Mobile App Market Trends and Statistics for 2023
This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.
What is the current size and share of the mobile app market? How will the mobile app industry evolve in 2023 and the years to come?
In our mobile app market research, we bring you the answers to these burning questions.
You’ll learn about the biggest mobile app and game market trends and get insights on acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention.
(Data Source: data.ai)
Mobile App Market Share and Size 2023
In this section, you’ll learn about the biggest mobile app markets in 2022 by downloads and consumer spending.
But first, here are essential statistics about the mobile app market share and size:
- mobile apps got 255 billion downloads (11% YoY growth)
- mobile apps earned $167 billion (-2% YoY decrease)
- users spent 1 trillion hourson apps and games in 2022 (9% YoY growth)
Top Mobile App Markets by Downloads
Globally, mobile app downloads grew 11% in 2022 compared to 2021. That indicates that the interest in mobile apps is increasing each year.
The leading mobile app market in terms of downloads was China — it went past 110 billion downloads in 2022. That’s almost half of all global downloads combined.
India and the United States were second and third with 28 billion and 12 billion respectively.
Top Mobile App Markets by Consumer Spend
On a global scale, the mobile app market saw a drop in consumer spending in 2022 compared to 2021 — it was down -25%.
As you might expect, China was in the lead with more than $58 billion. It was followed by the US with $42 billion and Japan with almost $18 billion in consumer spend.
Mobile App Market Analysis: Mobile App Usage Statistics
Every year, the time spent on mobile applications is increasing. If we look at mobile-first markets, the average time spent on mobile surpassed 5 hours in 2022. That’s 9% more than in 2020 during lockdowns.
It tells us that the mobile app industry is growing at a fast pace and shows no sign of stopping.
Countries with the highest average time spent on mobile per day per user are Indonesia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, and Mexico.
Hours Spent in Apps by Category
We’ve learned that users are spending hours per day using apps. But which app categories are the most popular? Let’s find out.
According to data.ai’s research, people spend the most time on social media and communications. Photo and video apps are in second place and mobile games come in third.
Global Mobile Ad Spend
If you’re a marketer, listen up — mobile will take an even bigger share of advertising in 2023.
If we look at historical data, global mobile ad spend has been growing each year and reached $336 billion in 2022.
However, the growth has slowed down a bit in the last couple of years due to the economic downturn. In 2022, global mobile ad spend had 14% YoY growth, compared to 22.9% in 2021.
Data.ai predicts that this number will grow to $362 billion by the end of 2023.
Most Popular Mobile Apps
Out of tens of thousands of apps in the apps store, which ones were the most popular and most profitable in 2022? Let’s find out.
Top Mobile Apps
Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook were the most downloaded apps of 2022, demonstrating just how popular social media apps are.
Apps that had the biggest consumer spend are TikTok, YouTube, and Tinder.
Get more info in our article on Top Mobile Apps and Games.
Top Mobile Games
Mobile gamers downloaded the action game Subway Surfers the most in 2022. Free Fire and Ludo King were also very popular among gamers.
Players spent the most on mid-core games Honor of Kings and Genshin Impact. The popular match-3 game Candy Crush Saga was third on this list.
Top App Subgenres
Did you know that only six app categories accounted for more than half of overall mobile app consumer spend? What’s even crazier is that the majority of time spent in apps can be attributed to only three categories.
Video streaming apps were number 1 for both downloads and consumer spend in 2022 with a 16% share. Disney+ was the leading app in that subgenre.
Apps in the dating and short video subgenres were second and third in terms of consumer spend.
People spent the most time on communication apps and WeChat was the number 1 app in that category.
Mobile App Market Trends 2023
If you want to delve deeper into mobile application categories and learn how they performed in 2022, check out this summary.
Mobile Game Market Trends
The main thing you need to know about the mobile game market is that mobile downloads grew in 2022, but consumer spending went down.
Here are the stats:
- There were almost 90 billion mobile game downloads in 2022–6.67 billion more than in 2021.
- Hyper casual games were the main driver of downloads.
- Users spent $109 billion in mobile games in 2022 — $6.3 billion less than in 2021.
- Mid-core games like Genshin Impact were the main drivers of in-app purchases.
Learn more about the mobile gaming market here.
Finance Apps Trends
Here’s what’s happening in the finance app market:
- Crypto trading and investing apps took a plunge amidst crypto winter.
- Mobile banking, digital wallet, and personal loans app subcategories saw rapid growth, especially in North America, Asia, and Africa.
- PhonePe, a digital wallet app, was the leading finance app by downloads in 2022.
- Fintech apps continue to be very localized, particularly in the APAC region.
- The average time spend and the number of users of neobank apps is increasing, especially in the UK and the United States.
- Amidst global economic instability, users flock to cash advance and early paycheck apps.
Retail Apps Trends
Here’s what you need to know about retail apps:
- In 2022, users spent almost 110 billion hours using shopping apps — 9% more than in 2021.
- Markets for shopping apps that saw the biggest growth were India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.
- Buy-now-pay-later app subgenre saw the biggest growth, along with coupons and rewards apps.
- The top apps by breakout downloads in 2022 were Shopsy, Meesho, Flipkart, Amazon, and Tata Neu.
- Essential characteristics and features shopping apps need to have in 2023 are personalization, excellent user experience, and easy checkout.
Video Streaming Apps Trends
Here’s what’s new in the video streaming app market:
- The leading video streaming apps are TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix, if we look at total global downloads during the last decade.
- TikTok is also in the lead when it comes to consumer spend with more than $6 billion in all-time consumer spend, making it the second non-gaming app to achieve that.
- According to data.ai’s research, the OTT app market in the US is oversaturated and developers should start expanding to other regions.
Social Media Apps Trends
Check out how social media apps are performing:
- In the past year, users spent an enormous amount of time using social media apps — more than 2 trillion hours! That’s 16% more than in 2021.
- Downloads for social media apps reached 8.7 billion in 2022 — a 15% increase.
- Similarly, consumer spend also grew 15% and reached $8.7 billion in 2022. The United States accounts for a quarter of that.
- TikTok is in the lead when it comes to in-app purchases, showing it has mastered app monetization.
Food and Drinks Apps Trends
Read about essential trends in the food and drinks app market:
- Even though lockdowns are behind us, consumers still prefer food delivery
- Worldwide, the number of sessions in food and drinks apps is growing each year.
- By embracing mobile, Mcdonald’s has managed to increase the loyalty of their customers. Moreover, its app, along with coffee shop apps, is dominating the food and drinks category in terms of daily active users.
Travel Apps Trends
Did the travel market recover? Let’s find out.
- As you might guess, during the pandemic, travel apps saw a negative trend in metrics like downloads, sessions, and revenue.
- Luckily, all that is in the past, the travel industry has recovered and travel app downloads went over pre-pandemic levels.
- Airline apps have experienced impressive growth in terms of downloads in 2022, showing that air travel is in high demand. Ryanair, American Airlines, United Airlines, Fly Delta, and Southwest Airlines were travel apps that grew the most.
Health and Fitness Apps Trends
Here’s what you need to know about health and fitness apps:
- The United States remains the number 1 health and fitness market with more than 50% of consumer spending coming from this country.
- That makes expanding to other markets the main challenge for health and fitness app publishers.
- Asia and Europe are driving the majority of health and fitness app downloads.
Sports Apps Trends
Finally, here are key trends for sports apps:
- Sport TV apps saw an increase in downloads in 2022, as a result of major sporting events. The leaders were ESPN, FanCode, DAZN, NBA, and Gtv Live Sports.
- Sport betting apps have been getting more popular in the US following a change in sports gambling laws back in 2018. In October 2022, monthly US downloads for these apps reached a peak of 4.3 million downloads.