Mobile App Marketing Trends and Challenges for 2023


The mobile advertising industry has experienced constant growth in recent years, rising above challenges and harnessing new opportunities. 2023 will be a time for bigger ideas and more comprehensive solutions for mobile app marketing.

In this article, we discuss the future of mobile gaming and non-gaming apps and share some key predictions for the year ahead.

Non-stop Mobile Gaming App Market

Mobile games continue to revolutionize our digital lives. There’s a non-stop array of mobile games to enjoy, whether for relieving stress or just passing the time.  According to Newzoo, the mobile games market is still the most profitable sector of the games industry at $92.2 billion in 2022. The survey also marks the territories that saw annual revenue increases in 2022, highlighting that 49% of all consumer spending on games in 2022 is coming from China and the U.S.

GlobalData reports that mobile games will represent over half of the gaming industry revenues forecasted to hit $470 billion in 2030. The metrics prove the continued dominance of mobile gaming as compared to other traditional categories.

As also mentioned in a recent survey by SensorTower, global spending in mobile apps will reach $270 billion by 2025. The report highlights that 71% of Google Play’s revenue is estimated to come from mobile games by 2025.

Judging by these statistics, it is evident that the mobile gaming market will continue its trajectory in 2023 and the years to come. Game developers and marketers need to take advantage of this opportunity and create strategies that will win users in this crowded market, forecasted to reach 3.7 billion mobile players worldwide by 2023.

The Growing Non-Gaming App Market

Mobile apps have now become  ‘part and parcel’ of our lives and a growing number of mobile owners are using their devices for non-gaming purposes. As SensorTower states, popular non-gaming app categories for iPhone users are entertainment, shopping, social networking, travel, and finance.

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Source: Sensor Tower

The research also highlights popular app categories for Google Play, which are entertainment, shopping, tools, finance, and communication.

Screenshot 2023-01-16 at 14.44.49

Source: Sensor Tower

It’s worth noting that as per Statista in September 2022, Google LLC was the top non-gaming iPhone app publisher worldwide, with approximately 52 million app downloads by iPhone users. It was also the top non-gaming app publisher on Google Play worldwide,  with approximately 225 million app downloads by Android users. 

Second-ranked Microsoft Corporation generated 16.5 million iPhone app downloads through the Apple App Store in the measured period. It also generated roughly 58 million Android app downloads through Google Play over the same time.

Mobile Trends for 2023

1. Wider use of retargeting

As a result of global macroeconomic changes, personalizing customers' buying journey and retaining high-quality users will be a go-to strategy in 2023 for marketers. Nurturing engaged users is a solid approach to improving customer experience and extracting more value from ad spend, rather than spending on acquiring new users. The strategy to master first in this journey is retargeting.

Although some advertisers are still hesitant about whether it is worth investing in retargeting, we expect a growing number to shift a chunk of their marketing budget to retargeting in the upcoming year, seeing better campaign performance.

2. Closing the gender gap

It used to be that mobile gaming was a guy’s activity, but let’s think again. In 2022, women accounted for 48% of gamers in the United States and 35% of all players in Asia, with a preference for racing and roleplaying games. With more women designing and building mobile games, we are seeing this trend continue. 

The gender gap for non-gaming apps is also narrowing. Let's review shopping apps, for instance - as of August 2022, in the United States, the largest share of clothing shoppers via mobile apps were women, with a 69% share.  In the UK, women also lead the way for online clothing and shoe shopping, with men driving only about 40 percent.

3. Casual games will continue to rule the top charts

Who doesn’t love a diversion of pure gaming fun?

Casual apps are simple mobile games where users are not required to put in significant effort, great for those who want to kill time. Coupled with the rapid adoption of smartphones that support gaming apps, the casual game genre continues to attract more and more players,

remaining the most popular game category in recent years. It's worth noting that hyper-casual, (a subgenre of the casual app category) is gaining the most momentum nowadays.

In one of our recent articles, thought leaders from all the major ad exchanges highlighted the fact that casual and hyper-casual games have very diverse audiences and will continue to offer good value for money for advertisers. Casual and hyper-casual will continue to experience tremendous growth. In addition, app categories like news and retail, that tend to generate more first-party data, will gain ground. Read more insights on this topic here.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

We are living in a “smart everything” world, where companies look to win over their consumers with more innovative experiences. AI and ML continue to transform the mobile app ecosystem, and improving user experiences and offering more personalized messages to customers are now standard requirements. Every year, the technology of AI and ML evolves rapidly. It’s interesting to note that AI is predicted to be worth $42 billion by 2023. This means that AI will soon become commonplace. 

AI will also continue to impact programmatic advertising, further improving the customer journey. Considering changes in the industry like the rise of the 1st party data, SKAN 4.0 adoption, GAID deprecation, and more, the upcoming year will demand innovative and creative solutions from this industry.

The Bright Future of the Mobile App Market

The mobile app advertising industry is more exciting than ever, full of challenges, new and innovative ideas, and solutions! This booming market offers a lot of opportunities and it’s up to you to grab them.

To find out how Aarki can help scale your mobile marketing campaign for 2023, shoot us a message here.

Topics: Marketplace Insights