How Many iOS Apps Monetize with Subscriptions?

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read 8/18/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Subscriptions Much?. Check out the full article for more insights.


Subscriptions are a great way to make money with your app (or game). Many developers know that by now, but how many apps (and games) are monetizing with subscriptions?

We recently added the option to find apps that use subscriptions to Explorer, our market research tool, and I used that to analyze the App Store and see how prevalent subscriptions are.

FYI - We don't have this filter for Google Play yet, so this analysis is focused on the App Store. I'll do the same for Google Play once we add that to Explorer.

As of right now, 232K apps and games are offering at least one recurring in-app purchase (aka subscription) on the App Store. That means 15% of all apps and games available on the App Store right now offer a subscription.

Can you guess how many of those are paid apps? The number is higher than I expected. By a lot! I'll get to it below, so you have time to guess.

Which categories have the most subscription apps? Well... you might find this surprising. It's games.

The category with the most subscriptions is the games category which has 31% of all subscription apps in the App Store.

Looking at the list of games with subscriptions, which includes pretty much all the Top Grossing games, I'm not too surprised it's the biggest category.

It took a little bit for games to figure out subscriptions but once they did the floodgates opened, and the revenue is there to justify it.

According to our App Intelligence, more than 1,500 of those games earned more than $100K in the last 30 days, and that's net which means what the publishers of those games get to keep after giving Apple its share.

Education is the second largest category with subscriptions at 13% followed by Utilities at 7%.

Health & Fitness, Entertainment, Productivity, Lifestyle, Photo & Video, and Social Networking follow with a single-digit share.

The category I expected to be in the lead, Business, came in 10th with just 3% of subscription apps. At first glance, it feels wrong, but if you consider many of the apps in the business category are clients for platforms that charge on the web, this makes a lot more sense.

So far this year the App Store has seen between 3K-4K new iOS apps (and games) every month. How do you think this number will change in 2024?

Oh, and if you guessed 7.5K apps are both paid and offer a subscription you'd be right. This number was a bit of a surprise for me. Games lead the way, again, followed by Education and Utilities.

App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

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.

Tagged: #business

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