After years of impressive growth driven by the surging number of mobile phone users, the global app market slowed down in 2022, both in revenue and downloads.
According to data presented by Fair Betting Sites, global app revenues are expected to hit $210bn by the end of 2022, showing an 8% increase year-over.
Revenue Growth Halved
After two-digit growth rates in 2020 and 2021, all segments and app categories in the app market will see revenue growth halved this year. The Statista survey showed an 8% year-over-year revenue growth in 2022 is the smallest increase the app market has seen in years. Between 2017 and 2021, app revenues rose by 25% per year, with 2019 as the only exception bringing a 17% YoY increase.
In-app advertising, the largest revenue stream of the app market, will grow by 6% to $220.8bn in 2022, or one-fifth the growth rate seen last year. In-app purchase revenue growth also decelerated, rising by 10% YoY to $205bn, down from 23% YoY growth a year ago.
Mobile games, as the top-grossing app category, are expected to generate $267bn in revenue this year, 7% more than a year ago, despite a massive 105 million user drop. Still, that is far below the 25% YoY growth rate seen in 2021.
The revenue from social networking apps, the second highest-grossing app category, is expected to grow by 9% to $43.4bn in 2022. In comparison, last year, the revenue in this app category jumped by 26% YoY to $39.6bn.
Downloads to Increase by 7% YoY, down from 17% a Year Ago
The Statista survey showed download growth is also expected to slow down significantly in 2022. In 2021, people worldwide made 220.1 billion downloads or 17% more than the year before.
By the end of 2022, the total number of downloads is expected to hit 235.2 billion, showing a 7% increase year-over-year. Mobile games will account for half of all downloads. Photo and video apps, the second most-downloaded app category, follow with 26.4 billion downloads this year. Social networking apps follow, with roughly 11 billion downloads. Together, the three app categories will account for 66% of all downloads in 2022.
The nine-month revenues of the App Store and Google Play, the two largest distribution channels for mobile apps, also reflect the slowdown in the global app market. The combined gross app revenue of the two app stores amounted to $96.6bn, down from $98bn in the same period of 2021.