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Mobile Monday: Mobile Games Grew 8% on Christmas, 94% of Developers Rely on In-app Ads

Posted Jan 6, 2020

2019 was a huge year for mobile games because more and more smartphone users included gaming as a part of their regular routines. Mobile gaming ended the year with a huge boost during Christmas as users spent their holiday time playing games on their new devices. Meanwhile, a study says that more developers are using in-app advertising in their free apps during 2019. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Christmas Brings in $210 Million for Mobile Games
According to data from Sensor Tower, consumer spending on mobile games rose to $210 million during the Christmas holiday. This is an 8% increase since the previous year which generated $195 million. Mobile games from the United States made $58 million, with an increase of 2% than Christmas 2018. Furthermore, games accounted for 76% of worldwide app revenue on Christmas and 73% of U.S. spending.

The holiday also saw spending in the App Store and Google Play grow year-over-year by 11.3% for the stores. Christmas spending in both stores totaled $277 million due to new device sales, first-time mobile users, and consumers using recently gifted gift-card credit. Revenue in December reached nearly $5.1 billion globally and 5% of that was made during Christmas. The month’s total revenue was 8% greater than the approximately $4.7 billion spent across both platforms during December 2018.

In-App Advertising Grew 7% in 2019
A new study by deltaDNA states that in-app advertising is growing in free mobile apps. In 2019, 94% of developers used in-game ads to monetize their free apps, in comparison to 87% in 2018. The study also found that 21% more developers made between 40% to 100% of their revenue from ads. App publishers are relying on in-app ads for a majority of their income as the marketplace becomes increasingly more competitive.

When it comes to the type of ads used, usage rates for rewarded video ads rose to 82% from 65% in 2018. Interstitial ad rates grew to 57% followed by banners with 34%. DeltaDNA’s study also noted that developers are using in-game ads more frequently than in previous years as usage was up to 30% in 2019, compared to 20% in 2018). Only 10% of developers said their apps were ad-free.

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