Sensor Tower predicted global app user revenue will grow 19.7 per cent year-on-year to $133 billion in 2021, with social media service TikTok ranking as the highest earning and most downloaded app for the second consecutive year.

The app analytics company noted consumer spending would be less than 2020, as market trends begin to normalise after a record peak sparked by Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdowns.

User spending across TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin was tipped to hit $2.3 billion. The ByteDance-owned app is also expected to lead the charts in downloads, followed by Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Sensor Tower predicted non-gaming app categories to make gains at the expense of mobile games.

Spending on gaming apps is tipped to hit $89.6 billion, up around 13 per cent, with the category’s share of overall consumer outlay declining 4.3 per cent to 67.4 per cent.

And it forecast global downloads of apps will remain flat at 144 billion compared with 24 per cent growth in 2020.