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Mobile Monday: Getting First Party Data, Spend in Mobile Games up 42% from 2020, and Mobile Gaming Ad Revenue Breaks Records

Posted Apr 11, 2022

Digital Turbine is constantly keeping tabs on the mobile world, and every week, we’re sharing the most interesting and important need-to-know stories and articles. In this edition of Mobile Monday, the stories we’re covering are the journey to acquire first party data post-privacy measures from Apple, the growth of mobile games and consumer spend in games, and the revenue from mobile gaming ads continues to break records. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Ready, Aim, Target! 

About a year ago when Apple introduced privacy measures for the iPhone, the mobile advertising industry prepared itself with all sorts of predictions of doom and gloom. While some of those fears haven’t been completely unfounded — people have seen reduced success with certain platforms — other advertising strategies have yielded positive results. With Google aiming to disable tracking tech for its Chrome browser by 2023, advertisers are already anticipating larger shifts away.

The New York Times explored some of the shifts and impacts of the privacy era in a recent article titled “You’re Still Being Tracked on the Internet, Just in a Different Way”. While the title of the article is clickbait-y, the story itself does provide anecdotal evidence that shifting ad spend away from Facebook to other channels has yielded positive results. While tracking changes have made the power of Facebook ads less precise, people have looked to ad platforms that do “first party tracking” — that is, tracking what users do across their own apps or websites. The key, of course, is that in order to really be helpful to advertisers, first party tracking needs to have a base of millions of users and lots of info on what they are actually doing. Which means you’re still finding the winners are digital giants such as Google, Amazon, Snap, and TikTok. 

It’s likely that these shifts toward first party tracking are still in its early stages. The article does, in fact, mention how Facebook is investing in creating new ways to track users — including asking small businesses to share customer information (the idea being that if everyone does it, Facebook would “have all the data needed”). It remains to be seen whether it will be successful. For our part, Digital Turbine on-device solutions do have a massive base of 700 million devices that can be reached. So while privacy changes are creating shifts in the ecosystem, advertisers will certainly have a variety of options open to them.

Mobile Games Continue to Capture Consumer Spend & Installs 

While more apps are being created and optimized (as they should be), consumers are still prioritizing use and spend in mobile games. According to, within the Google Play store, mobile games accounted for 73% of consumer spend while the Apple store saw 60% of spend come from games in the first quarter of 2022. Overall, consumers spent around $22 billion on mobile games in the first three months of this year, and spending is still on the rise from pre-pandemic levels.

As noted in their report, states, “Gaming is such a powerful influence on the app economy. In total, 65 cents of every $1 spend in the app stores goes to games. But on Google Play, the rate is higher. In fact, Android users spend 73 cents of every $1 on gameplay.”

In addition to consumer spend, installs of mobile games have also increased over the past year. Google Play saw a 15% increase in downloads from last year, with 44% of those downloads being games. For iOS, 28% of downloads over the past year came from games. 

Mobile games are continuing to reach a growing number of users in the U.S. and all over the world. Consumers of all different demographics will look to mobile games for fun, entertainment, and to connect with friends, making it the perfect platform for advertising and increasing brand awareness and conversions. 

Mobile Gaming Ad Revenue Continues to Break Records

Time spent on mobile saw a huge uptick during the pandemic, and mobile games were the biggest winners. Mobile gaming has become the biggest earner in the gaming industry — surpassing PC and console with 52% of the global gaming revenue for 2021, according to Newzoo. And advertising dollars aren’t staying behind.

Despite Apple’s IDFA changes, mobile gaming revenue increased by 34% last year as the mobile advertising industry used alternative strategies to continue to grow. 

According to Insider Intelligence / eMarketer, U.S. mobile gaming ad revenues are expected to hit $6.26 billion in 2022, up 14% from $5.49 billion in 2021. Healthy growth will continue through 2024, reaching $7.87 billion in ad revenues, making up a total of 2.5% of all digital ad spend.

eMarketer highlighted that the ad opportunities in gaming have attracted the attention of global players, with Netflix starting its own gaming business. 

About Mobile Mondays
Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?  

About Digital Turbine
Digital Turbine is the leading independent mobile growth platform and levels up the landscape for advertisers, publishers, carriers, and OEMs. By integrating a full ad stack with proprietary technology built into devices by wireless operators and OEMs, Digital Turbine supercharges advertising and monetization. Looking to supercharge your mobile advertising? Check out their blog to start!

About Fyber
Fyber, part of Digital Turbine’s independent Mobile Growth Platform, develops innovative ad monetization solutions trusted by top mobile game and app publishers. Fyber’s product suite offers publishers a trusted, unconflicted alternative that drives superior results by creating an optimal connection between mobile audiences, top global brands, and mobile-first advertisers across over 40Bn daily ad opportunities. Fyber’s FairBid mediation, Fyber Marketplace, and Offer Wall Edge are all built with performance, scale, and transparency in mind. To dive deeper into how their monetization solutions put app developers first, check out their blog.

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