Surprising Stats About Monetization

Everyone loves apps, a lot of people make them, and some of them even generate a solid income for their creators. So how exactly do apps pay out? The simple answer is – good monetization strategies. App publishers employ various tactics to earn a steady income of their product, including putting a price tag on it, incorporating in-app purchases, ads, offerwalls, subscriptions, merchandise sales, data monetization, and more. 

The app monetization business has gone lightyears since its earliest days and is now a multi-billion giant looming over the world. But don’t just trust me on that – here’s a look at some figures about mobile monetization that might shock (and entertain) you:

1. $87 billion on expenditures in 2019

As I mentioned before, advertising is one of the top monetization strategies that bring income to both the app publisher and the advertiser using the app as the platform for serving their ads. How big is this thing? In 2019, expenditures on mobile advertising in the US alone are projected to amount to $87 billion, while in 2023, this number is expected to reach a whopping $146 billion. 

Q2 2019 Ad Network Comparison

2. A $152 billion mammoth 

By the end of 2019, the global gaming market is estimated to generate $152 billion. Out of that, $68.5 billion or 45%, go to mobile gaming (smartphone and tablet). 

Mobile gaming takes up a large portion of the mobile app industry. The statistical research predicts that it will continue its monetary success in the near future as the industry has recorded a +10.2% annual growth. Out of the entire mobile gaming industry, smartphone games predictably take up the biggest piece of the cake – $54.9 billion.

3. Close to a trillion dollar revenue in four years

Global revenue from mobile apps amounted to more than $365 billion in 2018. The trend is bound to continue upward – by the end of 2019, global revenue is predicted to reach $461.7 billion. By 2023, this figure is expected to surpass $935 billion.

I’ve already told you the mobile apps market is huge, but did you know it might draw dangerously close to one trillion in just four years? The statistic above refers to profits generated via paid downloads and in-app advertising.

4. 4.4 million apps in leading app stores

The market wouldn’t generate billions (maybe even trillions in the next few years) of dollars worldwide without offering a staggering number of apps, to begin with. In the Q2 2019, the total number of mobile apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store surpassed 4.4 million.

Although other app stores (Windows Store, Amazon Appstore, BlackBerry World) have a lot to offer themselves, Apple Store and Google Play remain in the definite lead, far ahead from all the rest. Specifically, Android users had as many as 2.46 million apps to choose from, while Apple offered almost 1.96 million apps in its store.

5. 194 billion downloads last year

In 2018, app stores recorded more than 194 billion app downloads, while global consumer spend reached $101 billion.

Download counts in app stores grew by 35% over the period from 2016 to 2018. China accounted for almost 50% of total downloads across iOS and third-party Android, regardless of its current game license freeze.

Q2 2019 Ad Network Comparison

6. Investment after investment after investment…

Supercell invested $5 million in Redemption Games in 2018. In the same year, ESPN and the MLB invested $2 million in Boom Fantasy while several investors poured $1.2 million into Gamelynx.

This illustrates the sheer size and importance of the mobile app monetization field and the kind of money that is floating about there. What was unimaginable only 10 years ago is now a reality – mobile apps are serious business.

7. Some apps are HUGE

Since its launch, Pokémon GO has generated $2.3 billion in revenue and Fortnite is played by 250 million people – some of the best performers in the industry in terms of revenue and popularity. In January 2019, Pokémon Go made $68.1 million, an 84% increase since the same period a year before. Fortnite has been drawing a lot of attention from the investment funds thanks to the size of its player body, although it has been somewhat decreasing.

8. Candy Crush is a massive franchise

Remember the first time Candy Crush entered the market and crushed it? The franchise generated more than $118 million in February 2019 alone.

It consists of four games – the original Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, and Candy Crush Friends Saga. Out of the total revenue in this month, the original saga accounted for $74 million, showing how popular it still is regardless of the fact that it came out way back in 2012.


9. Average US CPM for mobile in-feed ads in apps is $3.50

In comparison, the CPM rates for these ads on mobile websites amount to $1.50. The CPM or cost per thousand impressions, refers to the price paid by the advertiser to the publisher for every one thousand ad views by the users. It is widely considered that in-app traffic brings higher user engagement, which is the reason behind CPMs for in-app impressions costing more than web traffic.

10. People prefer opt-in rewarded ads

Although most people find digital ads annoying, there is one type of ad that is favorable by the masses – rewarded ads. 76% of US mobile gamers prefer opt-in rewarded ads, compared to 24% that prefer mandatory ads. Rewarded ads owe their popularity to the fact that they allow users to earn certain in-app items, currency, extra lives, etc. for watching them. In fact, when one publisher tried to remove them from its game, it caused an uproar among the players, who demanded their return.

Surprising? Not so much with the right partner

App monetization is a market with huge potential, and considering these stats, it is no surprise that everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and get their piece of the action. However, not everyone has what it takes to succeed. One of the necessary ingredients is a good monetization partner. Here at SOOMLA, we have all the tools and resources for a serious app publisher, so feel free to reach out if you need help!

Feel free to share:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here