US iPhone users spent an average of $40 on premium apps and in-app purchases per device last year, up from $35 in 2015, according to Sensor Tower.

More than 80 per cent of US App Store revenue in 2016 was generated by games (an average of $27 per active iPhone) followed by music ($3.60). However, the biggest improvement was seen in the entertainment category where spending more than doubled, up from $1 in 2015 to $2.30 in 2016 (see chart below, click to enlarge).

“The real standout of our findings was the year-over-year growth of entertainment category spending, which was up by 130 per cent,” the company observed in a blog.

This category includes some of the US App Store’s historically highest grossing apps, including HBO NOW, Hulu, and Netflix. Indeed, Netflix’s revenue growth through 2016 was a significant contributor to the entire entertainment category’s year-over-year gains.

Netflix began monetising through App Store subscriptions in Q4 2015, contributing $7.9 million in gross revenue to the category during that period; in Q4 2016 the amount grew to more than $58 million.

App downloads, on the other hand, declined from 35 per device in 2015 to 33 in 2016. Games saw per device installs decline from 10.5 in 2015 to 9.9 last year (see chart below, click to enlarge).

Social networking declined the most. In 2015, an average of 3.3 social networking apps were downloaded per iPhone in the US, compared to 2.3 in 2016, which equates to one fewer app per device.

Sensor Tower noted downloads for certain categories, such as social networking, continue to centre around the most dominant apps (in this case Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, etc.).

“It’s still possible for new apps to find success in these categories, but the data shows that users are being drawn to the most well-established apps when deciding what to install on their devices,” the report said.