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YouTube, Tinder, and Disney+ are the highest-grossing subscription apps on iOS

A new analytics report has revealed the highest-grossing subscription apps on iOS for 2020. YouTube Premium heads the list, which allows subscribers to watch videos without ads, download them for offline viewing, and also includes access to YouTube Music Premium.

The top 10 list unsurprisingly features four other streaming video services …

Sensor Tower’s top 10 ranking includes Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and ESPN.

  1. YouTube
  2. Tinder
  3. Disney+
  4. Pandora
  5. Bumble
  6. Hulu
  7. HBO Max
  8. YouTube Music
  9. ESPN
  10. Amazon Music

The firm said that a trend toward subscription apps accelerated last year.

Worldwide consumer spending in the top 100 non-game subscription-based apps grew 34 percent year-over-year from $9.7 billion in 2019 to $13 billion […]

[We] found that mobile game publishers were adopting subscription models at an increased rate in 2020, with eight of the 15 top grossing titles offering recurring in-app payments. This shift in strategy follows consumer trends—even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have been spending more on the top subscription apps than in the past.

From Q1 2019 to Q4 2020, U.S. consumers spent more in the top 100 subscription apps each successive quarter. This cohort of apps saw $1.7 billion in the final quarter of 2020, up 31 percent from $1.3 billion in the first quarter. Sequential growth like this, along with substantial gains by individual apps, are strong signals that we will see more publishers choose to adopt the subscription model in 2021 and beyond.

As usual, iOS users generated more revenue than Android ones.

Consumers have historically spent more on the App Store than on Google’s marketplace, and the same holds true for subscription apps. Globally, the top 100 subscription apps on the App Store generated $10.3 billion in 2020, up 32 percent from $7.8 billion the previous year. The cohort of 100 top earners on Google Play saw $2.7 billion last year, up 42 percent Y/Y from $1.9 billion in 2019.

Sadly, some of that revenue will be scam apps, which often trick users into signing up for expensive recurring subscriptions. Some of them are raking in millions of dollars per year.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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