Mobile ad spend lept 23% in 2021, on track to hit $350B this year

Diving Brief:

  • Mobile ad spending saw 23% year-over-year growth in 2021, reaching $295 billion, according to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report released this week. The analytics firm expects mobile ad spending to reach $350 billion by the end of this year, driven by continued pandemic-driven changes in user habits.
  • Globally consumers spent 3.8 trillion hours on mobile devices in 2021, 70% of which were on social media and photo or video apps. Buzzy social video platform TikTok and Facebook topped the pack in terms of average monthly hours per user, totaling 19.6 hours each last year.
  • Meanwhile, consumer spending across app stores grew 19% in 2021, to $170 billion. Downloads were also up last year, growing 5% from 2020 levels as mobile users downloaded 230 billion apps worldwide. TikTok ranked first among the most downloaded apps globally, followed by Instagram and Facebook.

Diving Insight:

People are spending more time than ever on mobile apps, reaching 4.8 hours per day in the best mobile-driven markets, such as Brazil, Indonesia, and South Korea. As consumers continue Moving their attention and portfolios to mobile devices and platforms, a mobile-first strategy is vital for many marketers to thrive in a rapidly changing society driven by the transformation fueled by the pandemic.

Advertisers note the wide reach that engagement apps can offer, investing in mobile ads 23% higher than in 2020, Despite concerns about Apple’s privacy changes and mobile addressability. App Annie expects this year to continue on a similar trajectory, blowing past records in mobile ad spend, downloads and time spent on apps.

The analytics firm found that consumers engage with apps at a higher level than in previous years, even topping up the time they spend watching TV in some cases. The average Americans watched 3.1 hours of TV per day, per instant app, but over the course of 2021 they spent 4.1 hours on a mobile device on sites ranging from broadcasting to social media. The report’s findings reflect a recent statistic showing that TikTok has overtaken Google as the world’s most visited site, suggesting that it may maintain its momentum as consumers shift their media preferences to shorter vertical content.

Mobile…the go-to device for the future. The big screen is slowly dying as mobile continues to break records in nearly every category — time spent, downloads and revenue,” App Annie CEO Theodore Krantz said in the report.

The report notes that increased time spent on apps has directly impacted consumer spending. In the United States and elsewhere, the perpetual pandemic continues to force many people to shop, work, stream, play and connect from home, driving huge growth in downloads and spending on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, interest in the metaverse has driven top avatar apps with 160% year-over-year growth, per App Annie. It’s a trendy but emerging topic that brands like Procter & Gamble, Nike and Coca-Cola have raced to explore — though 38% of global consumers be Familiar with technology, according to a September report from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

Whether it’s virtual or in person, the mobile phone brings us closer to each other,” Krantz said. “The future will depend on an immersive entertainment experience that you create. You won’t watch movies, you’ll star in them.”

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