Mobile Monday

Mobile Monday: Spend on Apps Forecast and Gaming Growth with U.S. Brands

Digital Turbine is constantly keeping tabs on the mobile world, and every week, we’re sharing the most interesting and important need-to-know stories and articles. In this edition of Mobile Monday, we’re covering the projected growth of global consumer spend on apps over the next five years and U.S. brands leaning into advertising in games. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Consumer Spend on Apps Will Hit $233 Billion in 2026

In Sensor Tower’s latest market forecast, they predicted that global spending in-app will reach over $230 billion by 2026. Included in that consumer spend is premium app purchases, in-app purchases, and subscriptions, across both the Apple App Store and Google Play store. This number comes as a significant jump from spending in 2021, which hit just over $132 billion. While the initial spending boom over the past year slows down, consumers will still continue to valve and prioritize spending in and on mobile apps in the years to come.

With their analysis, Sensor Tower indicates that this spending jump will represent a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) each year from 2021 to 2026.

When looking at the app stores individually, it is predicted that the App Store will see a growth rate of a little over 13% each year, putting them at $161 billion in revenue in 2026. From the Google Play store, they will see a growth of almost 9% each year, with total revenue hitting $72 billion in the next five years. 

While the global growth rate is at 12%, the rate from the United States, specifically, will be 16.5%, with the App Store reaching close to $60 billion and the Google Play store reaching a little over $27 billion in 2026. Even with the looming economic crisis and slowing consumer spend, the growth rate for the next five years will not slow, and consumers all over the world will still focus on spending in apps.

Gaming Continues to Grow on U.S. Brands

Insider Intelligence / eMarketer’s report strengthens the growth trend in the latest mobile advertising love story: brands and games.

According to the report, brands are increasingly turning to gaming as a way to draw new consumers. Looking to get to the younger crowds on their favorite platforms, mobile gaming is set as the biggest of all — and where the big money is. 

With more than half of the U.S. population estimated to be “digital gamers” by the end of the year, mobile is the biggest platform of them all — attracting over 160 million people. Estimates have U.S. mobile gaming ad revenues reaching $6.26 billion this year, up from $1.43 billion five years ago.

Diving deeper, the report highlights three major areas of interest for mobile marketers: interstitial ads served to users during natural pauses in gameplay; in-game ads that are blended into the virtual environment; and in-game events using branded goods.

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