App retention is one of the most important metrics app marketers use to quantify an app’s success rate, and whether campaigns and other attempts to keep a user active have worked.
With the vast majority of apps being free to download, retaining a user can be quite difficult, as they have invested very little into the app. App developers have many tricks to keep users returning, from in-app notifications to incentives for being active.
However, app retention rates across the board are low, with more than 90 percent of users usually giving up on an app before the 30 day mark. There are outliers, the most popular apps and games tend to be more sticky than the average, but even very popular mobile games see inactivity of more than 80 percent.
There are tons of guides out there with tips to improve retention rate, including our own, but negotiating with a user can be tricky, especially at the early stages. Some mobile marketers err on the side of taking a step back and letting the user take their own path, while others think every detail of onboarding should be measured and calculated for a better retention rate.
The journey is not over once a user has been retained, with an entire other section of app marketing dedicated to conversion rates. This involves moving a user from passive to active, or in some cases from free to paid. Even at stages where the user has paid for a subscription, there is still a high percentage that end up inactive after a few weeks.
We have collected data and statistics on app retention rates. Read on below to find out more.
Android App Retention Rate
App retention rates on Android have declined across the board for two years straight, with over 1% decline in each segment apart from day 30.
Android app retention rate 2020 to 2022 (%)
iOS App Retention Rate
App retention rates on iOS have been steadier than Android, although outside of day one they have declined slightly since 2020.
iOS app retention rate 2020 to 2022 (%)
Retention Rate by App Category
News apps have a much higher retention rate than other app categories. It is one of the smallest categories for total downloads, so users rarely stumble upon the apps by accident.
Retention rate at 30 days by app category 2022 (%)
|Food & Drink||4||4.2||3.7|
|Health & Fitness||3.2||3.2||3.7|
App Retention Rate by Country
Japan has the highest app retention rate of any country, with 5.1%, while China has the worst with 1.3%.
App retention rate at 30 days by country 2022 (%)
|Country||Retention rate (%)|
App Retention Rate by Region
Asia-Pacific has the highest day one retention rate of all regions, at 23%, but the difference between the regions is minimal.
App retention rate at day one by region 2022 (%)
Subscription Retention Rate
Users that subscribe for a year are ten times more likely to stick around for a year than users on a weekly, and two times more likely than a monthly subscriber.
Subscription retention rate by subscription type 2022 (%)
Subscription Retention Rate by Category
Utilities had the highest average monthly and annual subscription retention rate, while Photo & Video had the lowest.