- App downloads rose 15% in Q2 2018 from a year earlier to more than 28.4 billion, according to researcher App Annie.The increase was particularly notable because it consisted of entirely new app installs, not reinstalls or updates.
- This year's FIFA World Cup tournament, which kicked off on June 14, was a key driver of growth during Q2. Telemundo Deportes, Fox Sports Go and Fox Sports were the top three apps in average megabytes per user, an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile devices.
- Overall, in-app purchases grew 20% to a record $18.5 billion for Apple's App Store and Google Play combined. Entertainment and productivity apps were the top two categories for iOS growth in Q2, followed by sports apps. In-app subscriptions for streaming content were large contributors to this growth in consumer spend for sports and entertainment apps, App Annie found.
App Annie's Q2 report shows strong trends for the global app market, particularly as the World Cup drove a significant increase in app usage with millions of people streaming games. Although TV ratings were down for the tournament, partially because the U.S. team wasn't included in the 32 finalists, streaming activity appeared particularly strong. In the U.K., more than 6 million hours were spent in the top 10 sports apps on Android devices during the first three weeks of the World Cup, a gain of 65% from the three-week period leading up to the tournament.
App Annie's data show some interesting global trends, with India as the biggest driver of year-over-year download growth by both absolute values and growth in market share. Indonesia was another dominant country in the growth of Google Play downloads, potentially signaling that Android devices are more popular than Apple products in those regions. On iOS, the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia saw the largest growth in downloads year over year.
Facebook showed its continued strength in the download metrics, holding the top four spots with Messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Rounding out the top 10 were Chinese music platform Tik Tok, Musical.ly, ShareIt, UC Browser, Snapchat and Kwai. The top 10 apps by spending mostly consisted of subscription-based streaming services like Netflix, Tencent Video, Pandora, Youku and YouTube, pointing to the rising trend of consumers preferring subscription-based services and streaming media.