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App Store subscription apps raked in $10.3B in 2020, nearly 4X more than Google Play

Global spending on the top 100 subscription apps sold through Apple's App Store hit $10.3 billion in 2020, nearly quadrupling spend rates on Google Play over the same period, a report said Thursday.

Research firm Sensor Tower estimates global spending on the App Store's top-performing, non-game subscription titles grew 32% year-over-year to reach $10.3 billion. Growth was similar in the U.S., with spending increasing 25% to hit $4.5 billion.

Subscription apps distributed through Google's Play Store also experienced worldwide growth, moving 42% from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $2.7 billion in 2020. In the U.S., consumers spent $1.4 billion on Android subscription-based apps across 2020, up from $1 billion in 2019.

Overall, revenue from the top 100 earning non-game subscription apps grew 34 percent year-over-year to reach a new high of $13 billion, the report says. Subscription apps accounted for about 11.7% of the $111 billion spent globally on in-app purchases last year, according to Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence data.

Alphabet's various services brought in the most money both globally and in the U.S., led by subscriptions to YouTube and Google One. Disney+, Tinder, Pandora, Twitch, Bumble and HBO Max also ranked in the top ten in terms of overall, App Store and Google Play revenue.

Apple's app ecosystem has historically attracted higher consumer spend rates. While Google exhibited stronger growth in subscription app revenue for 2020, the App Store is still the clear leader. That pattern also translates to overall store performance.

In January, Sensor Tower reported 2020 spending on App Store purchases at $72.3 billion, with Google Play trailing at $38.6 billion.