TikTok was breakout social app of 2019 in the Indian market, while PUBG Mobile saw the highest consumer spend in games in the country, according to research firm AppAnnie’s ‘State of Mobile 2020’ report. TikTok is believed to have more than 200 million users in India alone, and continues to grow in popularity and has already overtaken Facebook as the second most downloaded app in the world.
While PUBG Mobile had the highest consumer spend, in terms of breakout download games in India, it was Carrom that was ahead, followed by Free Fire. PUBG Mobile was number three in the list followed by games like Fun Race 3D and Sand Balls. Incidentally, PUBG Mobile was also the number one Action Core
Game in terms of time spent on Android phones globally in the year.
While TikTok was ahead of all social media apps in India, according to AppAnnie, the larger trend was that hyper-local social apps grew in demand with consumers looking for smaller circles rather than sticking to just the bigger apps such as Facebook.
The other breakout social apps in India were Helo, Hago and VMate. Incidentally Helo is owned by ByteDance, which also owns TikTok. Number five on the list was WhatsApp Business, the only Facebook-owned app to make it to the list. This ranking is based on year-over-year growth in both Apple’s iOS and Google Play downloads.
Globally, the time spent on TikTok grew 210 per cent year-over-year in 2019, both from expanding user bases, and increasing time spent per user. But eight out of every 10 minutes spent in TikTok in 2019 were by users in China, even though the app is booming in other markets.
Games account for maximum spend
The report showed that games now make up 72 per cent of all app store spend, including on iOS and Android globally. Even in mature markets like US, Japan, South Korea and the UK, spending on both mobile gaming and non-gaming mobile subscriptions has fueled growth.
AppAnnie predicts that with the launch of Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass, there will more innovative games for consumers in 2020 and also open up new revenue streams for publishers. More importantly, mobile gaming spend continued to increase in 2019, and stood at saw 2.4x times compared to PC/Mac gaming and 2.9x compared to consoles.
On iOS in the US, 97 per cent of non-gaming consumer spend in the top 250 apps was driven by apps with subscriptions in 2019. On Google Play, this was lower at 91 per cent. Meanwhile, dating and video streaming apps see strong success with their in-app subscriptions.
Prominent names that topped the chart for consumer spend in 2019 in the non-gaming segment were Tinder, Netflix and Tencent Video. The success of Tinder was evident as it was the second highest non-gaming app for consumer spend over the last decade, with in-app subscriptions performing exceptionally well.
More than 3 hours spend on mobile
Mobile phones continue to be used extensively by customers, with time spent at more than three hours and forty minutes per day globally. AppAnnie said that mobile-first emerging markets like Indonesia, Brazil and India continue to spend the most time on their mobile screens each day. Further, in France, India and Canada, the average user was spending 25 per cent more time on their mobile each day in 2019 compared to what they did in 2017.
Video streaming apps
The top streaming apps in India were MX Player, Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and JioTV, and AppAnnie has based this on year-over-year growth in time spent on Android phones among entertainment or video players.
Globally consumers are spending 50 per cent more sessions on their entertainment apps in 2019 compared to 2017. The report predicts that competition in the video streaming space will bolster better user experiences, which in turn will drive growth in downloads, usage and revenue, and ultimately lead to partnerships and consolidation.
Nearly 25 per cent Netflix’s iPhone users also used Disney+ in Q4 2019, which was its highest overlap of users among top video streaming apps in the US. Further, YouTube Music saw 980 per cent growth in worldwide active users from December 2017 to December 2019, and that cross-promotion across other properties such as YouTube helped grow the user base, especially in markets like India, where it was rolled out in 2019.