Global spend on online movies, games and mobile apps increased by 30% to $57 (£34) billion in 2013 compared with $44 (£26) billion in 2012, research from App Annie and IHS Insight has found.
Mobile apps were a critical part of that growth, with overall app spend jumping 2.3 times year-over-year to $16bn, the report found.
Music apps saw a big growth, up 77 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
“The growth was led by music services such as Pandora, which bills through app stores and also generates revenue from advertising,” the report stated.
“Subscription music services have been a driver of growth in online music in 2013, and apps are a key way of delivering that content. However, some of the most successful music apps do not use app store billing. Spotify is the most notable of the major music services that does not yet use app store billing – and so its success as one of the most downloaded music apps is not reflected in app store spend.”
Outside mobile apps, online movies was one of the strongest growing digital content categories in 2013, up 21 per cent year-over-year globally, with YouTube the most downloaded video viewing app, followed by Netflix.
Movie-related apps also played a factor, with The Hobbit Kingdom, Despicable Me and Jurassic Park Builder apps all doing well.
In terms of games, it was discovered that eight of the top 10 game app publishers in 2013 were largely mobile-centric, with King – who announced IPO plans yesterday – ranking third.