The rise of live streaming is driving a significant rebound in the creator economy, as a new forecast estimates that consumers will spend $ 6.78 billion on social apps in 2021. That number will rise to $ 17.2 billion annually by 2025, according to data from mobile data firm App Annie, which notes that the upward trend represents a growth rate. Five-year compound annual report (CAGR). 29%. At that time, total lifetime spending on social apps will reach $ 78 billion, the firm reports.
Initially, much of the live broadcast economy was based on one-time purchases like sticker packs, but today, consumers are gifting content creators directly during their live broadcasts. Some of these donations can be incredibly high at times. Twitch streamer ExoticChaotic was gifted $ 75,000 during a live session at Fortnite, which was one of the largest donations ever to the game streaming social network. Meanwhile, App Annie notes that another platform, Bigo Live, is allowing broadcasters to win up to $ 24,000 per month through your live broadcasts.
Apps that offer live streaming as a standout feature are also the ones that are driving the majority of current spending on social apps, the report says. In the first half of this year, $ 3 out of every $ 4 spent on the top 25 social apps came from apps that offered live broadcasts, for example.
During the first half of 2021, the US became the top market for consumer spending within social apps with 1.7 times the spending of the next largest market, Japan, accounting for 30% of the market by expense. China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea followed to complete the top 5.
While both creators and platforms are benefiting financially from the live streaming economy, platforms are benefiting in other ways beyond their in-app purchase fees. Live streams are helping drive demand for these social apps and helping drive other key engagement metrics, such as time spent on the app.
One of the top apps that is gaining significantly here is TikTok.
Last year, TikTok outperformed YouTube in the US and UK in terms of monthly average time per user. It often continues to lead in the first market and, more decisively, leads in the second.
In other markets, such as South Korea and Japan, TikTok is making progress, but YouTube continues to lead by a wide margin. (In South Korea, YouTube leads by 2.5 times, in fact.)
Beyond TikTok, consumers spent 740 billion hours on social apps in the first half of the year, equivalent to 44% of time spent on mobile devices globally. The time spent on these applications has followed an upward trend over the years, with a growth of 30% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2018.
Today, apps that enable live streaming are outpacing those that focus on chat, photo, or video. That’s why companies like Instagram are now announcing dramatic shifts in focus, such as how “they are no longer a photo sharing app.“They know they need to switch more completely to video or they will be left behind.
The total time spent on the top five social apps that emphasize live streaming will now exceed half a billion hours on Android phones alone this year, not including China. That’s a three-year CAGR of 25% compared to just 15% for apps in the Chat and Photo & Video categories, App Annie noted.
Thanks to growth in India, the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for 60% of time spent on social apps. As India’s growth in this area increased over the past 3.5 years, it narrowed the gap between it and China from 115% in 2018 to just 7% in the first half of this year.
Social app downloads also continue to grow, due to the growth of live streaming.
To date, consumers have downloaded social apps 74 billion times and that demand remains strong, with 4.7 billion downloads in the first half of 2021 alone, up 50% year-over-year. In the first half of the year, Asia was the largest region for social app downloads, accounting for 60% of the market.
This is largely due to India, the top market by a factor of 5, which outpaced the US in 2018. India is followed by the US, Indonesia, Brazil and China, in terms of downloads.
The shift towards live streaming and video has also affected the type of apps consumers are interested in downloading, not just the number of downloads.
A graph showing the top global apps from 2012 to the present highlights Facebook’s slide. While its apps – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook – have dominated the top spots over the years in various positions, TikTok was ranked number one last year and continues to hold that ranking in 2021.
Further down the table, other apps that help with video editing have also outperformed others that had focused more on photos or chat.
Video apps like YouTube (# 1), TikTok (# 2), Tencent Video (# 4), Bigo Live (# 5), Twitch (# 6), and others are now also ranked at the top of the global charts by consumer spending in the first half of 2021.
But YouTube (# 1) still dominates in time spent compared to TikTok (# 5) and Facebook’s others – the company has the next three spots for Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, respectively.
This could explain why TikTok is now exploring the idea of allowing users to upload even longer videos, increasing the limit from 3 minutes to 5, for example.
Furthermore, due to the ability of live streaming to drive growth in terms of time spent, this is also likely the reason why TikTok has been investing heavily in new features for their TikTok LIVE platform, including things like events, co-host support, Q&A and more, and why it was done the “LIVE” button a more prominent feature in your application and user experience.
App Annie’s report also delves into the impact that live streaming has had on specific platforms, such as Twitch and Bigo Live, the former which doubled its monthly active user base since the pre-pandemic era, and the latter, which recorded a spend. consumption of $ 314.2 million during the first semester. 2021.
“The ability of social media users to communicate with each other via live video, or view the live broadcasts of others, has not only kept a market for social media applications growing, but has contributed to its growth. exponential in engagement metrics, such as time spent, which might otherwise have been saturated some time ago, “wrote Lexi Sydow, Chief Knowledge Officer at App Annie, when announcing the new report.
The full report is available here.