The Japanese app market is one of the most lucrative and active in the world. In 2022 it was the third highest for consumer spend, behind only China and the United States, and the number of smartphone users continues to rise. Japanese users also spend around 4.8 hours on average a day using mobile apps, an increase of more than an hour from 2019.
Mobile games are a dominant source of revenue in the Japanese market. Monster Strike has been one of the highest earning apps in the country since its release 10 years ago, and other games including Fate/Grand Order and Dragon Quest Walk have had incredible success.
So far in 2023, the Japanese app market has experienced a slight year-on-year increase in downloads, despite a global downturn in app downloads. However, there was a huge decrease in mobile game downloads, possibly reflecting a change in user priorities.
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Leading the download chart in 2023 is the administrative window Mynaportal AP, which offers a bureaucratic shortcut. Finance apps including regionPay, Myna Point and PayPay have been more popular than video streaming, shopping and social media apps.
Analysts predict strong growth in the e-commerce sector, as cashless purchasing is adopted by an increasing number of the population. There is the potential for competition from international businesses such as Amazon to the established domestic companies, including Rakuten and Mercari.
The Japanese economy is experiencing a downturn, and so apps which provide good value-for-money deals are growing in popularity. Overall app revenue also fell in 2022 in light of this, but there are signs of a recovery in 2023.
We have collected data and statistics on the Japanese mobile app market. Read on below to find out more.
Key Japanese App Market Statistics
- The Japanese app market generated $17.8 billion in 2022, down from $20.7 billion the previous year
- Monster Strike was the most lucrative app of 2022 in Japan, earning $184.4 million
- There were 97.4 million smartphone users in Japan in 2022
- Apps were downloaded 2.4 billion times in 2022, 200 million fewer than in 2020 and 2021
- Japanese users spent 51.4 billion hours on mobile apps in 2022
Japanese App Market Revenue
Annual revenue in the Japanese app market has fallen slightly from $20.7 billion in 2021 to $17.8 billion the following year, but this remains above pre-pandemic levels. Japanese users spent on average $182.80 in 2022.
Japanese app market annual revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Japanese consumer spend per user 2017 to 2022 ($)
Japanese App Market Revenue by App
The game Monster Strike was the highest grossing app in Japan in 2022 with $184.4 million in revenue.
Japanese revenue by app 2022 ($mm)
|Uma Musume Pretty Derby||125.5|
|Dragon Quest Walk||95.6|
|Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle||65.1|
|Puzzle & Dragons||40.5|
Japanese Smartphone Users
The number of smartphone users in Japan has been rising steadily for the last few years, from 63.1 million in 2017 to almost 100 million in 2022.
Annual Japanese smartphone users 2017 to 2022 (mm)
Japanese Smartphone Population
There has been a significant increase in the proportion of the Japanese population using smartphones since before the coronavirus pandemic, from 57.2% in 2019 to 78.6% in 2022.
Japanese population smartphone usage 2017 to 2022 (%)
Time Spent on Apps in Japan
In 2022, Japanese users spent 51.6 billion hours using mobile apps, up from 38.7 billion in 2019.
Hours spent on mobile apps in Japan 2019 to 2022 (bn)
Japanese App Market Downloads
There was a slight fall in downloads of apps in Japan in 2022, down to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion the year before.