, new data from Sensor Tower sheds more light on those efforts. According to the data, which was obtained by TechCrunch, U.S iPhone users spent an average of $79 last year on apps and subscriptions.
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That number is up 36 percent from 2017, when users spent $58 per U.S. iPhone. For comparison’s sake, that number was $47 per iPhone in 2016 and $33 per iPhone in 2015. That makes the 36 percent growth between 2017 and 2018 slightly lower than the 42 percent growth between 2015 and 2016.
Gaming accounted for $44 of the $79 spent per iPhone user in 2018. However, other categories were up significantly. Entertainment revenue was up from $4.40 to $8.00, while Music revenue was up from $4.10 to $5.00.
For example, Entertainment apps grew their spend per device increase by 82 percent to $8 of the total in 2018. Lifestyle apps increased by 86 percent to reach $3.90, up from $2.10. And though it didn’t make the top five, Health & Fitness apps also grew 75 percent year-over-year to account for an average of $2.70, up from $1.60 in 2017.
Other categories in the top five included Music and Social Networking apps, which both grew by 22 percent.
This data includes both in-app purchases as well as premium app purchases. The App Store has shifted significantly towards a subscription model, however. Apple touted during its Q1 2019 earnings call that there are more than 30,000 third-party subscription apps available on the App Store.
After a string of scammy apps that attempted to lure users into high-priced subscriptions last year, Apple cracked down on those tactics. In October, the company started pulling apps that “may mislead or confuse” users into signing up for subscriptions.
What’s important to note is that Sensor Tower’s data is based app spending only. The $79 figure doesn’t include things like Apple Music, iCloud storage, and iTunes purchases. This means that as Apple continues to ramp its own Services, such as original video streaming, the average spend per U.S. iPhone will continue to grow.