India leads the world in time spent on video-streaming apps, Netflix most downloaded paid app

India leads the world in time spent on video-streaming apps, Netflix most downloaded paid app

Friday January 18, 2019,

3 min Read

Facebook-owned apps topped India’s overall app downloads in 2018; Netflix was the most-downloaded paid app here, followed by Tinder, Hotstar, and Bigo Live.

India continues to be among the fastest-growing mobile app markets in the world, with downloads growing a massive 165 percent in the last two years. In terms of absolute downloads, India trails only China, according to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2019 report.

Globally, app downloads exceeded 194 billion in 2018, up 35 percent from 2016. Time spent also grew 50 percent in two years.

App Annie estimates that the average Indian user has about 68 apps on their smartphone, of which 35 are used on a monthly basis. “Many emerging markets, such as India and the Philippines, are mobile-first with consumers using mobile as their primary access point to the internet,” App Annie stated. (The highest is South Korea with 105 apps installed per user device.) 

Social communication and video apps continued to rule the roost, with Facebook-owned apps topping India’s app downloads. The top 10 downloaded apps in 2018 were Facebook, Messenger, UC Browser, WhatsApp, SHAREit, TikTok, Bigo Live, Hotstar, Truecaller, and MX player.


In terms of monthly active users (MAUs), WhatsApp emerged as the leader. India also happens to be WhatsApp’s largest global market with over 200 million users. Facebook, SHAREIt, Messenger, Truecaller, MX player, UC browser, Instagram, Amazon and Paytm made up the rest of the top 10.

When it comes to consumer spends, Indians seem to love paying for video-streaming apps. Netflix was the most-downloaded paid app here, followed by Tinder, Hotstar, and Bigo Live. In terms of time spent, YouTube, Hotstar, and JioTV emerged as the top apps.

India also topped the world in hours spent on video-streaming apps. It was followed by Brazil and the US. “Total time spent on video streaming apps per device will grow by 110 percent from 2016 to 2019,” App Annie estimated.

Also Read: Indians are among the top mobile downloaders in the world for Netflix content: Global Innovation VP Michael Spiegelman

India is also a growing mobile games market. However, spends on games continue to be low compared to China, Japan and South Korea. India’s top five games by MAUs were Ludo King, Candy Crush Saga, PUBG, Clash of Clans, and Doodle Army 2.

App Annie further stated that consumers around the world “sourced” Food & Drinks through apps 130 percent more often in 2018 than 2016. It wrote, 

“India saw an explosion of sessions growth in Food and Drink apps in 2018, up 120 percent from 2016. This is fuelled by growth in both fast food apps (QSR — Quick Service Restaurants) and the rise of food delivery services.”

India witnessed the strongest growth of 900 percent in food delivery apps. But food delivery apps were also in high demand in Canada and the US, where the category grew 255 percent and 175 percent respectively. Interestingly, UberEATS and Zomato emerged as the top two food delivery apps worldwide.

Over $101 billion was spent in consumer app purchases across iOS, Google Play, Apple TV, Amazon App Store and others. Users averaged three hours per day on their mobile device between 2016 and 2018. Members of Gen Z (ages 16 to 24) spent 20 percent more time than other age groups on apps.

Even as the US slowed down, emerging markets witnessed significant growth in app downloads. “As markets enter the early stages of mobile maturity — often characteristic of emerging markets such as Indonesia and India — they see strong download numbers driven by new mobile device owners discovering and experimenting with new apps,” App Annie said.