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At 19 billion, India second largest in the world for app downloads

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CHENNAI: India is the second-largest market worldwide for app downloads as the mobile-first country registered the strongest three-year growth among the top five app economies as per analytics firm AppAnnie’s recent report.

At 19 billion, app downloads in India in 2019 grew a whopping 195% from 2016 compared to a worldwide growth of 45%.

Download growth in mature markets like the US was just 5% during the period, while China saw 80% growth.

Globally, consumers downloaded record 204 billion apps during the year, shows AppAnnie’s annual flagship report State of Mobile. The average Indian mobile user spent 3.5 hours per day on mobile in 2019 — just slightly below the global average of 3.7 hours — but representing a growth of 30% year-on-year compared to global growth of 10%, data from AppAnnie showed.

However, at $370 million, India contributed to just 0.3% of the total worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps at $120 billion in 2019 with China making up almost 40% of the spends.

“As with most emerging markets consumer spend in India lags behind more mature mobile markets, however with increased consumer and business focus on mobile we expect to see this consumer spend grow in the coming years,” a spokesperson for AppAnnie told TOI, noting a 185% increase in app spends by Indian users from the year 2016.

Subscriptions contribute to almost 95% of spends, with three out of four top non-gaming apps monetizing via subscriptions. Video and dating apps propelling spend as Tinder, Netflix and Tencent Video topped spends chart globally, the report said.

Tez (Google Pay) in finance, Amazon in shopping, and MX Player for video streaming, and TikTok among social apps, are a few of India’s “breakout apps” in 2019, as per AppAnnie. The research firm defines breakout apps as those that registered maximum year-on-year growth in the respective metrics used in the category. Spending 750 million hours on TikTok in 2019, time spent by Indian users on the short-videos app grew 240% year-on-year.

Among gaming apps, PUBG Mobile registered highest consumer spend in India, and the app Carrom Pool was top in terms of downloads. Further, across categories, India also ranked in top three markets when it comes to time period for which users interact with the app (sessions) and average usage levels.

In a sign of increased proliferation of digital payments, Indian consumers accessed finance apps 129 billion times, with sessions count doubling from 66 billion in 2018. Similarly, monthly average usage for fintech apps grew 63% year-on-year in India compared to a 22% global growth, data showed.

Food and drink apps emerged as another Indian favourite, with user sessions on such apps rising at 182% from 2018 compared to worldwide growth of 106%.

Time spent by users on shopping apps grew the highest among markets analysed in Indonesia at 70%, compared to India’s 51% growth (at 4 billion hours) and a worldwide growth rate of 34%.

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