3 in 4 consumers use mobile ads to discover new apps—what marketers need to know

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

Newly released research from app economy platform ironSource provides data around the app discovery habits of consumers, and dives into which types of ads are preferred, how often they use their downloaded apps, why they use their apps, and more. The data also reveal how attitudes towards advertising and monetization have evolved, as well as highlighting the differences in the ways that Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z engage with mobile apps.

The firm’s new report, The Modern Mobile Consumer 2022: App Discovery and Monetization—available in two versions; one for app marketers and one for monetization managers—is the latest in Tapjoy’s Modern Mobile Gamer series, which focuses on consumers’ understanding of the freemium app ecosystem and dives into who plays mobile games and why. Modern Mobile Consumer builds on that foundation by analyzing how people use their smartphones, as well as their evolving feelings about mobile ads and monetization. It is the eleventh report in the series since its creation in 2017.

Here are some of the key findings:

Mobile ads drive app discovery

Three in four (74 percent) consumers (averaged across both groups) downloaded apps after viewing mobile ads for them.

Gaming maintains its popularity vis-a-vis social media

Among the audience surveyed in apps outside of games, 60 percent play mobile games, tying with social media for most-used type of apps.

Rewarded ads have expanded beyond mobile games

A third (33 percent) of consumers surveyed in apps outside of games say they pay more attention to ads with in-app rewards. This is only slightly less than the gaming-focused group, indicating that consumers are broadly receptive to the rewarded model.

Consumers use a small number of the apps they download

The majority of mobile users have 20 or more apps on their devices, but up to 50 percent only use 5-10 on a daily basis. That’s why it’s critical for publishers and developers to focus on retention as well as acquisition.

Relaxation leads to higher downloads

People are most likely to download new apps while on vacation or in their free time.

Entertainment and relaxation are the primary app use cases

Sixty-five percent of consumers repeatedly use their apps for entertainment and relaxation.

Diversified app monetization strategies are essential

While around a third of all surveyed groups said they never pay to download apps, between 28 percent and 49 percent occasionally make in-app purchases of a few dollars at a time. Attitudes towards monetization outside of mobile games are changing, with 15 percent of the non-gaming-app audience reporting that they make more in-app purchases than they did five years ago.

“Our latest report reveals what Tapjoy has been saying for years: Mobile ads are key to app discovery, both in and out of mobile games. There’s very little difference between those playing mobile games and those using non-gaming apps as far as app discovery is concerned,” said Jeff Drobick, GM of US Sonic and Tapjoy at ironSource, in a news release. “Additionally, the data shows that diverse monetization strategies are key to maximizing revenue per user, meaning that in-app ads and in-app purchases can peacefully coexist without cannibalizing revenue.”

Download the full report here. You can download either version of the report by selecting your preference in the form.

Insights were collected from 30,457 consumers through opt-in surveys across thousands of mobile apps within MobileVoice, as well as 500 additional respondents from a control group used to eliminate bias and confirm accuracy.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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