The Impact of COVID-19 on Mobile App Spending

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected app spending and downloads within the mobile industry. 

According to Sensor Tower’s market forecast, worldwide spending on mobile apps will reach $171 billion by the year 2024. While the App Store will have an annual growth rate of 15.8% and account for $115 billion, Google Play will have a 13.2% growth rate and reach $56 billion.

In terms of downloads, the total of App Store and Google Play downloads will reach $184 billion by 2024. This means App Store and Google Play downloads will reach $45 billion and $139 billion by 2024 respectively.   

When it comes to the top players that account for app spending, mobile games within the App Store have been in the lead since 2018. The findings indicated that the games category reached 71% in terms of app store revenue share in that year. In 2019, it was at 68%. By the end of 2020, it will reach 66%, according to Sensor Tower’s forecast. 

Although this category is expected to still be on top in 2024 at 49%, other categories, such as entertainment, photo and video, as well as social networking, however, is also expected to grow by 2024. 

The data on the Play Store paints a similar trajectory, especially with mobile games taking the lead between 2018 and 2024 compared to the other categories. While 2018 saw consumer spending amount to 87% in this context, 2019 was at 85%. For 2020, it will be 82%. Meanwhile, 2024 is expected to reach 74%.

When the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, there was a significant increase in the number of mobile app downloads as well, according to the report. Apps that allowed for video conference calls, as well as grocery and food delivery apps became more necessary than ever for individuals and businesses. 

While businesses shifted employees to work-from-home conditions, applications such as Slack and Zoom became necessary for remote communication. Sensor Tower noted that “users have been exposed to new types of apps and may be more likely to rely on mobile in the future.”

The avoidance of brick-and-mortar stores is increasing along with the rising popularity of going digital. According to a study by Coresight Research, as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, 85.6% of U.S. individuals who are 61 and older said they would likely avoid shopping centres, and 61.1% of this age group said they would avoid shops in general. 

Those between ages 45 and 60 were at 79.3% in terms of avoiding malls. Meanwhile, individuals between the ages of 30 and 44, as well as 18 and 29, were at 67.8% and 67.9% respectively.

For restaurants, contactless solutions have been implemented, encouraging mobile app spending on food delivery services. Uber Eats, for example, is encouraging users to use their mobile apps to support local restaurants in New York. 

“Uber will then match every contribution with a donation to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund for a total commitment of up to $5M for the group’s important work,” the statement read. 

Uber Eats added that following the trial period for this feature, it hopes to expand it across the U.S. and other countries. 

With the increasing popularity of mobile app spending, especially in the context of COVID-19, merchants require professional payment processing solutions that would maximize revenues and align with their long-term business strategies. 

Merchant Broker is ready to help businesses achieve these goals. To contact a representative, email


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