Mobile gaming & app industry state and marketing analysis in H1 2022

SocialPeta has released a new report examining ad creatives, mobile game cost trends, and genres. We have compiled the key points of the report for you.
SocialPeta logo and creatives on purple background
SocialPeta has released a new report in which it analyzes app creatives and advertising trends.

What happened in the mobile game & app industry in the first half of 2022? As an answer to that, SocialPeta published its “H1 2022 Mobile Game & App Marketing White Paper”, providing global insights to help people working in the mobile game & app industry with the globalization of their products.

This white paper is an integration of industry insights from dozens of companies including Snapchat, Chartboost, Liftoff, Vungle, Udonis, Mobidictum, Game Factory, and more. It provides you with a precise analysis of mobile game & app industry data in the first half of this year and with forecasts of future trends, based on global mobile marketing data, observation of popular regions, precise channel advertising, advertising budget cost, and popular mobile game & app analytics for marketing.

Overview of Global Advertising Market Data

  • The total mobile game creatives had a decline of nearly 30% while light mobile games reported a YoY increase.

​​In January this year, the total number of global mobile app advertisers dropped to an all-time low of 83,400, with mobile game advertisers accounting for about 22.65%.

Insights into Global Mobile App Marketing
Insights into Global Mobile App Marketing – SocialPeta
  •  Advertising market data: the total number of creatives dropped by nearly 30%, but there were significant increases in the advertisers in T2 & T3 markets.​

​H1 2022 saw a total of 15.8 million mobile game creatives, a YoY decline of nearly 30%. In terms of regions, Oceania and Europe reported declined trends in the number of advertisers, and all the other regions had increased advertisers, with significant increases in advertisers in T2 & T3 markets.

Insights into Global Mobile Game Marketing
Insights into Global Mobile Game Marketing – SocialPeta
  • Dropping in Europe and America, rising in the Asian-Pacific region: A YoY decline of nearly 30% in the total number of creatives.

​​H1 2022 saw over 4 million ad creatives for mobile apps (non-game), down 27% YoY, and over 130,000 advertisers, up 6.24% YoY.​

Europe and America and China’s mainland reported a significant decline in the number of app advertisers, down 44% YoY in China’s mainland, down 15% YoY in Europe, and down 22% YoY in North America. The Asian-Pacific region (except China’s mainland) recorded a significant increase in the number of app advertisers, among which, China’s Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions had a YoY growth of nearly 40% in the number of advertisers.

Insights into Global Mobile App (Non-Game) Marketing
Insights into Global Mobile App (Non-Game) Marketing – SocialPeta
  • App Store’s downloads, revenue, and advertising charts​
Top Apps on the App Store in H1 2022
Top Apps on the App Store in H1 2022 – SocialPeta

​The top apps were mostly tools, shopping, and social apps.

Overview of global mobile app marketing in  different countries/regions

The second part of the report focuses on the overview of mobile game&app marketing in popular countries/regions around the world.

  • Hyper-casual and puzzle mobile game advertisers accounted for over 40% of the USA

In the USA, hyper-casual and puzzle game advertisers together accounted for the highest percentage of over 40%. In terms of total creatives by game type, hard-core games had the most creatives, including SLGs and match-3 games.

In terms of downloads, hyper-casual games and mobile games based on PC game IPs were relatively outstanding, especially [Diablo Immortal] and [Apex Legends Mobile]. In terms of revenue, match-3 games and SLGs were more powerful.

Analysis of Popular Game Genres in the USA
Analysis of Popular Game Genres in the USA – SocialPeta
  • Reading apps had an outstanding number of creatives; [TikTok] dominated the American market

There were surging demands for global pan entertainment, leading to rapid growth of  the online fiction market. In America, reading app creatives increased by over 6% YoY. Office business app advertisers accounted for the highest percentage of 12.90%; News, reading and weather app advertisers all accounted for about 1%, but their creatives all accounted for about 8%.

Analysis of Mobile App Advertisers in the USA
Analysis of Mobile App Advertisers in the USA – SocialPeta

Cost intelligence

  • There was fierce competition in global advertising, and the USA had the highest advertising cost

Mobile games’ advertising costs kept rising, with an average CPM of $19.31, up 18% MoM; an average CPC of $2.57, down 3% MoM; and an average CTR of 1.48%, up 7% MoM.

Among all countries/regions, the USA had the highest advertising cost for mobile games, with an average CPM of $27.54, CPC of $4.22, and CTR of 1.16%. In addition to the USA, CPM surpassed $25 in the 5 countries/regions including Australia, Japan, Hong Kong (China), and South Korea.

Mobile Games' Cost Trends
Mobile Games’ Cost Trends – SocialPeta
  •  Mobile app CPM increased by 64% MoM; 3 countries had a CPM of over $10

Overall, the advertising cost of mobile apps continued to rise in H1 2022, with an average CPM of $9.16, up 64% MoM; an average CPC of $0.93, up 181% MoM; an average CTR of 2.74%, up 22% MoM.

The US had the highest advertising cost for mobile apps, with an average CPM of $11.88, CPC of $1.8, and CTR of 2.79%. Three countries/regions including Australia and Singapore had a CPM of over $10. Singapore had the highest advertising cost in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by South Korea and Japan.

Cost Trends of Mobile Apps (Non-Game)
Cost Trends of Mobile Apps (Non-Game) – SocialPeta
  • Casual gameplays were key to creatives.

Strategy mobile games: the creatives were designed with lightweight gameplay, making it seem easy to play so as to attract more audiences to download the games.

Trends of Strategy Mobile Game Creatives in H1 2022
Trends of Strategy Mobile Game Creatives in H1 2022 – SocialPeta

The creatives released in H1 2022 were usually designed with lightweight gameplays, trying to attract more gamers by featuring “less difficult to start” and “entertaining”.

  • As the global demands for pan entertainment rose, short video, live streaming, entertainment platforms suffered from serious involution

TikTok, Bigo Live, and other short video apps, and live streaming platforms have changed Meta-platforms’ dominant position, leading to fierce competition among thousands of live streaming platforms.

Trends of Pan-Entertainment App Creatives
Trends of Pan-Entertainment App Creatives – SocialPeta
  • High-budget/high-quality mobile games were growing, ushering in a new era of mobile phone games

In H1 2022, Activision announced that its “Call of Duty: Warzone” would be developed into a brand-new AAA mobile version. Apple chose the mobile game “Genshin Impact” for the demonstration of product performance during the new product launch event this spring, and the game was labeled as “AAA Game” in its slides. Perhaps there will be more big game companies announcing their plans of making AAA mobile games, moving the PC gaming experience to mobile.

  • ACGN  mobile games were more developed and mature, and may become a sensation worldwide

“Genshin Impact” continued to top among all global mobile games. On the first day after its release, the Japanese version of “Arknights” topped the App Store’s free game chart, and its in-game events were well-received. According to the Chinese version of TapTap, there are over 145 games that are labeled “ACGN” elements and are planned to be released.

  • To avoid fierce competition, app globalization should seek opportunities in the T3 market

T3 market has sped up the construction of its digital infrastructure after COVID-19. The financial technology, e-commerce, social interactions and entertainment, game, and other industries in many T3 markets are worth much attention. For example, thanks to the huge demand for financial technology services and the government’s strong support, Mexico’s financial technology business has grown rapidly to become one of the major financial technology systems in Latin America.

  • The combination of Metaverse and social apps

Since the metaverse concept became a sensation, there has been a new “metaverse” app released each day. From November 2021 to January 2022, there had been 552 apps labeled “metaverse”. But those apps were coarsely and quickly made, and there hasn’t been an official definition of metaverse apps. So metaverse social apps are still at a very early stage, and there is still a very big gap to fill before metaverse has a great profit potential or becomes a big hit.

This report’s data cover 72 countries/regions worldwide, with over 90 mobile marketing platforms across the world and totally over 1.2 billion mobile marketing creatives. You can download the full report via the button above to know more about the industry data and growth opportunities for mobile gaming & apps.

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