According to an analysis by CNBC, Apple’s App Store grossed more than $64 billion in 2020 while preliminary SensorTower Store Intelligence data shows consumer spending on Apple’s App Store hit $72.3 billion, up 30.3% year-over-year ($55.5 billion in 2019).
App Store sales growth accelerated strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people sheltered at home and spent more time and money on apps and games.
App Store revenue grew 28% in 2020, up from 3.1% growth in 2019, according to CNBC’s analysis.
Apple doesn’t disclose how much revenue its App Store makes per year. Instead, since 2013, it has released data points in January that include the total that Apple has paid to developers since the beginning of the App Store in 2008.
Using those numbers, it’s possible to back out roughly how much revenue the App Store generated based on how much Apple paid to developers in any given year. According to a press release on Wednesday, Apple has paid developers $200 billion since 2008, up $45 billion from the figure that was announced in January 2020. If that’s equal to 70% of App Store sales, then the App Store grossed around $64 billion last year.
There are some exceptions to Apple’s 30% cut of digital sales, and Apple’s figures are rough, which means that Apple’s App Store total sales is likely even higher.
Globally, consumer spending on the App Store reached $72.3 billion, up 30.3 percent Y/Y from $55.5 billion in 2019.
As in previous years, this exceeded the amount users spent on Google Play, which grew 30 percent Y/Y from $29.7 billion in 2019 to $38.6 billion.
The App Store generated 87.3 percent more in consumer spending than the Play store, and both platforms experienced roughly the same Y/Y growth.
MacDailyNews Take: Using CNBC’s “more than $64 billion,” Apple’s App Store places 166th on the Fortune 500, right around Humana ($64.88 billion in annual revenue). Using SensorTower’s $72.3 billion figure, Apple’s App Store is 135th on the Fortune 500, higher than Lowes’ Intel, and the U.S. Postal Service.
Apple’s App Store generated 87.3% more in consumer spending than Google’s Play store, despite Android possessing 72.48% of worldwide mobile operating system market share vs. 26.91% share for Apple’s iOS which is a nice, concise lesson in the demographic differences between Apple device users vs. those who settle for pale imitations.