Apple this morning offered an updated look at its App Store business with the release of its holiday sales figures. The company said App Store customers spent $1.8 billion in apps during the week of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, driven largely by games. And App Store customers also hit a new single-day spending record on New Year’s Day of over $540 million.
What Apple didn’t fully spell out was to what extent the pandemic played a role in increased app spending over the course of 2020. It did again note that top apps during the year had included those that helped customers stay connected and be entertained, like Zoom and Disney+, as well as games that brought people together, like Roblox and Among Us.
However, the company didn’t detail how much customers spent on apps and games over 2020. That leaves us to look to third-party estimates for those figures. According to Sensor Tower’s year-end report, global consumer spending on the App Store reached $72.3 billion in 2020, up 30.3% year-over-year from $55.5 billion in 2019. App Annie came up with a similar figure in a preliminary estimate ahead of its annual report.
Apple, on the other hand, noted that App Store developers have now earned over $200 billion to date since the App Store began in 2008, a figure that’s up from the $155 billion it announced last year.
The company’s holiday week last year had also set a new record with $1.42 billion spent on apps and games, a 16% increase over the year prior. Given that consumers in 2020 spent $1.8 billion, it seems a new record has now been set as well, but it’s unclear why Apple didn’t highlight that today.
Apple also shared a few updates related to its other services businesses in its 2020 wrap-up. It said Apple Music had a “record year” without sharing specifics. Instead, it only noted that 90% of iOS 14 listeners had tried out its new features, like Listen Now, the updated Search, personal radio stations, and Autoplay. Apple also said engagement with its lyrics feature doubled in 2020.
Apple additionally noted the Apple TV+ app is now available across 1 billion screens in over 100 countries, and customers can now buy or rent over 100,000 new release and classic movies and shows.
Apple Pay, meanwhile, is now available at over 90% of U.S. stores, 85% of stores in the U.K., and 99% of stores in Australia.
Apple News, iCloud, and its new service, Fitness+ were mentioned, but Apple didn’t offer any new metrics related to user adoption or growth.
The company also said Apple Arcade had reached over 140 games, Apple Books now has 90+ million monthly active users, and Apple Podcasts is now available in over 175 countries.