The app economy is expanding worldwide, even as growth drivers vary by geography – its not all just about gaming.
So finds a global study by mobile marketing analytics platform Adjust that analysed some 270 advertising networks with 6 billion paid installs from more than 5,000 apps, across nearly 250 countries and 12 verticals.
“Globally, we’ve seen sweeping growth in the app ecosystem continue, with mobile poised to make up 75% of total digital ad spend this year. To make that as effective as possible, UA managers need best practices and common channels specific to their region and vertical,” explains Andrey Kazakov, Chief Operating Officer of Adjust.
Adding: “Adjust’s Partner Benchmarks offers a behind-the-scenes, worldwide view of the mobile advertising industry — which networks are most common, how to build a perfect channel mix, and where to find the next set of high-quality users, based on what other companies in a particular region and vertical are finding most efficient.”
The report finds that the global app economy is growing more than ever, but growth drivers vary by region. For example, APAC’s growth is still spurred by mobile gaming, while Turkey is largely driven by non-gaming verticals, such as health and fitness, and education. Facebook, Google, AppLovin and Unity dominate all verticals in Turkey. In APAC, Facebook and Google Ads top the charts in terms of ad spend across most verticals and markets, but regional networks are gaining traction.
Food delivery apps continue to thrive following huge pandemic-driven growth. Adjust’s data indicates that growth for food and drink has been a consistent upward trend, even in markets no longer in lockdown. Global installs in 2020 increased 19% YoY, and have grown another 20% so far in 2021. Sessions growth is even more impressive, already up by another 34% in 2021 compared with 71% in 2020. Google Ads, Facebook and Apple Search Ads are the top networks driving growth — though Snap and TikTok have entered the top five, followed by AppLovin, Headway and Digital Turbine.
Social media has a new growth driver: short-form video. As the overall time spent on short-form video continues to increase rapidly, so does the power of the format, which has developed into a large social commerce player. Unsurprisingly, Google Ads, TikTok, Snap, Apple Search Ads and Facebook dominate the rankings across all verticals and on both iOS and Android in the social media vertical.
Gaming remains the largest user acquisition-driven category, led by APAC. Gaming makes up 50% of total UA ad spend across all verticals, according to Adjust global data. Companies in APAC are spending the most on game UA — as high as 64% — followed by North America (57%) and EMEA (39%). AppLovin and IronSource outperform in this vertical, with Facebook, Google Ads, TikTok, Unity and Mintegral maintaining significant share.
South East Asia (SEA) leads heavy growth in the m-commerce vertical. Adjust data shows that e-commerce installs in SEA have grown 18% in the first half of 2021 — with digital retail share currently outpacing China and India. While Google and Facebook are still the most dominant marketing channels, networks such as TikTok, Affle, Naver, InMobi, and Appier are gaining traction, and could be great choices for ad buying strategies.