Product reviews, deals and the latest tech news

Consumer spending decreased 2% to $167 billion in 2022, marking the first slowdown in the app economy

The app ecosystem’s continuous expansion suddenly slowed this past year. An annual study of the app economy by mobile analytics company (formerly App Annie) revealed that consumer spending on mobile apps decreased for the first time in 2022 after enjoying 19% year-over-year increase the year before. According to the research, consumer expenditure fell by 2% in2022, totaling $167 billion. Meanwhile, the number of downloads increased by 11% year-over-year to 255 billion, while the number of hours spent in Android app applications increased by 9% year-over-year to 4.1 trillion.

The latest data, revealed in the firm’s annual “State of Mobile” report is based on customer spending across all app shops, including third-party Android app stores in China. It highlights the effect of a down economy on what, until now, has mostly been a growing business where every year saw applications bringing in more money than the year before.

“For the first time, macroeconomic considerations are slowing growth in mobile spend,” remarked CEO Theodore Krantz, in a statement regarding the firm’s latest results. “Consumer expenditure is tightening while demand for mobile is the gold standard,” he continued.

In years ago, mobile games drove majority of consumer spending on apps, but as subscriptions became a more popular method to make money from non-game applications, that gap has shrunk.

As it turned out, non-game applications have shown to be more robust in a down economy, observed, likely because customers see apps as more necessary than games. In 2022, expenditure on games declined 5% to $110 billion, while spending on non-game apps climbed 6% to $58 billion — the latter, led by streaming subscriptions, dating apps, and short-form video applications.

Looking at the percentage of games that made over $10 million, $100 million, or $1 billion in 2022 is another way to show the disproportionate effect the economy had on games. As a whole, the number of video games available this year is down 3% from last year, 4% from last year, and 1% from last year in those specific subgenres.

1419 applications and games made over $10 million yearly in 2022, while 224 made over $100 million, and just 10 made over $1 billion.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its own 2022 App Store figures, boasting a record $320 billion in money paid to developers since the App Store’s creation, a full year before’s estimate. Since app developers no longer collectively pay Apple a 30% commission on in-app sales, only rough estimates can be made about the extent to which consumer spending may have slowed on its platform. Some independent programmers might have been eligible for Apple’s small business subsidy. Furthermore, Apple’s commission arrangements vary depending on whether the app provides access to media or is operated by a news publisher (as does Google).

Even if consumer spending was definitely down in 2022, reports that other aspects of the app economy witnessed increase, such as daily time spent per user, which climbed by a modest 3% year-over-year to reach 5 hours per day in top mobile markets, or as much as 1/3 of daily waking hours.

Indonesia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Korea are only some of the top 10 markets whose daily averages exceed 5 hours. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Singapore had the greatest increases in time spent over a four-year period (68%, 67%, and 62%, respectively).

Social media/communication (19.5% of total time), entertainment/short video (17% of total time), and entertainment/video sharing (12.7% of total time) accounted for half of all mobile time consumers spent in 2016.

WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Telegram, LINE, and Discord are all part of the first group, Social Media/Communication, while TikTok, Kwai, Vido Video, Baidu Haokan, and Snack Video are all part of the second, Entertainment and Short Video. Finally, long-form video platforms like YouTube, YouTube Kids, and bilibili are included in the Entertainment and Video Sharing category.

Mobile ad spending also climbed 14% year-over-year to reach $336 billion in 2022, while says this growth will halt in the face of economic challenges. Most of this money will likely go into short-form video applications like TikTok and YouTube as traditional social media continues to lose users.

Both game and non-game downloads increased in 2022, with the former increasing by 8% annually to 90 billion and the latter increasing by 13% to 165 billion. Simulation Driving, Hypercasual Simulation, and Simulation Sports Games were some of the most popular categories that helped fuel this fad. Personal loan applications (up 81%), buy now, pay later apps (47%), coupon and rewards apps (27%), and budget and expense trackers (19%) led the way in terms of app downloads.

There was a 55% annual decline in downloads for both crypto trading and investment apps.

The whole research delves into more mobile trends in 2022, including those that will have an influence in the areas of commerce, social media, video, food and drink, travel, health and fitness, and more. Gen Z themes are emphasised as well, such as their devotion to video, user-generated content, mindfulness applications, and their interest in friend-finding apps like Yubo, Hoop and Bumble (which includes a friend-finding option) (which has a friend-finding feature).

The most popular applications of the year, measured by downloads, consumer spending, and monthly active users, were also announced by

When looking at downloads and revenue, TikTok was the most popular app of 2018, but when looking at monthly active users, Facebook was the clear winner.

In 2022, there is a little shift as Instagram overtook TikTok in terms of downloads, however the top apps in the other two categories stayed unchanged. Even though much has been made of Meta’s downturn this year, the company’s applications continue to have healthy monthly active user numbers, with Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger rounding out the top 4.

Tinder and Disney+ are still among the highest-grossing apps, but they now trail behind TikTok, the most popular social app by users’ spending. The research highlighted that TikTok also this year bacme the second non-game app to reach $6 billion in all-time consumer spending – only Tinder has generated bigger sales. With over $3 billion in sales in 2018, TikTok has surpassed its competitors.