Research Outline

Mobile Subscription Market


Determine the number of apps that offer a form of in-app subscription, the year-on-year growth of such apps, and the total market size of subscription-based apps.

Early Findings

  • Apple describes in-app subscriptions as a payment model by which app developers can provide access to content, services, or premium features in a mobile application on an ongoing basis. Such subscriptions are also automatically renewed until the user chooses to end them.
  • In-app or mobile subscriptions have become widely popular in recent times, accounting for $10.6 billion in consumer spend on the iOS App Store in 2017.
  • According to Localytics, subscription-based apps earn 2 - 3 times more per user than apps that rely on advertising as their main source of revenue, and 50% more than apps that rely on in-app purchases.
  • The Business Insider also reports that mobile subscription app engagement has risen 32% year-on-year from 2.5% in 2017 to 3.3% in 2018 on an install-to-conversion basis for iOS users - signifying growth in consumer adoption of the subscription revenue model.
  • According to SensorTower, the iOS App Store generated a total of $46B in revenue, while the Google Play store generated a total of $24.8B in 2018.