Mobile apps and games are spreading all over the world, and Vietnam is first when it comes to retaining mobile app users, according to the new Mobile Growth Map from mobile measurement firm Adjust.

Adjust — which focuses on mobile measurement, fraud prevention, and cybersecurity — hopes mobile app companies will use its report to improve retention and identify their highest-value users.

This report draws on data from nearly 3,500 apps released in 2018 and covers growth, retention, and other key metrics across 31 countries and four industry verticals: ecommerce, entertainment, gaming, and utilities.

Fastest-growing app markets by region and industry

The Mobile Growth Map uses the Growth Score, a new metric developed by Adjust to chart the rise of apps in global markets. This metric is calculated by dividing the total app installs per month by the number of monthly active users (MAU) for each vertical and country to reveal the rate of growth from installs relative to the MAU base.

Asia-Pacific leads the way with robust growth and is primed to rise. Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar are three of the fastest-growing nations. Latin America comes in second place, with Brazil and Colombia rounding out the top five.

Demand for gaming apps and ecommerce apps is strongest in Latin America. In fact, four of the five fastest-growing countries for gaming apps are located in Latin America. Overall, games dominate the number of installs (33%), time users spend in apps (10%), and the amount of ad spend (74%).

Latin America also dominates the demand for ecommerce apps, with Mexico, Chile, and Colombia enjoying the highest growth in this industry.

Entertainment traction

Ecommerce rules paid installs over time.

Above: Ecommerce rules paid installs over time.

Image Credit: Adjust

Entertainment apps are quickly gaining traction. Vietnam, Russia, and Thailand take the top three spots on the Growth Score. This growth is likely fueled by the demand for video streaming services, which are expected to continue gaining steam as industry giants such as Disney jockey for audience eyeballs.

Indonesia is a powerhouse market fueled by the popularity of video apps and streaming services. This dovetails with the findings in the Adjust Global App Trends 2019 report released in May, which names Indonesia the “fastest-growing market.” Along with entertainment and gaming, utilities is a fast-growing vertical in this country. Notably, the performance of utilities is driven by the active use of weather apps.

The “retention factor”

Looking for retention? Vietnam is the place.

Above: Looking for retention? Vietnam is the place.

Image Credit: Adjust

In addition to the Growth Score, Adjust developed its own metric to measure the impact of retention, called the “retention factor.” The retention factor is calculated by dividing organic retention by paid retention, providing readers with the real divide between the two types of users.

With the highest retention of any vertical, gaming averages 34% on the first day an app is downloaded (Day 1), and 15% on Day 7. However, games drop 19% of their total user base between Day 1 and Day 7 — the steepest decline of any vertical.

While this drop appears dramatic, it may also be linked to the impact of hyper-casual games. This high-flying subcategory accounts for a significant share of downloads but has so far failed to drive lasting loyalty among players. Interestingly, North American gamers show the highest Day 1 retention of all regions surveyed.

“Growing your app user base is a critical part of the growth equation, but in a market where most apps are history just 24 hours after the install, marketers need to focus more on engaging and retaining those users,” said Paul H. Müller, chief technology officer at Adjust, in a statement. “To boost engagement and extend the lifespan of the app, marketers must build data-driven capabilities to target users looking to churn and target them at critical points long before retention rates begin their inevitable decline.”

I’m going to moderate a gaming user acquisition session at Adjust’s Mobile Spree event in San Francisco on Thursday.