App downloads rose 33% in 2020 amid increased app marketing expenditure

Anne Freer | December 22, 2020

App Marketing

The number of app downloads rose 33% throughout 2020 which was 25% more than in the previous year.

The rise was driven in part by increased efforts of app marketers and higher download volumes by consumers, according to new data revealed by app marketing experts AppsFlyer.

App marketers spent around $75 billion on install campaigns this year, which is a 30% rise over 2019.

The majority of spending went to Android ($48.5 billion) and $26 billion went to iOS.

Remarketing was another growing trend in 2020 as more marketers shifted focus to loyalty campaigns.

During early lockdowns, marketers spent more money to promote their apps and consequently cost per install rose 30% post-lockdown. The number of non-organic installs dropped as the cost of media rose.

While non-gaming app reduced their marketing spending during early lockdowns as in-app spending dropped.

Meanwhile, in-app purchases increase rose for gaming apps and In-app advertising climbed 30% since July.

There was a surge in demand for non-gaming apps used to socialise this year. This was driven by a growing number of people being confined to their homes and finding ways to reach out to loved ones.

When examining 45 apps more closely, AppsFlyer also found that app installs with preceding visits to brand websites nearly doubled in 2020.

For one in 10 installs, these web visits were part of the user journey.

For 2021, AppsFlyer predicts that “COVID-19 will likely continue to impact social behavior at least in the coming months even if a vaccine is hopefully approved and distribution begins. That means continued economic uncertainty for many households and businesses, which can affect consumer spend.”

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