You can have loads of fun playing Pokémon Go without buying any items, but many players eager to get a leg up in the game are paying for Pokéballs, lucky eggs, and other virtual goods.
In the US alone, players on iOS are spending about $1.6 million each day on in-app transactions within Pokémon Go, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Revenue figures for Android were not available. Pokémon Go’s momentum seems so unstoppable that App Annie, another analytics company, projects it will hit $1 billion in revenue within a year.
In general, only 5% of people pay for in-app purchases, but those who do spend an average of $9.60 a month, according to a recent report from AppsFlyer. People have shown a willingness to pay for gaming apps, especially those on iOS, where the average monthly spend on games is $15.34 compared with $7.31 on Android.
Since Pokémon Go’s release in the US, Australia, and New Zealand on July 6, the game has set several new records on the App Store. Four and a half hours after its launch, Pokémon Go became the No. 1 most downloaded free app in the US, a record for gaming titles. Among gaming apps, it was also the fastest to become the No. 1 grossing app, hitting the milestone in 14 hours.
You can see how quickly Pokémon Go ascended compared with Clash Royale, the last megahit, and other popular gaming apps.
When looking across all categories, Pokémon Go is second only to HBO Now in the time it took to become the top grossing app. One thing to keep in mind with HBO Now’s record is that many people were billed on the same day after their free trials had ended. Because of that, a rep at Sensor Tower said he didn’t feel it was fair to compare Pokémon Go’s ascendence to HBO Now.