The median price of in-app purchases has increased by 50% since 2017 on iOS
Global consumer spending in mobile apps reached unprecedented levels in 2020, climbing 30% year-on-year to $ 111 billion. Along with this increase in spending, the price of in-app purchases (IAPs) has also hit a new high. According to a Sensor Tower analysis Store intelligence data, the median price of PAI among the best apps in Apple’s App Store in the United States has increased by 50% since 2017.
For this analysis, we looked at one-time purchases as well as subscriptions among the 20,000 most downloaded apps on the US App Store between 2017 and 2020. We found that ISPs among the top non-gaming apps fetch a median price. of $ 5.99 in 2020., 1.5 times the median of $ 3.99 in 2017. This price increase may correspond to a growing convenience among consumers to pay for premium content, especially over the course of a year where many users turned to mobile devices for entertainment, work and learning. On the other hand, the median ISP subscription price among these apps has remained stable at $ 9.99 over the past four years. The constant price point could indicate how competitive the space is and what consumers expect for services, with recurring charges being around $ 10 per month or less than these.
Switch to and stay there
The majority of IAPs in non-gaming apps we studied, 65%, were still priced below $ 10 in 2020, but the next tier – $ 10 to $ 49.99 – has gained ground over the course of the year. of the past four years. This level represented around 19% of ISPs in 2017, while its share rose to 26% in 2020. Photo and video and Health and fitness categories contributed the most to the increase in IAPs priced between $ 10 and $ 49.99, probably due to these categories seeing an increase in the amount of IAP subscriptions offered.
U.S. consumers showed healthy appetites for subscriptions and spending $ 10.3 billion in Top 100 Subscription Apps in 2020. In this analysis, we found that the majority of the applications studied that include IAPs now offer subscriptions rather than one-off purchases, with popular applications such as AccuWeather and Ookla’s Speed test adopting the model last year.
For the first time ever, about 53% of the apps surveyed that include IAPs now offer subscriptions. Additionally, among apps that included IAPs from 2017 to present, around 16% have replaced one-time purchases with subscriptions. Conversely, 73% of applications that contained subscriptions in 2017 continued to offer them in 2020.
Photo and video subscriptions are on the rise
Top apps in the Photo & Video category saw the biggest increase in subscriptions since 2017, when 74% of the category’s IAPs were one-time purchases. By 2020, the percentage of IAP subscriptions among these apps had increased by 28 points to 54%.
Food & Drink and Weather also saw a sharp increase in subscription ISPs. In 2017, 23% of the main catering applications with IAP offered subscriptions, a figure which rose to 47% in 2020. During the same period, the main weather applications with IAP saw their percentage of subscriptions increase from 36 % to 60%.
The top apps in the Health & Fitness category also saw a strong increase in subscriptions compared to one-off IAPs. In 2017, around 52% of these apps with IAP offered subscriptions. This figure rose to 73% in 2020.
The increase in the number of subscription PAIs in Photo and Video category apps may match user interest in video-centric social media platforms, such as TIC Tac, who had a record year. Two of the most downloaded apps with subscriptions in this category were PicsArt and InShot, both video editors.
Amid COVID-19, consumers have also turned to mobile apps to replace activities like restaurants and gyms, which may explain why the Food & Drink and Health & Fitness categories have also seen an increase in subscriptions. IAP. The developers may have offered more subscriptions to take advantage of the influx of new users looking for recipes, guided workouts, and more.
Purchases integrated into mobile games
The median price of IAPs in the top US iOS games edged up in 2020 after remaining stable between 2017 and 2019. Among the 20,000 most downloaded games on the US App Store, the median price of IAPs climbed by 25%, from $ 3.99 in 2019 to $ 4.99 last year. Unlike non-gaming apps, the median price of gaming subscriptions also increased by around 17% year-over-year, from $ 5.99 to $ 6.99.
As consumers turned to mobile games for entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic, gamer spending on mobile games has reached new heights in 2020, including the United States, which ranks # 1 for revenue Publishers may have responded to this surge in interest by increasing the price of ISPs, especially if their research showed gamers were willing to spend more. for emerging genres with high ARPDAU such as Squad RPG.
The majority of in-game purchases remained below $ 10. In 2017, 80% of prices were below $ 10 and in 2020 that figure has increased to 81%.
However, as in non-gaming applications, mobile games also see increased adoption of the subscription model. Although the majority of games do not yet offer subscriptions, their number has increased. Among the games in our sample with IAP, 11% offered subscriptions in 2017. By 2020, this share had increased to around 18% thanks to titles such as My Talking Tom 2 and Yahtzee with dice of buddies adopted the model.
As subscriptions gain traction, platforms are exploited by law enforcement
The newest of Sensor Tower five-year mobile market forecast revealed that global consumer spending on the Apple App Store will grow to $ 185 billion per year in 2025. Developers have had to adapt to changing user behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic , but the markets themselves have also made adjustments to meet emerging trends and needs.
More recently, Apple has reportedly started rejecting in-app purchases with prices it deemed “irrationally high” on the App Store, signaling that it may take a closer look at the relevance of IAP pricing in the context of value delivered. This is the latest sign that as the mobile ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, the platforms themselves will too, rolling out new policies or more proactively enforcing existing ones.
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