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In 2021, mobile ad spend jumped 23% and is on pace to reach $350 billion in 2022

In the top mobile-first markets such as Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea, people spend more time on mobile apps than ever before, reaching 4.8 hours per day. A mobile-first strategy is essential for many marketers to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing society driven by pandemic-fuelled transformation as consumers move both their attention and wallets to mobile devices and platforms.

In 2021, mobile ad spending grew 23%, reaching $295 billion, according to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report. According to the analytics company, mobile ad spending will reach $350 billion by the end of this year due to the impacts of the pandemic on users’ habits. Due to the broad reach and engagement apps can provide, advertisers are investing in mobile advertising at a higher level compared with 2020, despite concerns about Apple’s privacy changes and mobile addressability. This year is expected to continue on a similar trajectory, blowing past records in mobile ad spend, downloads, and time spent with apps.

App interaction by consumers is higher now than it was in previous years and even exceeds time spent watching TV in some cases, the analytics company found. In 2021, consumers globally spent 3.8 trillion hours on mobile devices, 70% of which were spent on social and photo and video apps. Social video platform TikTok and Facebook topped the list for average monthly hours per user last year, with each recording 19.6 hours on average.

Consumer spending increased directly as a result of increased app use, according to the report. Due to the enduring pandemic, more and more people shop, work, stream, play and connect from home, driving significant growth in downloads and mobile spending worldwide.