As a key part of the social media experience, photo and video sharing has evolved over the past years. Today, photo and video apps have more users than ever, thanks to hundreds of millions of people willing to spend money on brushing up their digital presence and creating nice pictures.
According to data presented by OnlyAccounts.io, photo and video apps have seen their revenue more than triple in five years, reaching $12bn in 2023.
Today, many smartphone users have a soft spot for photo editing apps, making it one of the most popular and highest-grossing app categories across the App Store and Google Play Store. The 2022 Statista Global Customer Survey showed four in ten smartphone users regularly use photo editing apps, even more than basic apps like email, browsers, and messenger apps.
These apps also have an army of users in the content creator’s industry but still make up just one part of the market. The photo and video app market also includes some of the biggest and most popular apps for video streaming, like YouTube and Twitch, which also had a significant role in surging revenues.
According to Statista Market Insights, the global photo and video app market grossed around $5bn in revenue in 2019. Two years later, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this figure jumped to $9bn and continued growing. Statistics show last year saw an 11% revenue growth, with smartphone users spending roughly $10bn on photo and video apps. This figure is expected to jump by 20% and hit $12bn in 2023. By 2027, the entire market will hit $16bn in revenue.
The Statista survey showed that half of the total revenue in 2023, or $6bn, comes from in-app purchases. Advertising and paid apps follow with $3bn and $2bn in revenue, respectively. Statista expects the following years to witness impressive growth in all three revenue streams. While in-app purchases and paid apps revenue are forecasted to grow by a massive 50% by 2027, the advertising segment will see revenue surge by 66% in the next four years.
Some of the most popular photo and video apps hit millions of users in weeks. In 2019, FaceApp went viral after users across social media platforms shared pictures of their older or younger selves generated by the app. The photo editing app powered by artificial intelligence, Lensa AI, also had overnight success, reaching more than 19 million downloads in a single month after adding the Magic Avatars feature.
The surging popularity of photo and video apps has helped the total number of downloads more than double in the past five years. Statista expects people worldwide to download 29.1 billion photo and video apps by the end of 2023, 107% more than the 14 billion downloads reported in 2019. However, the following year will see slower growth rates, with downloads increasing by 27% to 37 billion in 2027.