Sensor Tower: TikTok Continues to Tick in Q3 2020

It was the highest-grossing and most-downloaded non-game app

Consumer spending in TikTok surged 800% year-over-year Anatoliy Sizov/iStock

Despite TikTok’s issues with the administration of President Donald Trump, or maybe because of them, the video creation platform was the highest-earning non-game application in the third quarter of 2020, across Google Play and the iTunes App Store, according to mobile app intelligence provider Sensor Tower.

The company said in its third-quarter report that its figures include the iOS version of Douyin in China, where TikTok is not available, but they do not include revenue from in-app advertising.

This past three-month period marked the second consecutive quarter for TikTok as the top-grossing non-game app, and consumer spending in the app surged 800% year-over-year.

Overall, spending in mobile apps for the quarter was $29.3 billion, up 32% from the second quarter of 2019.

Spending rose 31% in the App Store, to approximately $19 billion, and Google Play gross revenue of $10.3 billion was up 33.8% year-over-year.

App Store downloads were up roughly 2.5 percent from the year-ago quarter, at 8.2 billion, while Google Play’s total of 28.3 billion represented a 31% gain.

First-time app installs globally rose 23.3% during the third quarter, to 36.5 billion.

The top-grossing non-game apps in the third quarter of 2020 were:

  • TikTok (including Douyin for iOS in China)
  • YouTube
  • Tinder
  • Tencent Video
  • Disney+

Sensor Tower

The most-downloaded non-game apps during the period were:

  • TikTok (including Douyin for iOS in China)
  • Facebook
  • Zoom
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram

Anatoliy Sizov/iStock

Sensor Tower mobile insights strategist Stephanie Chan wrote in the report, “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has already seen consumer behavior impacted in unexpected and potentially far-reaching ways. As we enter the fourth quarter, new trends will undoubtedly emerge, as will new standout apps, some driven by platform innovations such as home-screen customization on iOS.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.