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Consumers spend almost $400bn through mobile, as games, video, retail and ads boom

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Mobile is booming, with annual global consumer spend via the channel likely to reach $380 billion driven by effective mobile ads, games, retail and video.

So finds The State of Mobile 2020 report from App Annie, the mobile data and analytics company helping brands and publishers win on mobile, which paints a bright picture for mobile taking over the world.

According to the report, mobile-focused companies, such as Uber and Alibaba, have a combined IPO valuation of $544 billion, six and a half times higher than companies without a mobile focus. Consumers averaged 3 hours and 40 minutes on mobile in 2019, up 35% since 2017, and downloaded 204 billion apps.

It has also been a massive year for mobile advertising, says the study. Brands continue to embrace the unprecedented reach and value of mobile, bolstering the success of Snap, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok. Advertisers will pour more than $240 billion into ad spend in 2020—up 26% from 2019.

Subscriptions contribute to 95% of spend, with three out of four top non-gaming apps monetising via subscriptions, with video and dating categories propelling app store spend as adoption of Tinder, Tencent Video, iQIYI, and YouTube climbs.

Meanwhile, global spend on mobile games reached 56% of all game software in 2019. Spend on mobile games across all app stores projected to top $100 billion in 2020. Tencent’s Honour of Kings, Sony’s Fate/Grand Order, and Activision Blizzard’s Candy Crush Saga are examples of games that are dominating on mobile.

Video streaming is also heating up, with nearly 25% of Netflix’s iPhone users also using Disney+ in Q4 2019, the highest overlap of users among top video streaming apps in the US, demonstrating consumers pay for multiple services.

Furthermore, Gen Z is becoming an increasingly strategic segment to business. Mobile is Gen Z’s native language. This demographic is highly engaged with apps: they have 60% more sessions per user in the most popular apps when compared to older generations.

“Snapchat continues to double down on mobile experiences that help real friends communicate visually. As our audience has expanded, so have our app’s capabilities,” says Kathleen Gambarelli, Group Product Product Marketing Manager for Performance at Snap. “We continue to develop powerful advertising technology that enables brands to efficiently engage with and convert our valuable Gen Z and Millennial audience. As a product marketer, my goal is to verify product-market fit and grow adoption of effective solutions for our customers. App Annie and its Intelligence platform have been instrumental throughout this process, from initial research all the way to launch.”

“For brands and publishers worldwide, mobile is fueling digital transformation,” adds Theodore Krantz, Chief Executive Officer of App Annie. “We uniquely surface both market data and critical advertising insights to optimize monetization and help our customers thrive on mobile.”

The State of Mobile 2020 examines macro mobile trends; identifies which leading brands and publishers across gaming, fintech, retail, social, video, and others are winning on mobile; and shows how businesses can navigate and reach key demographics. The analysis and data in this report is based off of data from App Annie’s Intelligence platform.

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