- Almost two-thirds (65%) of app categories boosted their revenue worldwide during the first week of April from mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted mobile usage, per a study that mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer shared with Mobile Marketer. Forty percent of those app verticals saw revenue gains of more than 20%, its research found.
- After doubling their revenue since the last week of February, streaming apps saw a 35% decline during the week ending April 6. Health and fitness apps boosted revenue by 24% by April and 35% since March 23, while installs slightly dropped and activity remained unchanged. Shopping revenue increased 15% since March 23 while organic installs flattened.
- In the U.S., streaming apps that focused on user acquisition boosted their non-organic installs — or those that resulted from marketing activities — by 52% from March 9 to March 23 as the pandemic spread. Streaming apps increased their revenue by 23% from March 23 to April 6, as organic growth steadied at 8%, per AppsFlyer.
AppsFlyer's 15-country study confirms other reports that indicated a surge in mobile activity as the COVID-19 pandemic makes people more dependent on their smartphones for entertainment and connections with the outside world. While many countries are still seeing an increase in mobile usage as the pandemic spreads, the one exception is China where peak app usage occurred in January and February before declining, per AppsFlyer. That may indicate that other countries will see revenue declines as the pandemic is contained, which China's outbreak now seems to be.
In the U.S., New York saw the most dramatic trends in mobile usage amid strict social distancing rules to curb the spread of COVID-19, although the state's revenue and install trends have started to level off. Food delivery apps boosted their number of installs from March 16 to March 30 as lockdowns went into effect. However, organic installs of food delivery apps fell 14% while non-organic slipped 5% by the week ended April 6. Social apps saw a 14% decline in organic installs from March 30 to April 6, partly reversing a 172% jump from March 16 to March 30, per AppsFlyer.
Gaming apps also saw significant gains in spending, including a 22% gain for midcore games that mix qualities of hardcore and casual games. The increased spending may increase the marketing activity for game developers that seek to stand out among mobile consumers. Last month, AppsFlyer forecast that gaming apps would boost their spending on app install ads 40% to $30.9 billion this year from 2019 amid growth in the mobile gaming market and heightened competition.