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Mobile users set to spend 6 trillion hours in apps in 2023 – and a lot of cash

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data.ai, the first unified data AI company, has revealed that despite an ongoing decline in consumer spend in apps, mobile users are set to spend 6 trillion hours in mobile apps annually by 2028.

The company’s predictions for app usage in 2023, however, suggest that mobile ad spend will reach $362 billion, fuelled by major events such as The World Cup and The Winter Olympics.

While ad spend is predicted to hit $362 billion in 2023 (up $26 billion from 2022), this still represents a -7.5% decrease in YoY growth.

Despite there being a clear increase in spend, the size of growth has decreased steadily over recent years, indicating a slowing down in consumer spend.

In 2023, 7 apps and games will join the $3 billion app club. Uma Musume Pretty Derby is set to be the among the fastest mobile games ever to hit the $2 billion threshold — only 2 years after its initial launch. Spend is primarily driven by Japan. As of November 2022, the title is only available in 5 markets: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan market, Hong Kong market and Macau market.

HBO Max and iQIYI will join Disney+, Netflix, YouTube and TikTok in the $3 billion consumer spend club for video streaming and short video apps. More than ever, consumers are turning to video content on their phones for entertainment.

11 of the 14 titles set to surpass $2 billion in app store consumer spend will be games.

The study also predicts that retail dollars will migrate to experiences: travel, events, sports & meditation next year. Mobile shopping hit an all-time high on Black Friday 2022 — accounting for nearly 50% of all sales among the top 100 internet retailers in the US. Shopify reported mobile accounted for 73% of global sales for smaller merchants and DTC (direct to consumer) brands.

In 2022, downloads of attraction/tour booking apps grew +180% YoY and ticket service apps saw a +297% growth in hours spent. This indicates that consumers are looking towards experiences as we enter 2023.

“We are starting to see a levelling off in mobile spend following the surge seen during the pandemic, although still significantly higher than where we started off in 2019. Mobile will remain at the heart of consumers’ lives as demand for digital connection, self-expression, and deepening personalization of apps will fuel sustained growth in time spent,” says Lexi Sydow, Head of Insights at data.ai.

You can access all the predictions in data.ai’s report, here.

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