Quarterly App Spending Hits All-Time Record of $34 Billion as COVID Restrictions Start to Ease

$7 billion jump in spending year-over-year indicates the start of a global economic rebound

App Annie issued its Q2 Index Report, revealing another record-breaking quarter for global spend on mobile — increasing by $2 billion since Q1 2021. The data indicates that app spending is on the rise as lock down measures ease.

Strong performance in sectors including short-form video, entertainment and health and fitness point to a deepening of habits formed during the pandemic:

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  • TikTok continued its dominance and surpassed YouTube for per user engagement, with the average user is spending 24.5 hours a month in the app in the US and nearly 26 in the UK on android phones
  • Demand for video streaming apps is climbing, with HBO Max reaching 18 million US monthly active users in May 2021
  • At-home fitness remains in high demand with users spending $673 million globally in Q2. Connected devices like Peloton and Fitbit in the top breakout apps by consumer spend for the quarter
  • Global downloads of medical apps in Q2 have increased by 75% vs. pre-pandemic levels

Categories including sports and travel saw significant growth, indicating that sectors hurt most by the pandemic are on the verge of a strong recovery according to latest report:

  • Time spent in Sports apps in April 2021 was up globally: US (10%), Germany (10%), Spain (10%), the UK (20%) and Italy (55%) vs April 2019 year over year in the
  • Booking.com emerged as a top 10 global breakout app in Q2 2021 for time spent among Travel & Local apps on Android phones, showing consumers are hungry to travel. Time in Travel apps increased in markets like the US and the UK, where vaccinations rates are high.

“The data show that COVID-19 deeply influenced mobile behaviors including spending and time spent — and that the mobile habits consumers picked up during global lockdowns are here to stay,” said Lexi Sydow, Head of Marketing Insights, App Annie. “As industries begin to recover from COVID, mobile usage is an early indicator of changing consumer demand and market sentiment. The many bright spots of mobile growth across multiple sectors and geographies points to the beginning of a global economic rebound.”

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