It was a very merry Christmas for app developers and distributors, as consumers worldwide spent nearly $200 million on Android and iOS apps on Christmas Day, according to data compiled by Sensor Tower. This number includes app sales, in-app purchases and subscriptions, but doesn’t include Android app sales in China.
The $196 million spent at Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store represents a more than 12% increase in revenue over last year’s Christmas sales of $174 million. The data suggests that not only are app sales and in-app purchases growing, but so are subscriptions. Revenue from pixel art coloring books, which were a hot item at the App Store this holiday season, were driven largely by subscriptions.
Another interesting trend in app sales has been the growth of non-game apps. These sales grew by 66% over last year, while mobile games sales grew only by a little more than 5%. Still, games way out grossed non-game apps. They took in $158 million in comparison to $150 million a year ago, while non-game apps brought in $38 million this year after grossing $24 million last year.
Streaming entertainment apps, such as those produced by Netflix and HBO NOW, were largely responsible for the increase in non-game app revenue. Sensor Tower thinks that about $9.5 million of non-game app revenue came from these types of apps, which is nearly double what they took in a year ago.
Many experts believe that Christmas Day app revenue is a good indication of what will likely happen in the industry during the coming year. If true, the industry has a lot to look forward to in 2018.
These sales numbers come on the heels of App Annie’s recent sales report. They saw third-quarter app sales reach $18 billion, which is a record amount. They also saw downloads in the same period reach 26 billion, which is also a record. They say that the increases came from a wider adoption of smartphones in the developing world. They further estimate that, by the beginning of the next decade, worldwide app sales will surpass $100 billion, and downloads will reach nearly 240 billion.