Apple has proven once more that it is a force to be reckoned with even when it comes to subscription apps since the App Store raked in $10.3 billion in 2020. The figure is four times the spending rates on Google Play.

Sensor Tower, a research firm, released the estimates on Thursday and it stated that global spending on the App Store increased significantly year-over-year. Subscriptions on non-game titles on a global scale increased by 32 percent, while in the U.S., it increased by 25 percent.

Although Google Play Store also saw an increase in subscription apps globally, it did not come close to that of App Store's. With Google Play, it increased by 42 percent from 2019. From $1.9 billion, it jumped to $2.7 billion. In the U.S., the increase was also significant, from $1 billion in 2019 to $1.4 billion in 2020.

According to the intelligence data, around 11.7 percent of the total of $111 billion was spent on in-app purchases.

The 34 percent year-over-year growth in revenue from the top non-game subscription apps reached an all-new high of $13 billion.

TechCruch reported in January that customers spent $1.8B in Apple App Store during the holiday week of December 2020 and sales peaked on New Year's Day with Apple reporting a record-sales of more than $540 million on a single day.

The increase was largely driven by the purchase of games, considering that travel was impeded and many stayed at home. Top apps downloaded include Zoom and Disney+, apps that bring people together, as well as games that allow users to interact with others like Among Us and Roblox.

The 2021 Mobile App Industry Trends report found that in 2020, mobile game publishers adopted the subscription model at an increased rate. Eight out of the top 15 titles offered recurring in-app payments. This trend came even before the pandemic.

Apple App Store in-app purchases
Apple App Store in-app purchases; Photo: Reuters

For this year, Alphabet took the top spot in terms of subscription app spending both in the U.S. and globally. Across both stores, YouTube led the subscription apps, raking in $991.7 million in global gross revenue, and $562 million in the U.S. On the App Store, YouTube was also the highest-earning subscription app while on Google's marketplace, Google One took the lead with more than $445 million generated worldwide.