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Thursday, 13 January 2022 11:28

Consumers drive mobile app downloads to record levels Featured

By Staff Writer

Globally, there have been over 232 billion downloads, US$168 billion in consumer spend, and 3.8 trillion hours spent on mobile apps, according to a new report by mobile data and analytics provider App Annie.

App Annie says 2021 was record breaking as consumers continued to embrace a mobile lifestyle, and in the top 10 mobile markets, a “staggering 4.8 hours a day” were spent on mobile.

The report also reveals that consumers spent $170 billion on apps, which is up 19% from last year, while downloads continue growing at 5% year over year to reach 230 billion.

Other finding, including for Australia, include:

  • Gaming: The world’s mobile ecosystem is healthier than ever, with publishers releasing 2 million new apps and games in 2021, bringing the cumulative total to 21 million.
  • In Australia, the mobile game consumer spends saw a whopping 63% increase, from $0.87 billion in 2018 to $1.42 billion in 2021.
  • Mobile game downloads in Australia also experience an overall 3.5% growth from 0.28 billion in 2018 to 0.29 billion in 2021.
  • Social networking: Social apps are the linchpin to connection in our mobile-first world and even as time increases on mobile in emerging categories, consumers continue engaging deeper in early-mover categories like Social and Communication apps. 
  • TikTok was a standout winner – not only across the globe, but also in Australia. TikTok commanded an average of 23.4 monthly hours spent per user – the highest amongst the top 5 social apps in Australia and saw an 457% increase between 2018 and 2021.
  • Shopping: Internationally, time in shopping apps reached 100 billion hours, up by 18% year over year, led by fast fashion, social shopping, and by big box players
  • In Australia, consumers spent 110 million hours on shopping apps in 2021 – an approximate 7% increase since 2018 which saw 102 million hours spent that year.
  • Surprisingly (or not), Amazon, SHEIN, Shop, and Woolworths were the top 5 shopping apps in terms of breakout monthly active users (MAU) in 2021
  • Health & Fitness: Worldwide downloads of Health % Fitness apps remained high despite seeing a slight softening from a pandemic-induced high in 2020 for most countries.
  • Likewise for Australia, downloads of Health & Fitness apps peaked at 10.47 million in 2020 Q2 when the pandemic first hit but dipped slightly to 7.34 million in 2021 Q4.
  • Diving into the generational use, trackers and Headspace were the top apps for Gen Z; trackers and insurance apps gained popularity amongst Millennials; and for Gen X and Baby Boomers, fitness apps such as Fitbit and Garmin were some popular apps.

Additional global findings reported by App Annie include:

Publishers released 2 million new apps and games, bringing the cumulative total to 21 million

Despite IDFA, advertising spend topped $295 billion, up 23% year over year, and is estimated to top $350 billion next year

Mobile gaming grew to $116 billion an increase of 15%, fueled by preference to hyper casual

Apps earning more than $100 million in consumer spend grew by 20%

Led by TikTok (increase of 90% globally outside of China), 7 of every 10 minutes was spent on either social, photo and/or video apps

Worldwide consumer spend on dating apps surged past $4.2 billion (55% increase from 2019)

Time in shopping apps reached 100 billion hours, up by 18% year over year, led by fast fashion, social shopping, and by big box players

Food and Drink apps hit a new milestone at 194 billion sessions in 2021 (up 50% year over year)

Metaverse catapults leading avatar apps forward with 160% year-over-year growth

“Mobile is the Greatest of All Time and the go-to device of the future,” said Theodore Krantz, App Annia Chief Executive Officer.

“The big screen is slowly dying as mobile continues to break records in virtually every category - time spent, downloads and revenue.

“Mobile brings us closer together whether virtual or in person.

“The future will be based on an immersive entertainment experience you create. You won’t watch movies, you’ll star in them.”

This year’s State of Mobile report by App Annie identifies macro trends for leading brands and publishers to perform optimally across gaming, fintech, retail, social, video and more.

To read the full App Annie report click here.

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