The State of Mobile App Advertising Market After The 1st Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic wave has left many positive or negative impacts on all industries. After this first pandemic wave, we examined the mobile application advertising market’s status for you as App Samurai.

In 2020, the mobile app industry continued to grow at a tremendous rate. Mobile apps have achieved a population that spends an average of approximately 4 hours in apps around the world. It increased its share to very high levels with downloads, new subscribers, and in-app revenues. In fact, the time spent in the mobile world in China, which has the most population in the world, has reached 5 hours. During the pandemic period, people are rapidly switching to mobile applications. On average, mobile users spend 87% of their time in apps but only 13% on the web.

The first wave of pandemic led people to spend time together in the virtual world, communicate with each other, and have fun. That’s why people tried to find new mobile apps. With services such as the mobile game industry, social media apps, and video streaming apps, the mobile app industry has exploded. Especially since 2019, social media applications have grown by almost doubling their audience.

The growth of the mobile app industry has generated massive revenue for mobile advertisers and mobile marketers. The number of ad impressions served in apps increased rapidly during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobile in-app ads reached much larger audiences. With the weakening of traditional channels, mobile application channels experienced higher levels of access and interaction.

Consumer Spending Behaviors and App Downloads During Pandemic

Globally, searches for “buy online” increased very rapidly to nearly 30,000 searches per month. This figure is about two times the number at the beginning of the year. This shows us that people install mobile apps to buy things. Therefore, the mobile marketing industry has also received its share from this rise. Web traffic increased approximately ten times. Therefore, it is seen that the pandemic process decreases retail sales and increases online sales. We can also say that the sales of physical stores have also switched to online sales. The conclusion to be drawn here is that people have made purchases by installing mobile applications. In the first quarter of 2020, Apple broke the record in App Store history, with mobile app users spending more than $ 20 billion. Since the pandemic outbreak, the App Store has earned $ 15 billion, while Google Play has earned $ 8.4 billion. During the same period, consumers downloaded 31 billion new mobile applications to their mobile devices, 15% more than in the previous quarter.

Growing/Declining App Categories

One of the most popular mobile applications during the pandemic process was instant messaging applications. In countries that follow the strictest quarantine rules, messaging apps have seen the highest use. Live views doubled. Group conversations increased by more than 1,000%. People made almost all the developments in social media applications. In their bilateral relations, they remained in contact with these applications. Therefore, mobile application social media applications took their place among the categories with the highest growth.

The demand for Food Sites and applications increased by 60%. This is a clear result of people changing their market habits online during the pandemic process. Anti-virus protection is provided by meeting the food and food needs from websites and mobile applications. Therefore, there is a growth in the categories belonging to the food sector.

Application categories for the travel industry were, as predicted, one of the worst affected. The trend towards travel sites and applications has decreased by approximately 50%. Not only did people spend less money on travel during this pandemic period, but they were also less interested in mobile applications because they did not have the opportunity to leave the house during the quarantine process. Due to the unpredictability of how long this process will take, this category received the most massive blow.

In summary; In non-game apps, the most positively affected and growing categories were News apps (+ 189%), Health & Fitness (+ 107%), Music (+ 93%), and Shopping (+ 30%). The categories negatively affected and declining in popularity were Travel (-69% organic, -62% non-organic) and Maps and Navigation (-61% organic, -63% non-organic).

App Advertising Market Expectations

The global pandemic and its following stringent quarantine rules changed consumer behavior and reshaped the digital economy. While mobile app advertising narrowed its budget, it lowered the CPM by 14.8%, and there was a massive increase in the use of apps.

However, in the first quarter of 2020, mobile app ad spending decreased by about 15%. Therefore, we understand that advertisers are changing their priorities; rising segments are preferred instead of campaigns in depressive categories. If we examine the data of the market in mobile app advertising and mobile marketing in the first quarter of 2020;

+ 178% ad spend on Shopping apps on iOS

+ 122% ad spend on Parenting apps on Android

+ 104% ad spend on Dating apps on Android

+ 97% ad spend on Food & Beverage apps on iOS

+ 20% ad spend on News apps on iOS

– 99% ad spend to OTT apps on Android

– Medical apps on Android – 97% ad spend

– 95% ad spend on sports apps

While you think that the pandemic process is continuing, market expectations in mobile application advertising will continue in this way.

COVID-19 and the quarantine process will continue to affect all aspects of traditional marketing and advertising negatively. If the process continues like this, the transition from traditional advertising to digital will continue to accelerate. Mobile app advertising will grow even more as consumers concentrate on mobile applications. This is inevitable. 


As a result, after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, many things have changed in all areas of the mobile app industry, especially in mobile application advertising. As App Samurai, we have examined the mobile application industry’s pandemic and post-pandemic period for you.

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