The mobile app market is growing more and more each year, and the numbers make this clear. New Sensor Tower research published on Tuesday revealed that users spent $133 billion on apps in 2021, which is 20% more than in 2020. Interestingly, Apple’s App Store continues to generate more revenue than Google Play.

Sensor Tower’s research (via TechCrunch) includes data from both the App Store and Google Play. Overall, Apple’s App Store alone accounted for $85.1 billion of this market, with year-on-year growth of 17.7%. While Android dominates the market share, users spent less with the Google Play store than with the App Store. During the year, Google Play registered $47.9 billion in revenue.

After the boom in adoption and spendingfor both mobile games and non-game apps in 2020, market trends began normalizing in 2021 as worldwide consumer spending is projected to reach approximately $133 billion on in-app purchases, premium apps, and subscriptions across the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data. This represents 19.7 percent year-over-year growth from $111.1 billion in 2020, nearly mirroring the 21 percent Y/Y growth consumer spending experienced in 2019.

The research notes that the growth is due to the normalization of the market following the impacts of COVID-19 last year, so it is plausible to imagine that results will be even better in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, TikTok is the top revenue app of the year as the video platform reached $3 billion in revenue in June. Other apps that drove the mobile app market in 2021 were YouTube, Tinder, and Disney+. Apps like Tencent Video, iQIYI, Piccoma, QQ Music, and Youku are also among the top revenue apps in Apple’s App Store.

When it comes to download numbers, TikTok remains number one on the list. However, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Zoom come right behind it.

Sensor Tower has even published a ranking dedicated to games. Just on the App Store, gamers are expected to spend $52.3 billion by the end of the year. On iOS, the most downloaded game in 2021 was PUBG Mobile, while Honor of Kings led revenue generation for the year.

More details about the research can be found on the Sensor Tower website.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.