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Indian apps, games saw a 200% increase in active monthly users in 2021 over 2019: Google Play

As per a blog by Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships, in 2021 there was also an 80% increase in consumer spending on Google Play compared to 2019

In 2021, Indian apps and games saw a 200% increase in active monthly users and an 80% increase in consumer spending on Google Play as compared to 2019, as per Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships.

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In a blogpost, Swamy said that the company will continue to invest in India on solving for local opportunities and challenges. As it celebrated its 10th anniversary, it announced that it will continue to bring the best of their global experience and innovation to India.

Google Play had recently announced the Google Start-up School India to enable 10,000 start-ups in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and the Google for Start-ups Accelerator - India Women Founders to specifically help women founders in the country.

They are hoping that these programs will empower innovators closest to some of India’s most pressing needs and challenges.

Swamy said local developers are also finding global audiences with Indian apps and games seeing a 150% increase in time spent by users outside India in 2021 compared to 2019 on Google Play.

From providing content in vernacular languages to building for communities, local developers are driving meaningful impact in the lives of many and also building successful businesses, Swamy added.

India is uniquely placed today to become a leading hub for global app innovation, as per Swamy. There is tremendous potential for homegrown start-ups across the country - regardless of size and geography -- to thrive in the global app ecosystem.

Swamy further said that the company wants to help every developer with an idea to capitalise on the potential to reach 2.5 billion monthly active users and 190 countries with Google Play.

“We will continue to evolve our tools to support developers’ business decision making and evolve our business models to help them grow their businesses,” mentioned Swamy.

India has transformed into an app-first country in the past decade, constantly emerging as one of the top downloaders of apps and games around the world. Currently, the country is seeing apps empower communities daily, drive inclusion, create jobs, enable global opportunities, and contribute to economic growth.

According to Swamy, in the past two years, apps across categories like education, payments, health, entertainment, and gaming witnessed surprising growth.

For example, HealthifyMe has emerged as a popular health app helping many across the country with their fitness needs. Pratilipi has been enabling high-quality Indian language storytelling, and Doubtnut is making education more accessible as a multilingual learning app.

There has been great momentum in gaming too. Ludo King became one of the first Indian games to cross 500 million downloads. PlaySimple Games is another great example of a local gaming studio thriving in global markets, said Swamy.

“We have been working with many of these creative minds as part of our growth programs as well. Agri tech start-up Krishify is scaling up economic opportunities for farmers, evolve is helping the LGBTQ+ community with mental health offerings, Stamurai is enabling accessible and affordable speech therapy - and there are many more,” Swamy’s post read.

Talking about the stats of Google Play, Swamy said that in the past decade, they have consistently invested in the Android and Google Play ecosystem to serve as much more than a distribution platform for start-ups and developers – targeting to support them at every stage of their growth with powerful tools and features, data and insights, programs tailored to their needs, and educational resources to build delightful and successful solutions on Play.

The data and analytics that their developers access through Google Play Console have helped them better understand, reach, and build for local and global audiences on Google Play.

Moreover, they also continue to work closely with the developer ecosystem to protect users from abusive or malicious apps, according to Swamy.

He said, “Today, Google Play Protect scans over 125 billion apps per day to keep people safer from malware and unwanted software globally. We have rolled out effective and locally relevant forms of payment, such as UPI and recharge codes, in addition to many other payment options, to ensure people can pay for their favourite apps and games more conveniently.”

However, nurturing and supporting talented innovators with training and development programs to build high-quality apps has always been a key focus for Play.

The self-learning platform, Play Academy, has helped developers with resources to build, publish, and scale a great app. Since its launch in 2018, Play Academy has trained over 80K developers in India. Play reaffirms its commitment to India’s thriving app and developer ecosystem.

“Our accelerator programs such as Indie Games Accelerator and Google for Start-ups Accelerator have helped start-ups and gaming studios scale and seize growth opportunities. Recently, 100 enterprising app-preneurs graduated from our App scale Academy program in partnership with MeitY Start-up Hub. We saw apps improve their UI, UX, security, user base, engagement rates, and ratings, and receive funding offers from VCs as part of the program,” Swamy noted.

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