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App Store spending: how much does the average user spend?

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The average App Store spend increased by 36% from 2017 to 2018, in part thanks to the prevalence of lifestyle and entertainment apps switching to subscription models.

Before you see the real figures, have a guess at how much you personally spent on the App Store throughout the whole last year. Do you think that clocks in above or below average?

Let’s find out. The average spend on apps (based on iPhone users in the US, at any rate) was $79 in 2018. For perspective, that’s about $6.50/month throughout the year, and it’s up from $58 in 2017.

More than half of those sales numbers comes from gaming, which makes up a huge proportion of overall App Store spending, so it’s fair to assume that the average figure is considerably lower for non-gamers.

Thanks to TechCrunch and SensorTower for this data

Despite games still ruling the roost, growth in that genre was nothing special. Likewise, music and social networking sales only increased by around 22%. It’s the entertainment and lifestyle categories that have been gobbling more of our money, increasing income by 82% and 88% respectively since 2017.

We think this is largely thanks to customers becoming more used to paying a subscription fee for ongoing access to an app, rather than an up-front cost. This style of monetization helps keep revenue more consistent and predictable for developers, which in turns allows them to maintain and improve their service indefinitely. In theory, at least – Apple has had to clamp down on developers abusing the system by tricking people into subscriptions.

Much of the growth can be attributed to streaming subscription apps, in addition to a handful of popular health and wellbeing apps that charge a premium for access.

All we know for sure is that $79/year is way below our average app spend here at TapSmart Towers. How else are we supposed to find all the latest and greatest apps for you readers?