Total Billings and Sales in the App Store Grew by 24 Percent in 2020
The App Store ecosystem facilitated $643 billion in billings and sales during 2020, a 24 percent year-over-year increase. An independent study by economists from the Analysis Group found that developers selling goods and services across many categories grew their businesses while reaching customers around the world.
App creators applied their creativity and passion to help people stay connected, healthy, and entertained while the App Store played a vital supporting role as developers adapted to the year’s challenges and brought new innovations to life. The study takes an in-depth look at how the App Store supported small businesses, which have quickly become a thriving and inclusive engine of opportunity for economies around the world.
The number of small developers worldwide has grown by 40 percent since 2015 and they make up more than 90 percent of App Store developers. The study defines small developers as those with fewer than 1 million downloads and less than $1 million in earnings across all their apps in a given year.
“Developers on the App Store prove every day that there is no more innovative, resilient or dynamic marketplace on earth than the app economy,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The apps we’ve relied on through the pandemic have been life-changing in so many ways, from groceries delivered to our homes, to teaching tools for parents and educators, to an imaginative and ever-expanding universe of games and entertainment. The result isn’t just incredible apps for users: it’s jobs, it’s opportunity, and it’s untold innovation that will power global economies for many years to come.”
More than 1 in 4 small developers who sell digital goods and services on the App Store have grown their earnings by an average of at least 25 percent each year for the past five years. Nearly 80 percent of small developers on the App Store are active across multiple countries’ storefronts, and on average, these developers see earnings from users in more than 40 countries.
For a subset of developers on the App Store, acquisitions and public offerings have blazed trails, enabling them to grow their businesses even further. In a conservative estimate for Europe and the US, the study found that more than 75 app-based companies for whom iOS apps are central to their businesses have gone public or been acquired, with a total valuation of more than $510 billion at the time of their offering or sale.