Want to get the inside scoop on the entertainment app market?
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From Netflix to TikTok, entertainment apps are battling for the attention of users across the globe.
Who is winning this battle?
In this overview, we’re bringing the most relevant entertainment app statistics that reflect the major trends and state of the entertainment app market.
Ten Years of Entertainment Apps
The entertainment app market is especially interesting from the perspective of time.
Over the past ten years, many apps dominated the entertainment charts, but only a few made history.
In 2013, the list of most-downloaded apps was significantly different from today. Back then, the top three positions were held by YouTube, Shazam, and Tango Live. YouTube remained on the top for years until Q2 2019 when TikTok conquered the download charts.
By Q4 2022, TikTok has gotten over 3.5 billion cumulative downloads, making it the most downloaded entertainment app of all time. YouTube and Spotify are currently in the 2nd and 3rd positions with approximately 1.7 billion downloads each.
When it comes to consumer spend, things have drastically changed since 2013.
In Q1 2013, the top entertainment apps by cumulative consumer spend were Pandora Music, GREE, and GarageBand. Spotify dominated the download charts from 2016 to 2017, while the Netflix era lasted from 2018 to 2021.
Up to date, TikTok surpassed all these apps with an astonishing $6.2 billion in cumulative consumer spend (data.ai)
Top Entertainment App Genres by Downloads
To really understand the entertainment app market, it’s important to understand how many different apps fall under the “entertainment” umbrella.
The entertainment app category includes:
- OTT (over-the-top) apps
- Short-form video apps
- Music & audio apps
- Game services
- Live streaming apps
- Comic apps
- Radio apps, etc.
OTT has been a buzzword for a couple of years now. To define, OTT (over-the-top) refers to tech that delivers streamed content via the internet (think Netflix and HBO Max).
Among entertainment apps, OTT and short-form video apps stand out as the most popular categories, accounting for the largest download share in the entertainment app market (data.ai).
Both of these genres gained significant traction during the 2020 pandemic.
In 2020 alone, the apps from the short-form video genre were downloaded 1.98B times. The following year, their popularity slightly decreased, while other entertainment genres like OTT and Music & Audio experienced growth.
Top Entertainment App Genres by Consumer Spend
When it comes to consumer spending, the OTT genre stands out with its unmatched dominance.
In 2021, users spent a staggering $6.53 billion on apps from the OTT genre. Live streaming and short-form video apps came in second and third, with consumer spending of 2.07 billion and 1.97 billion, respectively (data.ai).
As you can see, the reign of OTT apps began in 2020, solidified in 2021, and they continue to dominate today’s entertainment app market.
The entertainment app market is focused on providing people with enjoyable content and catering to their needs.
One of those needs is relaxation.
According to Google, 55% of people who use entertainment apps do it as they relax. (Think with Google).
Once they discover relaxing entertainment apps, many people continue using them for days to come. According to Statista, the average day 1 retention rate for entertainment apps is 22%. By day 7, this number drops down to 8.2% and to 3.8% by day 30.
But, note this.
Retention rates in the entertainment app market significantly vary by app type. For example, Comics apps have the strongest day 1 retention rate with 33%, while video and streaming apps are well below with 4.7% and 1.73%, respectively (Senbird).
10 Most Downloaded Entertainment Apps of 2022
Now that you’re familiar with the historical developments of the market, top genres, and typical user behavior, let’s take a look at the latest top charts.
These charts are an extremely useful tool because they tell you about current user preferences across the globe.
Here are the top 10 entertainment apps by downloads in 2022, according to Statista:
- Amazon Prime Video
- YouTube Kids
- HBO Max
- MX Player
- Pluto TV
As you can see, the vast majority of apps on this list are famous on-demand video streaming and OTT apps.
If you’re not familiar with the Indian app market, it’s possible you’ve never heard of MX Player and Hotstar. MX Player is an Indian video-on-demand and OTT service while Hotstar is a premium streaming platform.
TikTok is the only short-form video app that made the list, and it is by far the most downloaded app of 2022 with 672 million downloads. Not only in the entertainment category but also in the entire app market.
Monetizing Entertainment Apps
Entertainment apps monetize in different ways, depending on the app type.
For example, OTT and streaming apps usually monetize via subscriptions – and they are very successful at it.
According to data.ai, 2 out of the 3 top apps by subscription consumer spend in 2022 were entertainment apps – YouTube and Disney+.
But, not all entertainment apps follow the subscription model.
The best example of this is TikTok.
TikTok’s monetization strategy revolves around one-time in-app purchases. This is atypical for non-gaming apps where 70% of IAP revenues traditionally come from subscriptions (data.ai).
So, what exactly makes TikTok users spend so much on one-time purchases?
On TikTok, users can spend their money to buy packs of virtual coins. These coins can then be used in three ways, mainly for supporting content creators:
- Sending gifts to content creators during live streams
- Sending gifts to content creators in the comment section
- Using TikTok Promote to boost video reach
New Ways to Monetize
Lately, entertainment apps (mainly OTT) have been diversifying their monetization strategies.
YouTube has been using the ads + subscription combo for a long time, and other entertainment apps have recently introduced their own ad-supported versions. With lower-priced plans, they aim to attract broader audiences.
For example, Netflix recently added a special “Basic with Ads” plan”, HBO Max introduced “HBO Max With Ads”, and Hulu introduced “Hulu with Ads”.
How popular are these plans?
It depends on many factors such as ad frequency and overall user experience, but a major factor is the discount percentage.
For example, Hulu’s ad-supported version comes at a generous 47% discount. Therefore it’s not surprising that many users choose this plan which accounts for 45% of the app’s IAP revenue.
On the other hand, HBO Max’s ad-supported plan isn’t as popular, as it makes up for only 9% of IAP revenue. This might have something to do with the discount percentage which is 38%, so it’s not equally attractive.
OTT Apps by Age Group
As the leading category among entertainment apps, OTT apps attract users of all ages.
But, each generation uses them in their unique way.
Let’s take a look at the OTT app statistics for U.S. users of different age groups.
Gen X and Baby Boomers spend a lot of their free time in front of their TV screens. Considering this, it’s not surprising that they are most likely to use TV-related apps like TV Guide Mobile and DIRECTV.
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