As media consumption continues to surge, App Annie’s latest report reveals five key mobile trends marketers need to know as mobile continues to function as a portal to the outside world.
First up, TikTok’s user base is set to soar. App Annie expects the app will reach 1.2 billion average monthly active users (MAUs) next year. Hitting that milestone will position TikTok alongside competitors who have already exceeded the 1 billion MAUs mark, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and YouTube.
TikTok’s projected surge will come on the heels of its strong Q3 performance, when it ranked the number two non-gaming app by consumer spend.
Next, App Annie anticipates time spent in key “at-home” mobile categories will exceed 1.3 trillion hours on Android phones alone in 2021. Business and education apps will see a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57 percent and 62 percent, respectively, as people continue to work and learn remotely.
At a 43 percent CAGR, global time spent streaming on mobile will also surge, topping 1 trillion hours on Android phones alone next year.
Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, consumers turned to mobile to use finance apps, in which time spent globally will surpass 31 billion hours annually on Android phones in 2021—representing a four-year CAGR of 35 percent.
US consumers will set a new record for mobile shopping at 1 billion hours spent on Android devices in the holiday shopping season, taking time spent in shopping apps in 2021 to a four-year CAGR of 40 percent.
Consumers are feverishly spending on mobile games. According to App Annie, average weekly downloads of games worldwide were up 15 percent year-over-year in Q3. With increased demand for casual and core gaming, consumer spend on mobile games will surpass $120 billion in 2021.
App Annie says 2021 will be the year of the hybrid mobile game genres, a result of mobile phones delivering more sophisticated experiences previously only available on console or PC and hyper casual games adopting midcore elements. During the first half of the year, hyper casual games saw 5 billion downloads worldwide.
This hybridization will also occur in multiplayer games, which are becoming more casual and will continue to be in high demand as consumers seek to stay connected with friends and family.
In Q3, overall time spent in apps globally was up 25 percent YoY. During the first half of 2020, App Annie observed a 70 percent increase in mobile ad placements despite reduced budgets. It’s due to this resiliency that App Annie predicts mobile ad spend will jump to $290 billion, a two-year CAGR of 21 percent.
Consumers in the US will have an average of 9.5 video streaming apps downloaded on their phones in 2021—up 85 percent from 2019. As competition in the space intensifies, App Annie advises companies capitalize on features that cater to today’s socially distant consumers, such as those that encourage socializing, connection and shared experiences.