Global Mobile App Revenue Leap is Also Good News for Pandora

Business is booming for the top mobile app stores with no small thanks to revenue-drivers like Pandora and YouTube, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data, which measures both gaming and non-gaming app performance.

Mobile consumers spent an estimated $21.9 billion on apps across Apple’s App Store and Google Play in Q3 2019. This represented a 22.9 percent increase year-over-year from the $17.9 billion that mobile publishers generated in gross revenue during Q3 2018, based on user spend for in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps.

The App Store led the way for mobile revenue last quarter with users spending $14.2 billion, up 22.3 percent from $11.6 billion in Q3 2018. Google Play, meanwhile, generated $7.7 billion in revenue, an increase of 24 percent Y/Y from $6.2 billion the year prior.

Overall App Store sales made up 65 percent of total spending across the two stores, with Google Play accounting for 35 percent.

Google Play generated nearly three-times more first-time app installs in Q3 2019 than the App Store, accumulating 21.6 billion during the quarter, up 11.3 percent Y/Y from 19.4 billion in Q3 2018. The App Store also saw growth for the period, with first time app installs increasing by 5.3 percent Y/Y from 7.6 billion to just under eight billion. The total number of downloads in Q3 2019 was 29.6 billion, up 9.7 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Tinder maintained its position at the top of the worldwide non-gaming app revenue rankings, generating approximately $233 million from user spend, up 7 percent Y/Y. YouTube continues to be a fast-riser after increasing in-app spend by 16 percent Y/Y to $164 million. On a quarterly basis, YouTube app revenue has never declined in terms of user spending.

Pandora makes Sensor Towers’ list of top-ten revenue drivers at sixth place, below Tencent Video and YouTube. Last week, Pandora unveiled a complete overhaul of its mobile experience aimed at enhancing personalized discovery of content on its platform and giving its users more exposure to its on-demand music and podcasts.

Once a trailblazer in free digital radio, Pandora was late to offer an ad-free subscription service, and has been mired in management shakeups, financial losses and customer defections. Earlier this year, however, Pandora completed its merger with SiriusXM Holdings Inc., the world’s largest audio entertainment company, and platform for subscription- and advertising-supported audio products.

SiriusXM plans to release third quarter 2019 financial and operating results on Thursday, October 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, Spotify continues to pursue an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union. Spotify and other developers have alleged that Apple engages in anticompetitive behavior by imposing rules that hamper distribution via its App Store, the only way for third-party developers to reach more than 900 million iPhone users.