App Annie: Game app spending on the rise, digital media spending up 30%

February 19, 2014
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App Annie and IHS have released their latest numbers, and there is one overriding narrative: we love media. Our spending on digital movies, games, and apps rose 30% in 2013 when compared to 2012, with mobile app spending seeing a steady upward trend. Spending in and on apps was dominated by games overall, with some countries a bit lot more into the genre than others.


Digital media also saw a huge upward trend in 2013. According to the research, spending on digital movies jumped 21% worldwide in 2013. The US is naturally the leader here, as we’ve long enjoyed a wealth of digital media content, but we’ve got company. Japan and South Korea aren’t far behind — each of those countries saw digital media spending increase 40% over 2012. Spending for all digital media worldwide jumped 30% in 2013.

Games is far and away the largest spend of consumers here, with apps seeing a healthy growth trend for spending. Digital games also grew, but managed to stay pretty even with a 1.0x increase. Gaming app spending jumped 2.9x, and though still a ways behind digital game spending, trends suggest it won’t take long to catch and surpass that sector. If you’re curious what the difference is, a digital game would be one you buy on Xbox, PlayStation or PC, while an app is just that — an app. If it’s unthinkable that we could spend more on apps than digital games, think again; Japan already spends more on game apps than digital games.

App Annie spending 2013

You may be wondering who’s buying what, considering all this growth. The US is the most diverse when it comes to spending, thanks to our long-standing media choices. That’s likely why we lead in online movie spending, too. When it comes to online music, the UK is tops. Game app spending was of course dominated by Japan, but South Korea absolutely loves digital gaming. The country almost doubled up on digital game spending in the US, and easily outdid Japan in that regard. Overall, South Korea edged out Japan for total gaming spend.

There are plenty of metrics to take in, but one thing is certain: we love gaming. Though digital gaming is giving way to gaming apps, we still spend much more on the genre than anything else. If you’re wondering where to sell an app that isn’t a game, try France or Germany — they love non-game apps more than the other countries in the study.


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