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A 2022 end of the year report from Data.ai projects that consumer spending on in-app purchases and consumables will hit $129 billion. This marks a slight contraction in the market, down 2% from 2021’s $131 billion.

Given the downward economic pressure on the market, this slight dip is expected. Another factor driving this change is fewer COVID-19 restrictions. Consumers are spending more of their disposable income on experiences than they have been since 2020.

iOS vs. Android

Apple’s App Store continues to drive more spending than Google Play. In-app spending on iOS is expected to total $83 billion while Android will account for the remaining $46 billion.

Both Apple’s App Store and Google Play felt the market cooling off. Both platforms saw their annual numbers decline at roughly the same rate. This means that Apple will still account for roughly 65 cents of every dollar spent in mobile apps this year.

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Games still account for a majority of spending on both platforms, but particularly on Android.

While spending slowed down, the number of first-time app installs per year continues to grow. Compared to 140 billion downloads and 8% growth in 2021, Data.ai projects 151 billion downloads in 2022 for 9% growth. This means an additional 11 billion apps were downloaded this year.

Android devices are propelling this growth. New downloads were up 12% on Google Play, hitting about 117 billion. In comparison, downloads on iOS are roughly flat, up 1% year-over-year to nearly 34 billion.

While iOS is stalling out on downloads, Android users in emerging markets are driving the growth in downloads. These users accounted for 73% of global app downloads. However, this group accounted for 28% of spending. While Alphabet might not feel the gains just yet, this user acquisition could literally pay dividends in the future.

Data.ai’s Breakout Games

While we don’t see too many surprises on Data.ai’s top performing games of 2022, mobile versions of PC and console favorites continue to perform well. Diablo Immortal and League of Legends: Wild Rift managed to make the top 10 in consumer spending worldwide. Meanwhile, EA’s Apex Legends mobile version was No. 6 in monthly active users.

Notably, Chinese localizations of top titles are out performing their original counterparts. Game for Peace is based on Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds while Battle of Golden Spatula is a localized version of Teamfight Tactics.

Data.ai’s full report, including data on non-gaming apps, is available now.

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