Subscriptions Boost US iPhone App Spend 36 Pct In 2018


New data has revealed that revenue generated from mobile apps per U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent last year, with substantial growth coming from subscription-based apps.

According to a soon-to-be-released report from Sensor Tower, per-device app spending for Apple‘s iPhone was $79 in 2018, compared with $58 in 2017. The reported noted that last year’s spending was lower than the 42 percent boost recorded between 2015 and 2016, when revenue went from $33 to $47.

It’s no surprise that mobile gaming is still the top player in iPhone spending, accounting for nearly 56 percent of the average consumer spending in 2018 —  or $44 out of the total $79 spent per phone. What was surprising, however, is that some non-gaming categories saw even higher year-over-year growth in 2018, especially subscription-based apps.

Some examples include Entertainment apps, which saw their revenue per device rise by 82 percent to $8 of the total last year, while Lifestyle apps increased by 86 percent to reach $3.90. And Health & Fitness apps went up 75 percent for an average of $2.70, while Music and Social Networking apps both grew by 22 percent.

And as subscription apps gain popularity, Apple is making sure the fine print is clearly defined. Last month, the tech giant changed the guidance for in-app subscriptions, upgrading the design to make it easier to find clear and detailed rules.

Located in the Human Interface Guidelines and App Store documentation pages, the in-app subscription guidelines will more clearly show the price of the subscription, with this sample text provided: “Payment will be charged to your Apple ID account at the confirmation of purchase. Subscription automatically renews unless it is canceled at least 24 hours before the end of the current period. Your account will be charged for renewal within 24 hours prior to the end of the current period. You can manage and cancel your subscriptions by going to your account settings on the App Store after purchase.”

The company is hoping the changes will get rid of some of the issues developers have with App Review over what should be in the paywalls and upgrade screens and how purchases can be presented.


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