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Apple App Store subscriptions raked in twice as much money as the Google Play Store in 2021

More than $18 billion was spent on non-gaming mobile app subscriptions in 2021.

New apps google play app store
Image: KnowTechie

Consumer spending on subscriptions in mobile apps has been growing exponentially. And the latest statistics show that users are spending two times more money on subscriptions from Apple’s App Store than they are on the Google Play Store.

New research from Sensor Tower shows just how much money users spent on non-gaming subscription apps during 2021. Over the course of the year, spending on subscription mobile apps reached $18.3 billion. That’s a 41 percent increase over the $13 billion spent in 2020.

And of that $18.3 billion spent, Apple’s App Store was the medium for the vast majority of that spending. Users spent $13.5 billion on subscription apps on the App Store, compared to $4.8 billion spent on the Google Play Store.

READ MORE: California enacts an auto-renew law: what it means for streaming services

Subscription spending app store google play
Graph: Sensor Tower

READ MORE: Apple’s App Store can now increase subscription prices without asking

Interestingly enough, the Google Play Store saw a much larger increase in revenue year-over-year, in terms of percentage. Google Play subscription spending rose 78 percent from $2.7 billion to $4.8 billion. App Store earnings only grew 31 percent, though the overall spending is still much higher.

Sensor Tower also sorted the top-ten subscription apps in terms of overall spending and on each platform. Not surprisingly, YouTube was the app with the most subscription revenue, followed by Tinder. Other entries on the list include streaming services Disney+ and HBO Max.

Interestingly, Facebook squeezed its way to the number 10 spot on the Google Play Store as the only major social platform on the list.

READ MORE: How to get a CNN+ subscription locked in at half price for life

Top subscription apps 2021
Image: Sensor Tower

It’s amazing to see just how much mobile subscriptions have increased over the last couple of years.

READ MORE: New App Store ‘feature’ raises subscription fees without notice

And while users are spending much more on Apple devices, Google Play Store spending is also growing exponentially. Who knows, maybe the two platforms will be neck and neck in subscription spending in the next few years.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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