Consumers spent 30% more on health and fitness apps in 2020, climbing to over $ 2 billion. According to new research, downloads and time spent also increased sharply.

If you can guarantee one thing in the health and fitness apps market it is this: Downloads will explode in January and then taper for the rest of the year. Why? It’s when vacation surplus and New Year’s resolutions inspire millions of people to get fit.

But last year was different. App Annie, the leader in mobile data and analytics, has it all. March marked the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in most regions. With closed gyms, people looked for different ways to get active. Health and fitness app downloads hit 59 million for the week of March 22, 2020 – a 40% increase from the weekly average for January and February 2020.

Key data points

Health and fitness maintained their impressive performance for the entire 12 months.

Health and Fitness – Consumers Spend 30% More

  • 2020: $ 2.0 billion
  • 2019: $ 1.5 billion

Health and Fitness – App Downloads Up 30%

  • 2020: 2.6 billion
  • 2019: 2.0 billion

Health and fitness – time spent by 25%

  • 2020: 5.4 billion hours
  • 2019: 4.3 billion hours

UK consumer spending increased 70% to $ 172 million.

App developers launched more than 71,000 new health and fitness products in 2020

• App Annie estimates that in 2020 more than 71,000 health and fitness apps were released worldwide. That is 13% more than in 2019. On iOS it was 24,000. On Google Play it was 47,000.

• There was a clear diversity in the top apps. The workout / fitness apps contribute most to this. The top performers in terms of global downloads were Home Workout – No Equipment (# 2), Mi Fit (# 3), and Lose Weight App for Women (# 4).

Sleeper Hit: Rest helps people deal with anxiety – and tops the health and fitness category in consumer spending

• However, health and fitness is not all about exercise. The isolation and anxiety caused by bans increased the demand for apps that improve mental wellbeing. The world’s leading product in terms of consumer spending for 2020 was the sleep / meditation app Calm.
o In 2020, Calm even moved into the corporate division. It sealed a partnership with American Express to give cardholders free access to Calm as an additional membership.
• In fourth place was Headspace, another product for well-being and mindfulness. Consumer spending isn’t the only metric to measure the success of mindfulness and meditation apps. Time spent can also be an important indicator for those making money outside of the app stores.

COVID-19 track & trace apps

• In 2020, there was one final product group that appeared for the first time in the Health and Fitness category: contact tracking apps. Most countries – or in the case of the US, states and cities – have launched their own version of products designed to track positive COVID-19 cases. Unsurprisingly, these products had a significant impact on the category. In fact, India’s Aarogya Setu was the most downloaded health and fitness app in the world.

Lexi Sydow, Senior Market Insights Manager at App Annie, said, “2020 bucked seasonal trends as a world was turned upside down by a global pandemic. In 2020, it was April, rather than January, that health and fitness app downloads grew the most worldwide at 276 million, an 80% year-over-year increase. We tend to see consumer spending spend following downloads shortly after, which it did in the months after April, but spending hit a global high of $ 185 million in August 2020, up 45% year over year . As consumers squatted at home, fitness at home increased and we saw an increase during the second great waves of lockdown in America and Europe. In the new normal of 2021, the home will remain the epicenter of our social, work and wellness life – with mobile driving an acceleration of 43% for activities at home. “