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The Rise of Astrology Apps

Web & Mobile

Isadora Teich wrote this article


Astrology apps have soared in popularity over the course of the pandemic.

Money is pouring into them from investors, Gen-Zers and reportedly even celebrities love them, and the biggest ones out there are making a big name for themselves.

In fact, this type of app has become so popular that they are one of the main ways malicious actors have used phony apps to take millions from people around the world. Scammers know that people want astrology apps, and they are exploiting it.

Astrology is a bit of a hot topic in general. While talking about your sign semi-ironically has become a widespread internet joke, there are many different opinions about Astrology. Some swear by it, others say it’s nonsense, and others find it a helpful tool for self-reflection or entertainment.

So, let’s take a look at the world of Astrology apps. Why have they boomed in popularity, what exactly do they offer, and what is happening in this trendy new market?

The Pandemic Affect

You really can’t talk about market trends in the past year or so without bringing up the pandemic.

While it has harmed a lot of industries that rely on in-person interaction or butts in seats, it has caused the use and sale of apps to boom. It has also led to a rise in people wanting to take their own health, self-care, and personal development far more seriously.

A GSK study shows that this pandemic has imbued Europeans with a newfound sense that they should take their health into their own hands to relieve the pressure on their medical systems.

As people in many countries around the world have watched their health systems collapse or nearly collapse, it makes sense that they are turning inward for safety and comfort with a wide range of new tools via apps.

In the Americas and Asia, beauty and self-care startups are thriving. In the mental health app space as well, there has been a massive boom. Currently, there are as many as 20,000 mental health apps out there.

While some say this is a blessing to people who can’t afford mental healthcare, others are concerned about the lack of regulation or oversight on these apps.

So, we see that people globally are in the market for apps to help them manage their health, wellness, self-care, and personal development. Astrology apps fit into this perfectly.

The Big Three

While there are countless Astrology apps out there, only 3 have generated large cult followings over the past year or so. These are Pattern, Co-Star, and Sanctuary.

As well as having dedicated user bases, they are also amassing investor capital. Co-star raised $15 million this spring in VC and Sanctuary raised $3 million. The Pattern, which has a user-base of around 15 million people, is preparing to raise funds for the first time. The psychic services market as a whole in the US has been valued at around $2.2 billion.

What these 3 apps offer is particularly interesting. They use AI algorithmic readings and live readings to create highly personalized astrological predictions. You can learn about your birth chart, test compatibility using astrology, and get personalized daily advice.

Co-Star brands itself as a self-care tool. This has been incredibly successful, as it is downloaded by someone roughly every 4 seconds in the US.

The Pattern founder Lisa Donovan has even called her app “Facebook for the soul.” The Pattern is interesting because it makes use of almost no direct mention of planets, mysticism, or other classic astrology jargon at all. It just gives you empowering messages and personalized suggestions based on astrology.

Unlike the other 2 apps, Sanctuary distinguishes itself by moving away from AI and placing more focus on paid on-demand chats with live tarot readers and astrologers. Sanctuary co-founder Ross Clark says of the app: “We want everything to feel like you’re texting your friend who happens to be this amazing astrologer.”

A Perfect Storm

A few big trends are occurring right now which really contextualize the astrology app boom. Pew Research shows that while more Americans are not participating in organized religion, almost a third reported a strengthening of “personal faith” during the pandemic.

If people are exploring spirituality but leaving organized religion, it makes sense that many of them may be using astrology as a part of that personal discovery. Often, in difficult times, people turn to faith or spirituality to help them get through. The first-ever astroliogical column was published in response to the Great Depression, after all.

Also, it is important to note that these are not just Gen-Z trends.

For years, Millennials were more or less the punching bags of the internet news cycle. Even though Gen-Z has replaced them, the two generations share a lot of overlap in general tastes, ideas, and experiences. Long before the pandemic or the vilification of Gen-Z for clicks, Pew research showed that 60% of Millennials identified as practicing “New Age Faith” specifically.

On top of this, about a third of Millennials believed in astrology before these apps even were popular.

Why It Is Important For Businesses To Look Past The Generational Divide

Millennials were roughly born between 1981 and 1996. The oldest Millennials are nearly 40 years old now. Gen-Zers were roughly born between 1997-2012 and the youngest amongst them are about 7 years old currently.

This means that if you ignore the news cycle, a shocking amount of Americans between roughly the ages of 7 and 40 are, for a lack of better words, “into witchy stuff.”

You will often see Millennials and Gen-Z treated like strange niche groups when they are actually the vast majority of the US population. In fact, Millennials are actually the largest portion of the US population, with over 72 million of them alive today.

Gen Z is the next biggest age demographic and makes up about a fifth of the total US population.

These two groups encompass almost all Americans under 40 who make shopping decisions, use apps, and both create and consume culture. As such, what they want is what will prosper. And they want astrology apps.

The Past Is Present

Something else it is also important to note is that nostalgia marketing and 90s and Y2K trends are making a huge comeback. This is likely for a number of complex reasons.

One big one is that people turn to nostalgic comforts in times of stress. We have seen this in a big way during the pandemic. A recent study found that half of the people surveyed were revisiting the media of their youth for comfort.

We have seen this with pokemon cards suddenly spiking in value and the stars of hit 2000s media resurging in popularity on TikTok.

Weekly horoscopes in magazines were a vintage staple, which many people are likely revisiting now via app.

Final Thoughts

It is very interesting to see how markets shift and change as the world does.

While some people may be surprised at the sudden boom in popularity of these apps, it has likely been a long time in the making. Many Americans under 40 are moving away from organized religion, “witchy,” and seeking nostalgic comforts and a sense of direction in difficult times.

They liked astrology already and these apps let them experience it in new ways.

What do you think? Are you a believer in astrology? Or do you think these apps are a waste of time? Some people have found readings like these invaluable, while others think all psychics are scammers. There are certainly a wide range of opinions here.

Talk to me.

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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