Congratulations, iPhone users: you spent a ton of money on apps last year.
Right after the holiday season, Apple touted huge App Store sales. But now analysts at SensorTower have broken down the numbers at the user level to give us a better look at what people were spending their money on.
The standout stat: The average iPhone user coughed up $40 on premium apps and in-app purchases throughout the year, up from $35 in 2015. But the spending growth didn’t necessarily come from new downloads, as iPhone owners actually downloaded fewer apps in 2016 than the year before (33 per device last year compared to 35 in 2015).
So where did the extra spending come from? iPhone users are making more purchases on the apps they already have, with subscription services likely driving the additional purchases. Along with that, a little game came out in July called Pokmon Go, which was the App Store’s biggest hit of the year.
Mobile games took in most of the money for the year, with iPhone users shelling out $27 of that $40 total on games alone, increasing a full $2 per user from 2015. This was likely due to the massive success of the aforementioned Pokmon Go, which reportedly brought in almost a billion dollars in 2016.
It wasn’t just games, though, as year-over-year spending increased across the board in each of the top five categories SensorTower tracked. Entertainment, which includes streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, saw the biggest increase with a 130 percent jump in 2016 from the year before. This growth stemmed from direct App Store subscriptions, most notably to Netflix, which raked in $58 million in Q4 2016 alone. In another category, Photo & Video, YouTube Red’s subscription service likely played a role in the year-over-year increases.
News that iPhone users are spending more on their favorite apps isn’t a surprise last year, SensorTower analysis showed that 94 percent of the App Store’s revenue came from just one percent of publishers. When you combine that purchase power with Apple’s push for developers to adopt subscription-based pricing models, meaning users sign up for recurring costs rather than paying a one-time fee to download the app, it becomes even easier for the most popular developers to rake in the cash. When you know what you love, you’ll keep using it so it pays for developers to make you subscribe.