It Finally Happened! TikTok Creeps Into Top 10 Grossing Apps in the U.S.

Ariel Ariel
1 minute read 10/15/21

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #83 - Will the HomePod Kill Christmas for Google and Amazon (Again)?. Check out the full article for more insights.


TikTok is on fire for a whole bunch of reasons, and the one I see as being most important, revenue, is on the list. In this case, I'm referring to in-app revenue, meaning TikTok's internal currency users of the platform purchase so they can reward creators.

On the App Store, the app has been creeping up the top-grossing charts very aggressively over the last few months, which I covered a few times, but this week it finally broke the top 10.

That's a serious milestone!

The top 10 grossing apps in the App Store split into two segments. The apps and games that pop in for a day or two when something big happens within their ecosystems, and the incumbents. ESPN and a few games fall into the first category, while YouTube and Tinder fall into the latter.

Which will TikTok fall into? Looking at revenue growth in the U.S. App Store, the answer is very clear.

Between January and September of this year, TikTok's in-app revenue in the U.S. grew 232% to an estimated $20M of net revenue, that's after Apple and Google take their fees. We estimate that this month, October, will be TikTok's most massive to date, with a haul of more than $24M of net revenue.

That's great news for creators who are getting the lion's share of this total and bad news for YouTube, which hasn't left the top 5 list in too long to count. Those days might be coming to an end. At TikTok's current ~25% month-over-month growth rate, it'll outpace YouTube in just a few short months.

As we head into 2022, content is still king, which is why a large portion of the top-grossing apps are content apps. I don't expect that to change any time soon.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.


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