Mobile marketing budgets have dropped 20%, says AppsFlyer


Marketing data firm AppsFlyer says UA budgets were down 20% in Q3 2023 compared to last year.

According to its latest Performance Index research, which ranks the top media sources in mobile advertising, the economic downturn has played its part in the decline of mobile marketing budgets, but so have Apple’s privacy policies.

“Privacy-driven fragmentation in measurement has only created more uncertainty,” said AppsFlyer’s director of content and market insights Shani Rosenfelder.

Elsewhere in the report, AppsFlyer says “an economic slump, privacy-led data restrictions, and covid have taken marketers on a wild roller coaster ride.”

“In the past year, app install ad spend (user acquisition) budgets have been slashed, dropping 20% year-over-year, as the market shifted from a growth mindset to profitability and, in some cases, survival mode. The drop that began to take shape in H2 2022 continued and even accelerated in 2023. In fact, all top media saw declines in 2023, with only four of the top 20 players generating a budget increase.”

Looking specifically at games globally on iOS, AppsFlyer says Apple Search Ads, which functions independently of SKAN and deterministically attributes users regardless of ATT consent, is the top media source by “a significant margin”.

“Its volume and number of clients is unrivalled, particularly in non-gaming, and its quality is also high,” the company said.

Apple Search Ads is followed in AppsFlyer’s “power ranking” – an indication of spend effectiveness, essentially – by Liftoff, Moloco, Meta and AppLovin. Looking at volume, ASA is top again followed by Mintegral, AppLovin, Meta and Unity.

On Android, Google is – unsurprisingly – dominant. It is top by AppsFlyer’s ‘power’ and ‘volume’ ranking in every games category apart from hypercasual, where it is ranked second. By “power ranking” Google is followed by Unity, IronSource, Meta and AppLovin, while by volume, Google Ads leads Mintegral, IronSource, Meta and Unity.

AppsFlyer also released its remarketing rankings for Android. By “power” AppsFlyer says the top five remarketing channels are Meta, TikTok for Business, Aarki, Liftoff and Google Ads; by volume they are Google Ads, Meta, Remerge, Liftoff and Aarki.

AppsFlyer says it analysed 75 media sources and at least 11.5bn app installs from 30,000 apps from April to September 2023 to come up with the data.

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