Consumers spent more than $23.4 billion via app stores in the first quarter, the highest quarter ever for consumer spending in this area, according to a report from App Annie.
Consumers spent $15 billion on iOS and more than $8.3 billion on Google Play in the first quarter of 2020, App Annie said. Worldwide non-gaming spending on iOS surpassed $5 billion in the quarter and non-gaming spending on Google Play reached about $1 billion, according to the report.
Games, entertainment and photo and video were the top three categories by consumer spend on iOS, and games, social media and entertainment were the top categories by consumer spend for Google Play, according to App Annie.
The App Annie report attributed the growth in app downloads and spending to the COVID-19 outbreak. As governments impose self-isolation and quarantine measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, consumers have more time to download apps, play games and consume media, the report concluded.
The App Annie report adds further context to other reports that show how consumers are modifying their media consumption and commerce online. A report from AdColony found that mobile gaming increased by 24% in the last two weeks of March as people consume entertainment through smartphones. It’s also worth noting that Instagram added a video chatting feature to keep people connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
A similar trend has emerged in the e-commerce sector. Grocery apps have seen a surge in downloads as consumers shift their ordering online. Takeout delivery apps, conversely, have seen a decline in downloads, according to an Apptopia report. Meanwhile, companies like 7-Eleven and Postmates have offered contactless options and other perks for mobile consumers who want to maintain social distancing during the pandemic.