Big appetites, smaller wallets: Demand for mobile services is exploding as consumer spending declines and short-form video paves the way for double-digit growth
data.ai (formerly App Annie), the leading provider of mobile data analytics, reveals in its annual report State of Mobile 2023 that demand for mobile apps accelerated last year as consumer spending declined. The number of downloads reached 255 billion (+11% over the previous year), and the number of hours spent peaked at 4.1 trillion (+9% over the previous year). Meanwhile, consumer spending across all app stores, including third-party Android marketplaces in China, fell 2% year-on-year to $167 billion, headwinds from the economy impacting discretionary spending.
For the first time, macroeconomic factors are holding back mobile spending growth“,
declared Theodore KrantzCEO of data.ai.
“Consumer spending is tightening as mobile demand is the gold standard. In 2023, mobile will be the primary battleground for unprecedented consumer contact, engagement and retention.“
Short-form video apps, led by TikTok, dominated consumer attention in 2022. Users of these apps streamed 3.1 billion hours of user-generated content daily, up 22% compared to the previous year, and spent $5.6 billion, a 55% increase over the previous year, fueling the economy of creators.
Other key results include:
- Time spent on mobile increased to 5 hours per day, up 3% year over year in the top 10 markets.
- OTT (Over-The-Top) apps such as Netflix and Disney+ grew 12% year over year to $7.2 billion.
- Mobile ad spending is expected to hit $362 billion in 2023, driven by growth in short-form videos and video-sharing apps like TikTok and YouTube.
- Spending on gaming apps was down 5% year-on-year to $110 billion, but downloads hit new highs with 90 billion downloads, up 8% from last year. ‘last year.
- Spending on other (non-gaming) apps increased 6% year-on-year to $58 billion, largely driven by subscriptions and purchases in OTT, dating, and short videos. Downloads increased by 13% over the previous year to reach 165 billion.
- Simulation game genres including driving simulation, hyper-friendly simulation and sports simulation drove year-over-year download growth, while MOBA and Roguelike ARPG action games held off the spending decline.
- Financial volatility has reshaped consumers’ appetite for risk: In the United States, downloads of cryptocurrency trading and investing apps fell 55% year-on-year, while app downloads personal loans jumped 81%.
- Price sensitivity has shifted consumer priorities for retail spending: BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) app downloads up 47% YoY, coupons and rewards up 27% , and 19% budget and expense tracking.
- The resumption of travel and the interest in learning languages are helping to gain wallet shares despite the tightening of the purse strings. Apps such as Booking.com, Airbnb and Duolingo have seen growth.
This year’s State of Mobile report identifies and analyzes macro trends for major brands and major publishers, as well as the success of mature apps in gaming, fintech, retail, social networks, video streaming, etc. The report takes an in-depth look at app and game demographics and categories with more than 250,000 apps ranked according to data.ai’s Game and App IQ taxonomy, the first in the industry.
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Consumers spend more than 5 hours a day on their mobile