Market Data

Global App Downloads Grew 15% and Consumer Spend 20% in Q2 2018 Versus a Year Ago

Lexi Sydow

Consumers continue to migrate their lives to apps in Q2 2018 – downloading more apps and spending more on them than ever before.

Q2 2018 – yet again – set new records for global app downloads and consumer spend. Topping the record-setting Q1 2018 levels, there were over 28.4 billion app downloads globally across iOS and Google Play in the quarter, up 15% year over year. This number is particularly staggering because these are completely new downloads and do not include reinstalls or app updates. Furthermore, consumers spent more money in apps than any quarter before at $18.5 billion across iOS and Google Play combined – a growth rate of over 20% year over year.

Google Play Significantly Widened Its Download Gap With iOS

On Google Play alone, global downloads exceeded 20 billion in Q2 2018, up 20% year over year and widened the gap between itself and iOS by 25 percentage points to 160%.

Consistent with recent trends we’ve seen on Google Play, India was the largest driver of download growth year over year by both absolute values and growth in market share. Indonesia was another dominant country in the growth of Google Play downloads. On iOS, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia saw the largest growth in downloads year over year.

On a category level, Games, Video Players & Editors and Sports apps drove growth in Google Play downloads quarter over quarter in Q2 2018. The impact of Sports downloads was even more pronounced on iOS where Sports apps were the largest driver of growth in global iOS downloads, followed by Finance and Travel apps.

The global increase in downloads of Sports apps across both iOS and Google Play was driven by the impact of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, which kicked off on June 14, 2018. The World Cup presented a unique opportunity for app marketers as soccer fans tuned in around the globe on their mobile devices to live stream matches, check stats and share commentary on social media. Of the top 10 Sports apps in the US by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup (June 10-30, 2018), Telemundo Deportes, FOX Sports GO, and FOX Sports ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for average megabytes per user – an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile. These 3 apps were also new entrants into the top 10 apps by total time spent compared to the 3 weeks directly prior. In the UK, over 6 million hours were spent in the top 10 Sports apps by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup, up 65% from the 3 weeks directly prior.

Consumers Still Spent More on iOS Than Any Other App Store in Q2 2018

Global consumer spend in the iOS App Store grew 20% year over year. Apps have become the central hub of our lives and taken over share of wallet.

On a category level, Sports played an important role in the quarter-over-quarter growth of consumer spend on iOS. Sports apps were both the third largest contributors to absolute growth in consumer spend and saw the third largest growth in market share of consumer spend quarter over quarter in Q2 2018. Entertainment and Productivity apps came in at #1 and #2, respectively, for both quarter-over-quarter iOS growth metrics in Q2 2018. In-app subscriptions for streaming content were large contributors to this growth in consumer spend for both Sports and Entertainment apps. On Google Play, Games, Social and Music & Audio saw the largest absolute growth in downloads quarter over quarter. Social and Music & Audio also ranked first and second for growth in market share quarter over quarter.

Notably, each region was represented in the top countries for year-over-year growth in market share of consumer spend across both iOS and Google Play – this indicates the truly global impact of apps and the value they provide to consumers across the world. On Google Play, South Korea, the US and Germany were the top three countries, respectively, by growth in market share of consumer spend in Q2 2018. On iOS, the US, Taiwan and the UK were the top three countries by growth in market share of iOS consumer spend.

Mobile’s influence is undeniable in nearly every country and every industry. It will be interesting to see how apps continue to carve out a bigger place in consumers’ lives in the second half of 2018, and break app store records in the process.

Top Apps and Games by Downloads and Consumer Spend in Q2 2018

We took a look at the top apps and games around the world in Q2 2018 and how they have changed since Q1. Helix Jump – a game by Voodoo notable for its simple gameplay – broke into the top 10 games by global iOS and Google Play combined downloads and claimed the top spot for Q2 2018. Video social networks also took off in Q2 2018 with Tik Tok, and Kwai seeing strong growth in global downloads fueled by emerging markets. For consumer spend, Pokémon GO saw notable growth as the game approached its two year anniversary on July 5, 2018. Youku broke into the top 10 apps by global consumer spend across iOS and Google Play for the first quarter ever, which could be due in part to live streaming of World Cup matches, and QQ broke back into the top 10.


To read more of App Annie’s insights into the mobile app economy, check out our 2017-2022 App Economy Forecast — the industry’s largest and most trusted forecast of the app economy. If you’re interested in looking into some of the data behind the app market yourself, sign up for our free product here and get started today.


July 18, 2018

Market Data

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