CNBC: App Store grossed $64 billion in 2020, up 28% compared to 2019


Earlier this week, Apple touted that the App Store had another record holiday season, bringing in $540 million on New Year’s Day alone. A new analysis from CNBC today offers more details on Apple’s App Store in 2020, estimating that it grossed more than $64 billion in 2020.

The data, based on an analysis done by CNBC, indicates that App Store revenue grew by 28% during 2020, compared to 3.1% growth in 2019. The App Store grossed an estimated $50 billion in 2019 and $48.5 billion in 2018.

Notably, Apple does not report specific revenue numbers for the App Store as part of its quarterly earnings. Instead, App Store numbers are reported as part of the ever-growing Services segment, which which reported $53.7 billion in sales in Apple’s fiscal 2020 ending in September.

CNBC has details on how it came to the $64 billion number:

Apple doesn’t disclose how much revenue its App Store makes per year. Instead, since 2013, it has released data points in January that include the total that Apple has paid to developers since the beginning of the App Store in 2008.

Using those numbers, it’s possible to back out roughly how much revenue the App Store generated based on how much Apple paid to developers in any given year. According to a press release on Wednesday, Apple has paid developers $200 billion since 2008, up $45 billion from the figure that was announced in January 2020. If that’s equal to 70% of App Store sales, then the App Store grossed around $64 billion last year.

Up until today’s report from CNBC, there had been a variety of other reporting indicating that the App Store growth accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people spending time at home, and a greater reliance on apps and services for work and school, it’s clear to see how the App Store was more important than ever for users.

Apple is facing regulatory pressure for the App Store and the 30% cut it takes from developers. The company notably recently announced a new App Store Small Business Program, which cuts the rate to 15% for developers who generate less than $1 million per year.

Apple will report its fiscal Q1 2021 earnings results on January 27, covering the critically important holiday quarter. As usual, the company will hold a call with investors and analysts at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET, right after the release of the earnings. We’ll have full coverage on 9to5Mac.

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