- Apple on Monday said App Store accounted for $519 billion in estimated total billings and sales of both physical products and services and digital goods in 2019.
Apple on Monday praised the findings of a new study by Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm, which says the App Store accounted for $519 billion in estimated total billings and sales of both physical products and services and digital goods in 2019.
Of that number, Apple says that only $61 billion is digital products that the company will earn a 30% cut (or 15% in the case of longer-lasting subscriptions). That includes the largest category, mobile games, in-app purchases, some subscriptions, and pay app unit sales.
The study is careful to say that this figure is not the same as total App Store billings; Analysis Group says it includes some items, such as streaming video subscriptions, which can be purchased elsewhere, but primarily involves media consumption on an iOS device, as well as enterprise app services typically purchased for employee use by a large company.
Around $45 billion makes up in-app ads, which is also mostly devoted to mobile gaming. Of all the rest – from ride-hailing software to food delivery apps to Best Buy and Target mobile retail shops – making up the remaining $413 billion, the study says Apple takes no cut.
Such statistics are generally consistent with what we know about the fast-growing services sector of the company, and how much it earns from the App Store on a weekly and monthly basis. Even having a detailed breakdown of that granularity is fascinating.
Why are these numbers so important to Apple? Well, the company wants not only developers but regulators to think of the App Store as a sprawling economy that is “dynamic, competitive and flourishing,” in Apple ‘s words.
Over the years, Apple has been particularly criticized for its mandatory 30 percent cut, earning the ire of companies running competing services, such as Spotify, and accusations and at least one lawsuit from developers who say it runs the App Store like a monopoly. In the case of Apple’s long-running feud with Spotify, Apple is now being investigated by the European Union after their music streaming rival filed a formal antitrust complaint.
Of the $519 billion supported by the App Store ecosystem in 2019, the study found that the largest share was sales from physical goods and services, at $413bn. M-commerce apps generated the vast majority of sales within that category, and of those, retail was the largest, at $268 billion. Retail apps include those that reflect digitally brick-and-mortar stores such as Target and Best Buy, as well as virtual marketplaces that offer physical items, such as Etsy, which do not include delivery of their own category of grocery products.
Other types of m-commerce apps have been among the biggest sources of physical goods and services sales. Travel apps, including Expedia and United, made up $57bn. Ride-hailing apps, including Uber and Lyft, made up $40 billion in sales, and $31 billion in food delivery apps, including DoorDash and Grubhub.