avatarby Scott Adam GordonFebruary 24, 20170 comments

iPhone 7 home screen

US iPhone users spent more than $40 on in-app purchases last year, compared to the $35 average spend from 2015, according to a new report.

The data arrives via app store research website SensorTower and points to mobile games as the biggest earner, accounting for $27 of the $40 average. This was no doubt helped by the continued success of titles like Game of War and Mobile Strike, but also the introduction of smash hit Pokemon Go.

Games spending was up $2 on the average from 2015, less than a ten percent increase, but the Entertainment category, which is home to apps like HBO NOW, Hulu, and Netflix, saw huge gains with a 130% increase year-on-year.

Photo and Video, which includes YouTube (and YouTube Red), also saw growth of more than 130%, with an average of $0.70 compared to $0.30 in 2015. Check out the data below.


Additionally, both social apps (like Tinder) and music apps categories were up 20 cents on average compared to 2015. Despite the increase in spending, however, the average number of app downloads actually decreased by 2 per device: 33 compared to 35 in 2015.

Though it’s clearly a big business, app development is anything but a quick route to financial success: SensorTower also estimates that 94% of all the revenue generated is going to the top 1% of publishers.