SAN FRANCISCO, April 14, 2022 — Adjust, a global mobile marketing analytics platform, today released its annual Mobile app trends report, showing that mobile app growth continued to accelerate globally in 2021. After a year of industry changes and pandemic shake-ups, the app ecosystem saw growth in installs and sessions industrywide, with the fintech, e-commerce and gaming verticals emerging as standouts and seeing their highest in-app revenue months on record in 2021, according to Adjust data.
The rollout of Apple’s iOS 14.5 and AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework in April 2021 pushed the mobile marketing industry to reassess the way it handles user privacy and tracking. Although early predictions hypothesized industry-wide opt-in rates as low as 5%, Adjust data shows that this figure is actually approximately 25% (having grown from 16% in May 2021), and gaming has hit 30%.
The global report — based on Adjust’s top 2,000 apps and its total dataset of apps tracked — analyzes long-term trends in installs, sessions, time spent in-app, retention, re-attribution rates, and more across the globe. These insights enable developers and marketers to better understand their audience and the state of the app economy.
“Despite the challenges of the past year, the mobile app ecosystem has continued to thrive, demonstrating how robust and adaptable the app marketing industry is,” said Simon “Bobby” Dussart, CEO of Adjust. “In order to meet users where they are, it’s imperative for marketers and UA teams to lean into data-driven strategies to improve retention, and continue to find, attribute, and measure new and existing audiences.”
Additional key takeaways from the report include:
- Fintech app installs and sessions are increasing globally by 34% and 53% YoY, respectively.
- Stock trading and crypto apps made up 7% and 2% of all fintech app installs, respectively, but accounted for 17% and 6% of sessions. Crypto apps also had the longest average session length in 2021 at over 15 minutes.
- Regionally, North America came out on top for installs with a 69% YoY increase in 2021, followed by LATAM (62%), APAC (29%), and EMEA (16%).
- In-app revenue for fintech apps steadily and consistently trended upward from January 2020 through December 2021, with March 2021 the highest performing month.
- Mobile e-commerce is stronger than ever with e-commerce app installs growing by 12% YoY in 2021, and November ranking as the top performing month at 20% above the yearly average.
- The two most notable markets for growth were EMEA and LATAM, which saw 18% and 14% YoY growth, respectively.
- May 2021 was the biggest year ever tracked by Adjust for e-commerce in-app revenue, which posted a 46% YoY increase in 2021 globally.
- Marketplace apps saw significantly better retention rates than the rest of the e-commerce vertical, with Day 1 at 27% and Day 30 at 10%, versus 19% and 7% in 2020.
- Hyper-casual is here to stay, making up the highest share of gaming installs (27%), while action games account for the largest proportion of sessions (30%).
- Global gaming installs in 2021 increased by 32% YoY, maintaining pandemic-fueled growth from 2020, with H2 outperforming H1 by a further 12%.
- The growth in installs was consistent across multiple key regions in 2021. LATAM and EMEA saw the highest results, followed by APAC and North America.
- January 2021 accounted for the highest global in-app revenue month ever recorded by Adjust.
- Session lengths, sessions per user per day, and time spent in-app all increased in 2021.
Dussart noted that while 2022 will continue to pose challenges, it will be a year of opportunity, with the need and want for apps more pronounced than ever. “Apps not only provide outstanding, globally leading entertainment formats and convenient ways to complete tasks and enhance our daily lives; they solve problems and empower users in markets all around the world,” he said.
For additional findings, download the full report here.