Welcome back to This Week in Apps, a weekly TechCrunch series that highlights the latest in mobile OS news, mobile apps, and the app market in general. In 2020, the app business is expected to reach a new high of 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spending. Last year, consumers spent 3.5 trillion minutes only on Android devices. In the United States, app usage has surpassed the time spent viewing live television. The average American currently watches 3.7 hours of live television per day, but increasingly spends four hours on their mobile devices.
Apps are more than simply a means to pass the time when you are bored; they are also huge businesses. Mobile-first companies were valued at $544 billion in 2019, 6.5 times greater than those without a mobile emphasis were. In 2020, investors will have invested $73 billion in mobile enterprises, an increase of 27% year over year. This Week in Applications is a great way to keep up with this fast-paced sector in one location, with the latest news, updates, startup fundings, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as recommendations for new apps and games to try.
In a significant shift, Google said that commissions on subscription-based apps will be reduced to 15% from day one, rather than 30% for the first year, then 15% in year two and beyond (like Apple offers). It also revealed that commissions for apps participating in its new Play Media Experience Program might reduce to as little as 10%. This program comprises video streaming, music, and e-book apps, as well as others where content prices make for the majority of revenues.
Google also competes in several of these areas with its own services and facing greater regulatory pressure around the world, as well as being involved in-app store fee litigation, including one in the United States with Epic Games. The new costs will take effect on January 1, 2022, and are in addition to Google’s previously announced lowering of developer commissions from 30% to 15% on the first $1 million in earnings. According to Google, 99 percent of developers will be eligible for a service cost of 15% or less. According to Sensor Tower data, Google Play received $38.8 billion in total consumer expenditure in 2020, including $11.6 billion in in-app purchases.