Apple App Store subscription revenue hit $2.7B in 2016, up 74%

Todd Spangler

Apple's App Store generated $2.7 billion in subscription fees for 2016 — an increase of 74% from the year earlier, the tech giant announced. Netflix, HBO Now, Line, Tinder were among the most popular subscription-based apps of the year.

Overall, Apple says, it paid app developers over $20 billion in 2016, up 40% from 2015. According to the company, since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion. China's Tencent and NetEase were the top two highest-earning developers in 2016 on Apple App Store, followed by Finland-based game developer Supercell.

Apple takes a standard 30% cut of all transactions in the App Store. Last September, the company changed the terms for subscriptions purchased through App Store so that after 12 months, the fee Apple charges drops to 15%. The App Store now offers subscriptions via more than 20,000 apps after subscriptions became available across all 25 app categories in the fall of 2016.

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Apple said Jan. 1, 2017, was the highest single day ever for App Store with nearly $240 million in purchases, which came after App Store revenue $3 billion in December.

Niantic Labs' "Pokemon Go" was the No. 1 most downloaded app from Apple's App Store for 2016. Meanwhile, Nintendo's "Super Mario Run" — which despite being met with critical reviews — was the most-downloaded app globally on both Christmas and New Year's Day, after breaking records with more than 40 million downloads within four days of its Dec. 15 release.

The App Store now offers 2.2 million apps, an increase of 20% since last year.