2022 Trend Alert: Mobile Gaming is Here to Stay

Industry Trends

2022 Trend Alert: Mobile Gaming is Here to Stay

2 Minute Read |

Jane Handel

Jane Handel
Product Marketing Manager

Welcome to our Trend Alert series! We recently published our 2022 Global Advertising Trends report, and will be sharing insights, data, and trendy topics from the report in this newest blog series. This week, we’re taking a look at mobile gaming, and why this tried-and-true in-app experience remains a powerful opportunity for monetization and global reach.

Growth with Digital Gaming

Did you know that digital gamers make up more than a third of the world’s population?1 By 2024, the world’s population will include as many as 3.32 billion gamers.

Digital Gamers in Billions
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As users spend more and more time engaging with mobile apps, it’s no surprise that more time is spent gaming, too. Gaming publishers understand the demand for new games and entertainment, and as a result, mobile games are the single largest App Store app category. In fact, more than 21% of most popular apps in the App Store fall into this gaming category, outpacing all other top performers by more than double.2

Most Popular Apple App Store Categories by Share of Available Apps
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We see the popularity of these gaming apps reflected in ad requests on the Smaato platform, too:

Indexed Ad Requests for Gaming Apps on the Smaato Platform
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From 2020 to 2021, we see a continued increase in ad requests. As you can see, there is an initial spike in March/April of 2020, which aligns with some of the largest global shutdowns. As more people were stuck at home, they spent more time using mobile gaming as a distraction. While this figure equalized a little, the trend stuck: mobile gaming ad requests continue to steadily increase.

Whether for work or for pleasure, time spent in apps is increasing, and in some countries, surpasses five hours a day.

Average Daily Hours Spent in Apps
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This extra time spent in mobile apps gives publishers more opportunities to monetize their inventory. Mirroring these trends, mobile ad spend is only projected to increase worldwide:

Mobile Ad Spend in Billions (USD)
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With that in mind, how can marketers make a big impression?

Marketers and advertisers gain additional impression opportunities, but must also find creative ways to avoid in-app advertising fatigue.

Rewarded video is an especially popular ad format for mobile gaming. It is well-liked and well received by users, who benefit from in-game rewards (like extra lives, coins, or access to new levels). This also helps boost brand sentiment for publishers, and marketers see higher engagement rates.

Read the 2022 Global Advertising Trends Report

Of course, rewarded video isn’t the only way to make a big impact with mobile gamers. To learn about other trending ad formats, and for more insights into the trends rocking the global advertising industry, check out the full version of our report. Plus, enjoy insights into Smaato’s platform performance YoY, and learn new ways to reach audiences around the world and on any device.

Get Your Copy


  • 1 eMarketer, October 2021
  • 2 PocketGamer.biz, Statista, 2021

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