- Total mobile app spending surpassed $500 billion globally in 2022, according to the latest State of App Revenue report from Data.ai, formerly known as App Annie. Of that total, $336 billion (67%) came from advertising and $167 billion (33%) came from in-app purchases.
- Within advertising spend, 65% of the total went to non-game apps, like TikTok and Instagram, while gaming apps made up 35% of spend. Among in-app purchases, games account for the majority of consumer spending (66%), while non-game apps account for 34%.
- The top-performing app globally (excluding China) by total revenue was Facebook, followed by Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. Data.ai calculates total revenue as ad revenue and app store revenue combined. A single gaming app ranked in the top 10, Candy Crush Saga, which placed ninth.
Despite regulatory restrictions and tightening budgets, the mobile advertising market remains strong, with ad spending driving $2 out of every $3 spent on mobile, according to Data.ai’s latest findings. Furthermore, mobile ad spending grew 14% year-over-year in 2022. However, app store purchases dipped 2% YoY, indicating a slowdown by consumers as economic headwinds persist.
Breaking down global mobile advertising spend, North America was the top-ranking region, accounting for almost half of ad revenue. Asia, excluding China, ranked second at 23%, followed by Europe at 19%.
As competition in the mobile space builds, a multifaceted monetization strategy is growing paramount. In the report, Data.ai notes that of the top 20 apps — including TikTok, Snap and Instagram — 65% utilize both in-app purchases and advertising revenue streams. Games like PUBG Mobile and Candy Crush, alongside streamers like Disney+, have increasingly looked to similar strategies. With YouTube, for instance, 90% of its revenue comes from advertising while 10% comes from app store purchases to remove such ads, per the report.
Within in-app purchases, nearly 30% of spend on iOS devices came from subscriptions in the first quarter of 2023, up from 27.6% during the same period the year prior. Subscriptions were also a major driver for non-game apps on iOS, contributing to 70% of in-app purchase revenue with the top-ranking app by subscription spending being YouTube, followed by dating app Tinder and Disney+.
Additionally, over 98% of in-app purchase spend for games came from one-time purchases. One-time purchases are also gaining traction among non-game apps, a success largely credited to TikTok’s creator economy model, per the report. As such, TikTok ranked as the number one app for one-time purchase revenue in the U.S., followed by nine mobile games.