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A Successful Finale to the Decade: Mobile Highlights of 2019

2020 will mark the next phase of mobile growth. As we embark on a new decade we reflect on the mobile’s success in 2019.

Consumer Demand for Mobile Services at an All-Time High in 2019

Consumers worldwide are on track to download a record 120B apps across iOS and Google Play in 2019, a 5% year-over-year increase (excluding third-party Android). This is particularly impressive given these are net new downloads and do not include re-installs or app updates. Consumer spend is set to grow even faster at 15% year over year and will approach $90B worldwide in 2019 (excluding third-party Android). Outside of games, this growth was mostly driven by the Photo & Video and Entertainment categories 一 and is expected to continue with the launch of new video streaming services like Disney+, as well as increased use of subscription services across the board that will create alternative revenue streams for publishers.

The Most Popular Games and Apps of 2019

2019 has been a landmark year for mobile, with the steady rise of short-video apps like TikTok and new entrants to the popular hyper-casual and battle-royale genres like Fun Race 3D and Call of Duty: Mobile respectively. Looking back at The State of Mobile 2019 report, Likee 一 a short-video creation and sharing app 一 was the sole new entrant in 2019 to the top apps by downloads list. There has been more volatility in the Games category, as 7 out of the top 10 apps were new to the top 10 Games by downloads in 2019. 



Breakout Apps and Games of 2019

Breakout apps and games are those with the largest absolute growth in downloads or consumer spend between 2018 and 2019. Photo and Video editing and sharing apps, were strongly represented as 4 of the top 10 breakout apps by downloads, with Likee taking the #1 rank. The social gaming app Hago 一 which is particularly popular with Gen Z in Indonesia 一 placed 4th on our list of breakout apps by downloads. This was mostly driven by its adoption in India. Video streaming apps dominated the consumer spend breakout apps chart with YouTube, iQIYI, DAZN, and Tencent Video all featured in the top 10. 

Hyper-casual games continued to be extremely successful in 2019, accounting for 7 of the top 10 breakout games. Mario Kart Tour and Call of Duty: Mobile 一 2 of 2019’s most anticipated releases 一 also made it into the top 10 most downloaded breakout games. Top breakout games by consumer spend were made up of more core games, with Game for Peace and PUBG MOBILE 一 both published by Tencent一taking the top two places. 



2019 has marked all-time highs for app downloads and consumer spend, and 2020 is set to be even bigger — with consumer spend projected to be over $30 billion on apps and nearly $80 billion on games. 2019 also marks the end of the 2010s, so we looked back at the top apps and games of the decade.

To learn how to position your app for success check out our App Store Optimization, User Acquisition, and Mobile Marketing Playbooks. To receive the latest insights on the mobile economy, pre-register to be one of the first to receive App Annie’s State of Mobile in 2020 — the industry’s leading mobile insights report — upon release in January 2020:


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