App Annie Reports Publishers Made Over $89 billion as Downloads Reached 90 Billion in 2016

January 17, 2017

Mobile app data and insights leader highlights 2016 industry trends in annual Retrospective Report

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — App Annie, the most trusted mobile app data and insights company, today released its fourth annual Retrospective Report, a comprehensive analysis of the top app market trends for 2016. As consumer behavior continues to shift increasingly app-first, the Retrospective Report provides app market and category insights to better run mobile businesses. The report covers the growth of the overall mobile app economy with a focus on which industries and countries are most impacted.

Given worldwide growth in both downloads and usage, publisher revenue grew 40 percent year-over-year -- an acceleration over 2015's growth rate -- resulting in $35 billion across iOS and Google Play app stores. When including in-app advertising, app store revenue and third-party Android stores in 2016, publishers made over $89 billion in revenue. App downloads grew by 15 percent worldwide across iOS and Google Play, with total time spent in apps increasing by 25 percent. Further, the report stated that the average consumer uses well over 30 apps per month across various markets*.

"As technology and business models continue to evolve, apps are playing an even greater role in transforming, and creating opportunities for, companies and industries both established and new," remarked Danielle Levitas, Senior Vice President of Research at App Annie. "We're seeing major indications of this shift globally. App adoption is growing rapidly in emerging markets including India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil -- while mature markets are seeing apps challenge and change traditional industries including retail, entertainment and banking."

Key highlights for the 2016 Retrospective Report include:

  • The app economy continues impressive growth worldwide. Contrary to the myth that no one downloads apps, consumers are increasingly downloading, and using, apps.
    • In 2016, publishers were paid over $35 billion in revenue across the iOS App Store and Google Play. When including in-app advertising, app store revenue and third-party Android stores in 2016, publishers made over $89 billion in revenue.
    • Downloads increased by more than 13 billion, reaching 90 billion, across iOS and Google Play.
    • India has surpassed the US as the #1 country by Google Play downloads, indicating that app marketers need to focus increasingly on this and other hyper-growth markets.
    • Usage, downloads and revenue increased worldwide, with total time spent in apps increasing by over 150 billion hours year-over-year, reaching nearly 900 billion hours in 2016**. Most countries experienced over 20 percent year-over-year growth for time spent in-app (the US saw roughly 25 percent).
  • Apps disrupt traditional industries Banking, Entertainment and Retail
    • Apps have transformed the world of banking. Both fintech (i.e. Paypal, Venmo, Credit Karma) and retail banking apps have made their footprints in this industry. Venmo's monthly active users doubled from October 2015 to October 2016. Once traditional banks realized they should go mobile, their apps shot up in popularity; monthly active users for the top four US retail banking apps have exceeded those of the top fintech apps.
    • For Entertainment, YouTube was the leading streaming app for active users in the US and UK, but Netflix led the way in both countries for App Store revenue. In China, Youku barely edged out iQIYI for the top spot by active users.
    • For Retail, time spent in shopping apps grew by 30 percent year-over-year in the United States for the busy buying month of November.
  • Games are still #1 when it comes to app revenue, thanks to the likes of Pokemon GO bringing non-gamers into gaming
    • Pokemon Go ranked third for top games of 2016 for revenue (Worldwide, iOS and Google Play combined). It attracted millions of non-gamers and familiarized consumers with the concept of augmented reality (AR), making it one of the most memorable apps of 2016.
    • Games still lead revenue -- generating the most app store revenue across iOS (75 percent) and Google Play (90 percent).

The full report can be downloaded here:

*iPhone, 2016
**Android phone total time, excluding China

About App Annie
App Annie delivers the most trusted app data and insights for your business to succeed in the global app economy. Over 700,000 registered members rely on App Annie to better understand the app market, their businesses and the opportunities around them. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with 450 employees across 15 global offices. App Annie has received $157 million in financing from investors including, Greenspring Associates, Greycroft Partners, IDG Capital Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Learn more at