The popular video app TikTok from the Chinese company ByteDance was the first to surpass $10 billion in so-called in-app purchases in 2023. Total global mobile app revenues reached a new record level in a year when gaming revenues fell.
In-app purchases are expenditures on, for example, additional content or services that users purchase in the app.
Video streaming platforms such as TikTok and Disney+ drove an 11 percent increase in mobile app revenues by 2023. On the other hand, the games industry suffered a significant decline in sales in China, causing global revenues to fall by 2 percent.
Credit purchases, which TikTok users can buy in the app to tip their favourite creators and livestreamers, accounted for most of TikTok’s revenue. “Social apps and the creative economy are pioneering new ways to generate revenue beyond advertising,” said Lexi Sydow, director of corporate marketing at data.ai.
However, advertising remains the largest source of revenue for mobile apps. Advertising revenue rose 8 percent to $362 billion, accounting for two-thirds of total mobile app revenue. By 2024, data.ai expects to spend just over $400 billion on mobile app advertising.