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This forecast provides global app download and revenue estimates segmented by revenue type (i.e. end-user spend and in-app advertising); app type (i.e. games and non-game apps); and by ecosystem (i.e. Apple App Store, Google Play, Others).


  • Global app revenue – both end-user spend and advertising – will grow by 2.2 times over the next five years, from $84.9bn in 2016 to $185.4bn in 2021, with in-app advertising overtaking as the main revenue driver as of 2018.
  • The end-user spend/in-app advertising split varies between type of apps and app stores. For game apps and the App Store, end-user spend dominates throughout the forecast period, while for non-game apps and Google Play, in-app advertising is the main driver.
  • Apple will outdo Google Play in overall revenue throughout; however, Google Play will squeak past the App Store in 2021 in terms of in-app advertising revenue.

Features and Benefits

  • Find out where growth will be concentrated over the next five years in the apps market.
  • Find out how the balance of power will change between ecosystems in the apps market.

Key questions answered

  • Where will growth be concentrated over the next five years in the apps market?
  • How will the balance of power change between ecosystems in the apps market?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Digital Content and Services: App Ecosystems Forecast, 2016–21

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