Theresa Cramer

Every year seems to be the year of mobile! Just when you thought smartphones and apps could not get more ubiquitous, a global pandemic comes along and drives downloads and spending through the roof. App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report dove deep into the data to explain just how the industry changed in 2021, and where it’s going in 2022. 

Here are three of the most enlightening findings:

  • Emerging markets drive growth with 230 billion downloads — Emerging markets are the engine for growth. The challenges of the pandemic helped open up new opportunities for app publishers in markets in need of mobile payment solutions, new ways to communicate, and more. But don’t count out the developed markets just yet —   the U.S. is the third-largest mobile market for downloads, even as its growth rate slows.
  • Consumers spend $320,000 in the App Store every minute — Downloads are up (again!) but that doesn’t always translate to increased spending. However, consumer spending is up 18% and hit a new high (it feels like we’re always saying that now) of $170 billion. That spend, however, is highly concentrated as just 233 apps pulled in $100 million or more, with 13 of them surpassing $1 billion.
  • Total spend on app advertising reached $295 billion — Advertisers are following audiences and despite the challenges of ATT app advertising is growing — up 23%. 

So what does this all mean for mobile growth marketers? 

If it’s your job to grow revenue, it’s time to rejoice! Not only are consumers willing to spend for premium experiences and apps that enhance their lives, but advertisers are willing to spend money to reach them in-app. So whether your monetization model is based on subscriptions or advertising revenue, there is good news to be had. 

But there is one more finding from the App Annie report that caught our eye: “​​233 apps pulled in $100 million or more in annual consumer spend, with 13 of them surpassing $1 Billion. This was up 20% from 2020, and around +35% from 2019.” While there are more and more blockbuster apps out there, 233 is a small fraction of the 1.85 million apps available to users. 

With new entrants to the market being uploaded to the app marketplaces every day, app marketers need a growth strategy in place to launch them to blockbuster status. 

Growth resources for mobile app marketers: