Total worldwide in-app purchase revenues from 2011 to 2017 (in million U.S. dollars)

This statistic shows the projected worldwide total mobile in-app purchase revenues from 2011 to 2017. Global revenue from mobile in-application sales reached 2.11 billion US dollars in 2012 and are projected to surpass 14 billion US dollars in 2015. As of November 2015, there were some 1.8 million apps available in Google Play, the world’s largest app store, while the Apple Store, the second ranked, boasted some 1.5 million available apps in June 2015. As mobile apps become more popular and mobile internet more widely available, revenues generated from applications are reaching unprecedented records. In 2016, it is estimated that worldwide consumers will spend some 50 billion U.S. dollars on mobile apps via app stores, but this number is expected to double by 2020.

There are a number of different ways in which to generate revenues from apps, including simply charging users a small amount of money per download, but this is not the most popular monetization models among worldwide mobile developers, which claim to use it in some 20 percent of the cases. In fact, statistics show that the number of apps in Google’s Play Store that charge for download has decreased 2015 compared to previous years. A variant of this model is the upgrade, where a free application will offer users the possibility to upgrade to a more enhanced or ad-free version of their product in exchange of a fee. The most widely used revenue stream is advertising, but, according to developers, also the most hated .

The monetization model said to be the most profitable for mobile developers, is the in-app purchase, although only an estimated 15 percent of smartphone users have made such a payment. According to industry experts, global in-app purchase revenue reached an estimated 14 billion US dollars in 2015. The in app purchase market size is projected to surpass 36 billion US dollars by 2017.

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 Revenue in million U.S. dollars
2011 712
2012 2,111
2013* 4,591
2014* 7,856
2015* 14,001
2016* 23,771
2017* 36,887
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