Worldwide app downloads for the App Store and Google Play stores grew more than 10 per cent year-over-year to 27.5 billion in Q1 2018, the highest of any quarter, App Annie reported.

Consumer spend grew 22 per cent to $18.4 billion, boosted by the popularity of health and music apps.

In a regular review of the apps market, App Annie said revenue earned in the broader app economy is much larger than the consumer figure, as total sales would include earnings from third-party Android stores, m-commerce and in-app advertising.

There were over 6.2 million apps available across both stores at the end of the quarter. During the record-breaking period, Google Play downloads exceeded 19.2 billion, with more than 8.2 billion on Apple’s App Store.

The numbers were in part due to a continued migration of retail to apps, as both e-commerce and traditional retailers focus on their mobile shopping experience. Games also played an important role, particularly with the success games including PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and Fortnite.

Consumer spend
Consumer spend in the Google Play store grew 25 per cent year-over-year in Q1 2018, while App Store racked up 20 per cent growth.

The US was a strong driver of Google Play’s increased consumer spend and also saw the largest growth in market share of any country. As for categories, music, audio and entertainment experienced the largest market share growth of global consumer spend on Google Play.

App Annie stated: “This speaks to the larger trend of consumers choosing to sign-up and pay for music streaming and video streaming subscriptions in apps.”

On App Store, consumer spend in health and fitness apps experienced large growth “indicating the seasonal impact of New Year’s resolutions, as well as the behavioural shift for consumers to subscribe to fitness apps”.

As app markets mature “consumers, at a large scale, are increasingly willing to pay for the growing benefits that they receive from apps”.