top of page

The state of mobile in 2019: App spend ‘worth double box office market’

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

In 2019, app App Store consumer spend will surpass $120bn, double the size of the global box office market, according to new research.

App Annie’s State of Mobile 2019 report, covers the impact of mobile across gaming, retail, banking, social networking, travel, worldwide business and Gen Z behaviour. From the impact on IPO valuations to the way we shop and bank, this report provides a glimpse into the transformation of our daily habits thanks to mobile’s prolific influence.

App Annie also reveals the top apps and companies by consumer spend, usage and downloads, worldwide and buy county.

Worldwide key stats for 2018:

  • 194 billion downloads

  • $100B App Store consumer spend

  • 3 hours per day spent in mobile by the average user

  • 500% higher average IPO valuation (USD) for companies with mobile as a core focus

  • 30% higher engagement in non-gaming apps for Gen Z vs. older demographics

  • In 2019, App Store consumer spend will surpass $120B — double the size of the global box office market

Impact of mobile’s evolution on business:

  • Mobile transformation pays dividends & dramatically outperforms GDP growth in key economies

  • Mobile-focused companies made up over 95% of USD valuations in 2018’s major liquidity events

Key stats in brief below:


  • Global time spent in shopping apps grew to 18 billion hours in 2018, up 60% from 2016

  • Time spent in Shopping apps correlates strongly with e-Commerce sales

  • Peer-to-Peer marketplaces were the 2nd most popular way to shop on mobile in 2018

Video Streaming

  • Time spent in top 5 video streaming apps up 130% in 2018 vs. 2016

  • YouTube dominates globally for time spent, except in China

  • App store consumer spending in the top 5 video streaming apps worldwide grew 285% in 2018 versus 2016

  • Globally, over $2.2B was spent on the top 5 video streaming services in 2018

  • 10 minutes of every hour spent consuming media in 2019 will be streaming video on mobile

Social Networking and Messaging

  • Over 720B hours spend globally in Social & Comms apps in 2018, up 30% from 2016

  • Half of time spent on mobile globally was in Social and Communication category apps in 2018

  • Encrypted Messaging, Photos & Videos spurred engagement of Social apps

  • WhatsApp surpassed Facebook as most popular Facebook-owned app in 2018

Mobile Marketing

  • 60% more apps will monetize through in-app advertising in 2019, vying for piece of the $250B digital advertising market

  • How ASO best practices have evolved in 2018

  • On the iOS App Store, 65% of downloads come from organic search.

  • Advertisers leverage more ad platforms for user acquisition

Restaurants and Food Delivery

  • Globally, consumers sourced food & drinks through apps 150% more often in 2018 than 2016

  • Globally, downloads of the top 5 food delivery apps have grown 65% in 2018 vs. 2016

Banking and Finance

  • Global downloads of Finance apps exceed 3.7B in 2018, up 90% from 2016

  • The average user checks their bank account on mobile nearly daily in 2018, up 25% from 2016

  • Fintech apps carve out larger user bases and foster habit-forming behaviours


  • Total sessions in Travel and Navigation apps grew 70% in 2018 from 2016

  • The top 5 car sharing apps grew 25% year over year in 2018.

  • Bike and scooter sharing apps had their breakout in 2018 with a 500% growth in user base

  • Airlines grew their global footprint by 50% in 2018 from 2016 – the top 5 Airlines apps grew their average monthly usage 50% from 2016 to 2018


  1. Global consumer spend in Top 10 Dating apps grew 190% 2016 – 2018

  • In Q3 2018 alone, there were 2.7 million dating app downloads in the UK

  • Brits spent more on Tinder than Netflix – because you can’t Netflix and Chill if you don’t have a date

  • 2018, Q1-Q3, Tinder generated more consumer spend than Netflix, in the UK, across Google Play and the iOS App Store combined

Fitness and Health

  • Global consumer spend in Health and Fitness apps have grown 3x in 2018 from 2016

  • Downloads of Medical apps have grown in 2018 in both mature markets like the US, UK and France at over 35% as well as emerging markets like Brazil, India and Indonesia at 35%, 65% and 110% growth respectively

Gen Z

  • Gen Z (aged 16-24) engages 30% more on average with their most used non-gaming apps than those aged 25 and older

  • Specifically, Gen Z spends 20% more time and engages with their most-used apps 30% more often than the rest of the population

  • Mobile is second nature and used across nearly all aspects of life — communication, socializing, shopping, banking, etc

  • Mobile is non-negotiable to any business hoping to attract this demographic

  • (It is the opposite for Gen Z when it comes to games. Those 25 and older spend 75% more time each month in their most used games and access them 50% more often.)


Visit my consulting website -

Visit my personal website -


bottom of page