Games remains the single most lucrative mobile app category, according to new data from App Annie, comprising 74% of consumer spending in 2018 -- but it has fallen significantly behind video in terms of how long users spend in apps. App Annie's annual report showed that 95% of spending on games was through in-app purchases, with just 5% on paid downloads.
The dominance of games in mobile spending is well established -- as is the dominance of in-app purchases as the primary revenue stream for developers -- but other data points in App Annie's report are more surprising.
Despite the huge amount of money spent in games, it is one of the weaker categories in terms of time spent in apps, with just 10%. The number of hours spent in games has increased 30% since 2016, but this rate of growth is behind other key app categories.
The most notable of those is video players, which enjoyed a 125% increase in time spent across the same time period. In 2016, App Annie's data showed games and video as roughly equivalent, but mobile users are now spending far more time watching video than playing games -- 15% of time spent, versus 10% for games.
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