Three Key Takeaways from Sensor Tower’s 2021 State of Streaming Apps Report

Takeaways from Sensor Tower's 2021 State of Streaming Apps report.

Streaming apps experienced a surge in first-time downloads throughout 2020 as consumers sheltered in place amid COVID-19, and this elevated level of adoption continued into the first quarter of 2021. Sensor Tower’s State of Streaming Apps 2021 report, available now, is a deep dive into how this sector of the mobile market was impacted by the pandemic as well as how it’s now evolving as parts of the United States begin to emerge from under the most severe safeguards.

Installs of the Top U.S. Streaming Apps Grew to 81 Million in 1Q21

Although the top U.S. streaming apps haven’t again reached the record installs seen in the fourth quarter in 2019 when Disney+ launched, they have sustained quarter-over-quarter growth since Q2 2020 that has continued into early 2021. The top 30 streaming apps collectively reached 81 million installs in Q1 2021, up 13 percent year-over-year from 72 million.

The top U.S. streaming apps climbed 13 percent year-over-year to 81 million downloads in 1Q21.

Consumer Spending in Top U.S. Streaming Apps Grew 48 Percent in 2020

U.S. consumers are spending more than ever in the top streaming apps, which reached $605 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, up 48 percent Y/Y from $408 million in 1Q20.

The top U.S. streaming apps saw their revenue climb 48 percent year-over-year to $605 million in Q1 2021.

While iOS users still represented the majority of spending, Google Play streaming app revenue climbed nearly 5 percentage points to reach 25 percent of consumer spending in these top apps during the first quarter of 2021.

Advertising-Based Video on Demand Skews Toward Older Users

The age gap between viewers of advertising- and subscription-based video on demand (AVOD and SVOD) widened over the last year, a trend that continued into the first quarter of 2021. The average user age of the top six SVOD apps hovered around 31.1 years old, whereas the average AVOD app user was nearly 2 years older at 33 years old. This points to differences in user habits, as older demographics might be more acclimated to advertising during their streaming experience.

The average age of SVOD app users was about 31.1 years in the 1Q21, nearly 2 years younger than the average AVOD app user.

For more analysis from the Sensor Tower Store Intelligence platform, including key insights on the performance of top streaming apps in the U.S., download the complete report in PDF form below:

Download Sensor Tower's The State of Streaming Apps 2021 Report