Ad Impressions and effective cost per mile declined across platforms in 2023, but in-app purchases grew

USA proved to be a key market for mobile in 2022

Ad Impressions and effective cost per mile declined across platforms in 2023, but in-app purchases grew

Ad impressions and effective cost per mile (eCPM) saw declines in 2022 on both Android and iOS platforms, according to the latest report by Tenjin.

Regulatory changes and increasing concerns regarding privacy took their toll on the mobile gaming market, with Apple being hit particularly hard due to the introduction of App Tracking Transparency (ATT), and the resulting changes in how companies can approach user acquisition on the platform.

Apple saw a 20% decline in ad impressions and a 35% decline in eCPM throughout the year, while Android proved somewhat more resilient with declines of 10% and 28%, respectively.

Despite these falls, the year saw increases in in-app purchases, which rose 37% on Android devices and 34% on Apple. This suggests that, while game makers worldwide have been forced to reevaluate their user acquisition strategies, in-app purchases remain lucrative.

The USA proved to be a key market throughout the year, topping the global Android charts in terms of IAP revenue and ad revenue, as well as the iOS charts in IAP revenue, ad revenue, and installs. India, meanwhile, proved to be the largest market for Android installs, with the Brazil in second and the USA in third. All three countries have been identified as some of the key players in the mobile gaming space, with India poised to potentially overtake China as the world’s largest mobile-first gaming market.

Despite India’s position in the install charts, it failed to reach the top five in any other chart on either iOS or Android. In contrast, China saw the second most installs on iOS devices in 2022, and ranked as number four in terms of iOS ad revenue, showing that while the country saw a turbulent 2022, it’s far from out of the fight.

The rise of hybridcasual

The intent of the report was to help smooth the transition from hypercasual, a genre that thrives on ad revenue, to the hybridcasual model. Game makers throughout the mobile games space have been moving away from their hypercasual roots, and Tenjin hopes that the report can offer vital insight into where to focus on advertising, and where to double down on monetisation.

“If you ask industry experts to define hybridcasual, you'll likely get a range of different answers,” said Tenjin marketing director Roman Garbar. “With no clear consensus on the new "hottest genre" or business model. What is clear, however, is that a hybrid storm is coming.

“Casual developers are integrating hypercasual components and rewarded videos into their games, while hypercasual developers are adding more in-app purchases and improving retention. But with advertising and monetization becoming increasingly difficult in 2023, developers will need to be strategic in their approach. We hope that these industry rankings and trends will help guide developers through this hybrid shift.

In January, Tenjin reported that the cost per install for hypercasual games had hit an all-time high.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.