Never has the mobile app market brought in as much money as it did in Q2 2021. In one quarter, mobile users around the world spent the equivalent of $34 billion on apps -- beating the previous quarter's all-time record by $2 billion.
The mobile data and analysis company App Annie compared the evolution of downloads before and after the covid-19 pandemic and its various lockdowns. As a result, excluding games, the category showing the strongest growth compared to Q4 2019, is tools and utilities. VPNs are particularly popular almost everywhere in the world, a sign that consumers place importance on privacy. Business and entertainment apps also show strong growth over the same period.
Streaming applications are a hit too, especially in the US, as are fitness apps. In Q2, medical app downloads were up 75% from pre-pandemic levels. The time spent on sports apps in April 2021 was up worldwide compared to the same period in 2019.
In terms of usage, the TikTok craze continues, now surpassing YouTube for per user engagement. In fact, users who have installed TikTok spend an average of 24 hours per month using the app in the United States and nearly 26 hours in the UK. There are some exceptions, however. Users in South Korea, for example, largely prefer YouTube (over 40 hours per month) to TikTok (less than 18 hours).
App Annie's data is only for users of Android-based devices, which account for over 80% of smartphone sales worldwide.