In the ever-evolving landscape of the U.S. App Store, the dynamics of app downloads and revenue growth have taken a fascinating turn. Recent data from Appfigures has unveiled a remarkable phenomenon—a decline in downloads for many apps, despite an overall surge in revenue. This revelation sheds light on the intricate interplay of factors that shape the digital app ecosystem.

The Evolution of App Downloads in the U.S. App Store.
Image: TechCrunch

Unraveling the Numbers

Appfigures, a renowned authority in app market analytics, has meticulously tracked the trajectory of app installations in the U.S. App Store. Their data paints a compelling picture of the industry's current state. While established giants like Facebook remain firmly rooted, an underlying trend of reduced app installs is undeniably noteworthy.

The Mobile Market Index

To dissect this phenomenon, Appfigures has introduced the Mobile Market Index—a comprehensive gauge of app downloads and revenues across different categories and regions. A closer look reveals a decline in the Mobile Download Index from 91.87 on January 1, 2018, to 83.59 as of August 31, 2023. This is a clear indicator of a worrisome trend in the app market.

Categories in Flux

Delving deeper, it becomes evident that not all categories are affected equally. While some, like sports streaming, medical, business, education, shopping, travel, and productivity apps, continue to thrive, others face double-digit declines. News, games, and entertainment apps, in particular, have seen a noticeable dip—a consequence of market saturation.

The Battle of Established vs. New Entrants

One prominent factor contributing to this decline is the changing dynamics between established apps and new entrants. The allure of once-dominant apps is gradually waning as innovative newcomers capture the spotlight. This shift in consumer preferences is redefining the competitive landscape.

App Tracking Transparency's Role

Another facet of this transformation is the impact of App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This Apple initiative, aimed at safeguarding user privacy, has disrupted the conventional marketing strategies of app developers. As users gain more control over their data, it forces developers to adapt and innovate.

Revenue Resilience

Amidst the shifting tides of app installations, it's essential to recognize the resilience of app revenue. Despite a dip in downloads, revenue in the U.S. App Store is on an upward trajectory. The Mobile Revenue Index tells a compelling story, with a rise from 363.13 in 2018 to 458.3 as of August 31, 2023.

The Power of Monetization

This resurgence in revenue can be attributed to developers' unwavering focus on monetization strategies. In a dynamic environment, developers have honed their ability to generate income from their apps. Notably, Productivity apps have witnessed a remarkable 69.3% growth, while Board games have surged by an astounding 584.9%.

Categories in Decline

However, it's not all smooth sailing. Amidst this revenue boom, there are outliers. Four categories within the U.S. App Store have witnessed declines in revenue over the past year: Sports, Racing, Music, and Action. These categories face unique challenges that require innovative solutions.


In the intricate realm of the U.S. App Store, the landscape is evolving. Downloads may be declining, but revenue is thriving. Established apps are facing competition from fresh faces, and privacy measures are reshaping the industry. The journey of apps in this digital age is far from over, and developers must adapt to this ever-changing terrain to continue their success.

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