A late 2022 report from Data.ai puts user spending on in-app purchases reaching $129 billion. This marks a slight decrease in the market from the $131 billion in 2021.
Due to downward economic pressure on the market, the market had a slight decline. Another factor driving this change is fewer restrictions on COVID-19. Users are spending more of their disposable income on experiences than in 2020. Apple’s App Store continues to be the channel for more spending than Google Play. In-app spending on iOS is expected to total $83 billion while Android will account for $46 billion.
Both Apple’s App Store and Google Play feel the market cooling off. Both platforms see their annual numbers drop at roughly the same rate. This means that Apple will still account for about 65 cents of every dollar spent on mobile apps this year.
Games still account for the majority of spending on both platforms, especially on Android. While spending slows, the number of first-time app installs per year continues to grow. Compared to 140 billion downloads and 8% growth in 2021, Data.ai is expected to reach 151 billion downloads in 2022 with 9% growth. This means 11 billion more apps have been downloaded this year.
Android devices are driving this growth. New downloads increased 12% on Google Play, reaching about 117 billion. Meanwhile, downloads on iOS were mostly flat, up 1% year over year to nearly 34 billion.
While iOS is stagnating in terms of downloads, Android users in emerging markets are driving growth in downloads. These users account for 73% of global app downloads. However, this group accounted for 28% of spending. While Alphabet may not be profitable yet, this user acquisition could actually pay dividends in the future.
“While we don’t see too many surprises on Data.ai’s top performing games of 2022, the mobile versions of PC favorites continue to perform well. Diablo Immortal and League of Legends: Wild Rift broke into the top 10 for worldwide user spend. Meanwhile, EA’s Apex Legends mobile version ranks 6th in terms of monthly active users.
Notably, the Chinese localizations of the top titles didn’t make as big of a revenue as the originals. Game for Peace is based on Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds while Battle of Golden Spatula is a localized version of Teamfight Tactics.