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Mobile Monday: Mobile Games Ad Revenue Grew 8% in 2020, App Spending to Reach $270 Billion by 2025

Posted Feb 28, 2021

Mobile gaming has been booming this past year, but what about ad revenue? Ad spends took a dip last year (understandably so) as a reaction to the uncertainty of the global pandemic. A new report from Unity says that the growth in mobile gaming also translated to increased ad revenue. Meanwhile, consumer spending in apps will continue to rise in the next few years and eventually hit $270 Billion by 2025, according to a new forecast. For more mobile predictions, read on for this week’s Mobile Monday!

Action and Card Games Demonstrate Significant Ad Growth

According to Unity’s latest report, mobile game ad revenues in 2020 increased by 8%. After global lockdowns were enacted, mobile ad revenues surged while eCPM per ad impression fell. Eventually, eCPMs steadily increased until they eventually grew by 5% compared to 2019’s growth trend. With the exception of Sports games, all mobile game genres achieved significant ad revenue growth in 2020. Action and Card games had exceptional results. Action games had an approximately 52% growth in ad revenue, while card games had an incredible 108% jump last year.

The report also revealed that mobile gamers are spending more than ever. First-day in-app purchases peaked in the springtime before climbing back up during the summer and were sustained throughout the year. According to Unity, revenue typically stays below the January 1 baseline until the winter holiday season, but new records were set in the mobile game business. Over the course of the year, first-day IAP rose by over 50% compared to 2019. Additionally, the report indicated that players have been spending more time playing on weekdays than the previous year due to lockdown measures.

Global Consumer Spending in Mobile Will Reach $270 Billion by 2025

A new forecast from Sensor Tower predicts that global consumer spending in mobile apps will reach $270 billion by 2025. That will be nearly 2.5 times the $111 billion spent in 2020. While many industries were negatively impacted last year, mobile user spending accelerated in 2020 with a 30% year-over-year increase. The report says growth is expected to be strong on both the App Store and Google Play, with compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 21% and 17%, respectively. Sensor Tower believes that the mobile app space’s resistance to major market shifts will lead to continued stable growth in the years to come.

Last year, the upheaval of consumers’ daily routines caused downloads to surge 24% to 143 billion, its highest total since at least 2016. The report says that global downloads will reach 230 billion by 2025. Although this growth will eventually slow down as countries reopen, downloads are expected to maintain a relatively high rate for the next few years. Business, Education, Medical, and Health & Fitness download numbers soared spiked in the spring of 2020 as the world shut down. Games saw an initial spike in downloads, while Travel and Navigation had substantial declines as consumers were required to stay at home. Sports installs initially dropped as, but downloads have been climbing since games resumed during the summer and fall.

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