Mobile Monday: Six Trends for Mobile in the New Year, Android App Growth, and Hypercasual Dominates Downloads

Jan 31, 2022
By: Marissa Camilli

Every week, Digital Turbine, AdColony, and Fyber are teaming up to give you the latest news and insights in the mobile world. In this edition of Mobile Monday, Digital Turbine explores six trends to look out for in the mobile landscape this year, AdColony discusses time spent with apps on Android, and Fyber explains the continued growth of hypercasual games. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Twenty Twenty Two Trends

We’re one month into the new year, and we’ve already seen some rather seismic shifts to the mobile landscape: for example, Apple’s services segment, which includes their advertising arm, hitting a record quarter. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency was indeed a game changer, and it’s expected that the ripple effects from that 2021 move will continue to affect how advertisers target and track campaigns in 2022. So it’s no surprise to see Fast Mode’s expert opinion on 2022 Trends that matter have that in the leadoff spot. But what other trends should we expect? Click the link for full context, but here’s six others in short: 

  1. The Facebook Response: Facebook will not sit idly while Apple laps them on iPads and iPhones. Even with looming regulation, the social media giant will improve it’s targeting.
  2. The Pandemic Effect: All mobile figures that matter have been accelerated through COVID-19, including device sales, consumer spending, app installs, and time spent.
  3. Focus on Creativity: As targeting gets more difficult, advertisers will shift their attention to fill the deficit by improving ad context and creativity.
  4. Maturing Markets: As worldwide mobile usage grows, advertisers will shift budgets to other growing regions: like Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
  5. The Rise of China: China’s influence on the global market is something that marketers need to pay attention to — including how their regulations will affect U.S. tech companies.
  6. Muddling Out Middle Men: Market consolidations will continue to streamline the market allowing advertisers more direct access to publishers.

This year promises to be a significant one for the mobile industry where new leaders and innovations will undoubtedly emerge. A great way to make sure you stay ahead is to stay tuned to our Mobile Mondays — which will continue to give you the big things to care about each week!

Increasing Time with Apps on Android

Consumers all over the world and across operating systems are spending more time in apps on smartphones than ever before. According to a report from eMarketer, Android users in the U.S. spent over four hours a day in apps in 2021, up from three hours in 2019. And while four hours is a good amount of time, Android users in other countries are spending even more time in-app. In 2021, Android users in Brazil spent over five hours a day on apps, tied with Indonesia, with South Korea and Mexico falling shortly behind.

With this increase in time spent in apps on Android, U.S. consumers are also increasing their time in shopping apps, specifically. Last year, U.S. Android users spent over 100 billion hours in shopping apps. This jump comes as an increase from around 85 billion hours in 2020, 65 billion in 2019, and about 50 billion in 2018. 

It comes as no surprise that consumers are continuing to prioritize spending time on mobile, in apps, and in shopping apps, specifically, as they provide a simple, convenient shopping experience. Android users are no different than those on iOS — both prefer mobile devices for shopping, entertainment, and more, and will continue to look to this device for shopping and checkout ease in the future. 

  Hypercasual’s Download Domination 

Clear the aisle for hypercasual games — this genre came, saw, and conquered in 2021. There was a lot of back and forth commentary on whether Hypercasual games will survive the IDFA deprecation. As a business model that leans almost exclusively on in-app advertising to profit, its chances of getting washed away in the waves of the privacy changes were anticipated. However, coming out as a phoenix in the ashes, the genre ascended to new heights in terms of downloads — accounting for over 50% of total mobile game downloads in 2021. 

AppMagic takes on the most notable trends and releases in 2021. Looking into 2022, hypercasual looks set to be a dominant in leading downloads in the App Stores. However, on the revenue side, the genre is not strong enough to take on the ranks of slots, match-3 and 4X strategy. 

Slots might not be raking in the most downloads, but it’s a top performer for revenue. Its business model is the polar opposite of Hypercasual in that players predominantly spend money to progress instead of consume ads. On the Match-3 side of games, Royal Match and Project Makeover are the two unicorns in the market having broken into the top 10 puzzle games in the last four years. The number of new games coming out every year are on a downward trend, and this could be due to remote work making it more challenging to work closely on campaigns. 

Understanding the different genre trends and where benchmarks lie help to provide a deeper understanding of how user preferences and habits evolve over time. These insights can aid you in growing your game more strategically and scaling your app 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 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.

About AdColony
AdColony, part of Digital Turbine’s leading independent mobile growth and monetization platform, helps brands, agencies, and apps expand their reach and results with the power of mobile. AdColony is known globally for its award-winning video advertising marketplace, with ad engagement innovations like Instant-Play™, Aurora™ HD Video, Playables, and more. Looking for more insights on apps and mobile games? Find out more on their blog!

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Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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