Apple’s app store grossed around $ 64 billion in 2020



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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the Apple Global Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Apple’s App Store grossed more than $ 64 billion in 2020, according to CNBC analysis.

This represents an increase of around $ 50 billion in 2019 and $ 48.5 billion in 2018, according to the same analysis, suggesting that the growth in App Store sales accelerated sharply during the pandemic of Covid-19, as people took refuge in their homes and spent more time and money on apps and games.

App Store revenue grew 28% in 2020, up from 3.1% in 2019, according to CNBC analysis.

The Apple App Store is a key area of ​​growth for the company. It’s part of Apple’s Services division, which reported $ 53.7 billion in revenue in Apple’s 2020 fiscal year, which ended in September.

The money Apple makes from its App Store has become a flashpoint for Apple critics who argue that it has too much power. Apple charges 30% for digital sales through its platform, with a few exceptions. Apple recently changed its fee structure and now only takes a 15% cut from companies that make less than $ 1 million in the App Store.

A congressional subcommittee discovered in 2020 that Apple had a monopoly on distributing iPhone apps, which it said gives Apple outsized profits. Apple is being sued for antitrust reasons by Epic Games, which wants to avoid paying Apple 30% of the sales of its iPhones games, which it calls unfair. Apple has denied that the App Store is a monopoly and is currently fighting Epic Games’ claims in court.

Apple does not disclose the annual revenue of its App Store. Instead, since 2013, it has released data points in January that includes the total Apple has paid developers since the App Store started in 2008.

Using these numbers, it is possible to roughly recoup the revenue generated by the App Store based on how much Apple paid developers in a given year. According to a Wednesday press release, Apple has paid developers $ 200 billion since 2008, up $ 45 billion from the figure announced in January 2020. If that equates to 70% of App Store sales, so the App Store made about $ 64 billion last. year.

There are a few exceptions to Apple’s 30% reduction in digital sales, and Apple’s numbers are approximate, which means total Apple App Store sales are likely even higher. Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, estimates that the App Store achieved $ 72.3 billion in sales in 2020.

In 2016, Apple said apps in the second year of a subscription only need to pay 15%, and Apple CEO Eddy Cue emailed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2016. , suggesting that Apple would take a 15% fee on subscriptions signed through Amazon Prime. app to strike a deal, according to an email released by the House antitrust subcommittee last year.

But assuming, 30% for Apple’s take is closer to 15%. Analysis from RevenueCat, a company that makes software to help Apple developers bill for subscriptions, found that only 16% of the apps it works with manage a “take out” rate above 75%. The apps that make the most money on the App Store are usually games, which are not subscription-based, but monetize through in-app purchases, which Apple charges at 30%.

As of this year, Apple charges small developers who earn less than $ 1 million per year on Apple platforms 15%, instead of 30%. But apps are the most successful company, analysts say. According to a 2019 estimate from Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, the top 1% of top-performing app vendors generate 93% of revenue in Google’s App Store and Play Store.

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