Why it matters: Mobile users are spending more money than ever on apps and subscriptions. Sensor Tower in its latest intelligence report said the top 100 non-gaming, subscription-based apps collectively generated $18.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 41 percent over the $13 billion that subscription apps brought home in 2020.
Nearly 75 percent of consumer spending on subscription apps came through Apple's App Store, with Google Play contributing just $4.8 billion globally. That said, Android users increased their spending on subscription apps by 78 percent compared to what they spent in 2020. iPhone users' spending only increased 31 percent year over year.
The growth of subscription app spending in the US largely mirrored what was seen globally, just on a smaller scale.
YouTube was the top revenue producer globally among subscription apps in 2021, followed by dating service Tinder and Japanese webtoon service Piccoma. Google One, the search giant's cloud storage service for the consumer market, and Disney+ rounded out the top five.
In the US, Google One led the way, followed by Disney+, YouTube, HBO Max and Tinder, in that order.
Sensor Tower believes that as platforms continue to experiment with subscriptions as a way to entice content creators and retain audiences, the number of top apps that adopt the model will likely grow over the coming quarters.