Downloads of certain app categories are still on the rise due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Sensor Tower’s new report.
According to COVID-19’s App Impact: One Year Later report, monthly active users of top business apps in the United States skyrocketed in 2020 as users turned to their mobile devices to communicate with colleagues due to the closure of offices.
Between January and April 2020, total monthly active users of top business apps in the US rose approximately 14 times. While the increase in MAU reversed during the first two months of 2021 as some parts of the country have started to open offices with limited capacity, the average MAUs for business apps are still 18 times higher when compared to the same period of the last year.
In addition, as of February 2021, installs of business apps are still up nearly 50% YOY in the United States and almost 100% in Europe.
Top Sports Apps Are Recovering
While the rapid growth of sports apps such as ESPN and DAZN, which were the top two sports apps before the pandemic, was heavily impacted in early 2020 due to the shut down of in person events, their revenue started to recover in the second half of the year.
The DAZN app experienced its best-ever quarter in Q4 2020 when it generated over $45 million in user spending largely thanks to its significant growth in Europe and Japan. Meanwhile, ESPN has seen a relatively slower comeback as 99% of its revenue comes from the United States and North America has experienced a slower recovery.
Meanwhile, the top outdoor and home workout apps are still seeing an upward trend in downloads and revenue.
Hypercasual Downloads Fell
On the gaming side, although the Hypercasual category accumulated 6.3 billion downloads in 2020 representing 31% of global installs, its rapid growth was negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
While the category accounted for 8 out of top 10 mobile games in the United States by downloads in the first quarter of 2020, this figure fell to 5 by the last quarter of the year.
However, 2020 was a very productive year for mobile games in terms of revenue. While the top 5 mobile games including PUBG Mobile, Honor of Kings, Pokemon GO, Coin Master and Roblox generated $75.4 billion in revenue last year, global spending in mobile games surpassed $79.5 billion.