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Gaming accounts for 74% of app store spending, report says

It also makes up 10% of time spent on mobile.

The play's the thing.
Bryan VanGelder/CNET

We spend a good chunk of our time and money on mobile gaming, a new report says. In 2018, 74% of spending in app stores was driven by games, according to a Monday report from App Annie, which provides companies with mobile data and analytics. Additionally, 33% of all mobile downloads worldwide were games, and 10% of time spent on mobile was dedicated to games.

Mobile game engagement is growing at a rate of around 10% a year, according to the study. This stems from greater engagement from existing gamers as well as a growing user base, "particularly in less mature markets who are using smartphones for the first time," the report says.

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Mobile platforms have apparently played a key role in expanding the age range of gamers. They eliminate the need for gaming-specific hardware and make some games free and simple to download. People 25 and older spend the most time playing games, according to the report.

Google Play had the most downloads worldwide, while the App Store took the lead in monetization, accounting for 64% of money spent globally, the report says. More than 1.6 million games were made available on Google Play last year, while more than 1.1 million were released in the App Store.

Spending on games in the App Store and Google Play grew 15% year-over-year, according to App Annie. 

"Mobile gaming is bigger than every other channel -- whether it be computers, home game consoles or handheld consoles," the report says. "In fact, it's 20% larger than all these other channels combined."