2020 was a significant year for the world, and many of these shifts were here to stay, including the increase in mobile use. Mobile devices were the cement of our daily lives, replacing people who stayed home. Mobile has transformed nearly every industry vertical, from entertainment to planning and organizing our finances, and everything in between.
To help marketers navigate the mobile landscape and identify opportunities for success in mobile in 2021, and beyond. App AnnieThe latest was unveiled State of Mobile Report. These findings provide an important overview on the key mobile app trends, shifts, and implications over the past year.
- In 2020, mobile was responsible for $143 billion in consumer spending, 3.5 trillion hours of user time, and 218 million downloads. Overall, adoption grew rapidly in the past 12 months, reaching a peak of two to three year olds.
- Mobile gaming is estimated to surpass $120 billion in consumer spend in 2021 — capturing 1.5x of the market compared to all other gaming platforms combined.
- In 2020, mobile surpassed live TV in terms of time spent at 4 hours per days vs. 3.75 hours. Mobile ad placements have been on the rise (95% YoY), with this type of ad spending currently on track for surpassing $290 billion by 2021.
Now let’s unpack some of the underpinning themes around mobile to keep top of mind as we begin to execute the new year’s strategies.
Empowering everyday traders and democratizing investing
According to the report, nearly half of all time spent in finance apps in 2020 (45%) was spent outside China. Despite a turbulent economic year, mobile was the common thread in all aspects of fiscal management. This includes research, decision-making and evaluation as well as purchase or investment. It is the mechanism that allows you to participate and, more importantly, it helps you establish financial literacy.
Currently, fundamentals of personal finances and investing are not taught in schools. In some cases, this can delay people who decide to invest. Looking ahead to 2021 investment apps will be a major player, filling a critical knowledge gap for novice investors and making investing more accessible and empowering.
Gaming and streaming: The new frontier in marketing to influencers
According to App Annie, “The average American watched 3.7 hours of live TV a day, whereas they spent 4.0 hours on their mobile device in H2 2020.” Further, 40 percent more hours were streamed on mobile in 2020.
Marketers spent a lot of time thinking about their ad placements, and their tactics, as mobile became more popular. In particular, 2020 saw $240billion in mobile ad spending. This figure is expected increase to $290 billion by 2021. Celebrity collaborations are a key factor in this growth. 2020’s celebrity collaborations helped to cut through the noise and drive 2.7x more downloads.
It isn’t only about churning out mobile ads but taking into consideration the unique demographic opportunities mobile offers across age groups. This is supported by data showing that U.S. Gen Z, Millennials, & Gen X/ Boomers spent 16%, 18%, & 30 percent more time YoY in their most-used applications, respectively.
It’s not surprising that entertainment apps and casual gaming like Twitch and TikTok dominated app downloads among Gen Zers. Brands were innovative and used these spaces during the pandemic to increase their influencer efforts. This theme was further supported by the report which stated that mobile gaming will surpass $120 billion in consumer spending in 2021 and TikTok will reach 1.2 billion users this year.
The future of live shopping and social commerce
Rather than delaying brands’ long-term strategies, the pandemic served as an accelerant for e-commerce, ensuring that three-year business growth plans became reality in just six months. These bold moves are expected to continue in 2021.
Brands and retailers must adapt to changing consumer habits and create new channels for discovery and purchase. Live shopping is a market to watch. The report states that by 2024, social commerce and live shopping will represent a $2 trillion global market.
With many people are more accustomed to buying online, many won’t go back to their pre-COVID habits, even when they’re able, which is a plus for many platforms, notably Pinterest and Instagram according to App Annie data which found global downloads of Instagram and Pinterest worldwide grew 50 percent and 20 percent YoY, respectively.
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