Nigeria Leads Africa Mobile App Market Growth As Gaming App Use Grows 44% From Q1 2020 – TechCrunch

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The effect of the pandemic on the global app market has not been hard to miss. In the first quarter and first half of this year, consumer spending on mobile apps hit new records at $ 32 billion and $ 64.9 billion, respectively.

In Africa, it can be difficult to give exact figures on consumer spending as the continent is barely mentioned in the global app market reports. Yet other measures are worth considering, and a New report of AppsFlyer in collaboration with Google has important information on how the African app market has behaved since the start of the pandemic last year.

The report tracked mobile app activity in three of Africa’s largest app markets (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021..

From the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, the African mobile application industry (which is predominantly Android) grew by 41% in overall installed. This has been analyzed from 6,000 applications and 2 billion installations in the three markets. Nigeria recorded the strongest growth, with an increase of 43%; South Africa’s market grew 37% and Kenya’s grew 29%.

Lock numbers

On March 22, 2020, Rwanda imposed the first lockdown in Africa. Then, other countries followed; (those in the report) Kenya (March 25), South Africa (March 27) and Nigeria (March 30).

As more people spent time at home starting in the second quarter of 2020, app installs grew by 20% in all three countries. South Africans were fastest to use their phones as lockdowns hit with installations increasing 17% from the previous quarter.

On the other hand, Nigerians and Kenyans saw an increase of 2% and 9%, respectively. The report attributes the disparity to the different levels of restrictions that each country faces; South Africa has experienced the strictest and most frequent.

According to the report, gaming apps showed strong performance between Q1 and Q2 2020. The segment grew 50% compared to an 8% increase in non-gaming apps. It has followed a global trend where gaming applications reached a record level in the second quarter of 2020, to 14 billion downloads worldwide.

In-app purchase revenue and almost year-over-year growth

According to AppsFlyer, the biggest trend he noticed was in in-app purchase income. In the third quarter of 2020, in-app purchases revenue grew with a staggering 136% increase over the second quarter of 2020, and represented 33% of total 2020 revenue, ”emphasizing fair how much African consumers were spending on apps, from retail purchases to game upgrades. “

Revenue from in-app purchases among South African consumers increased by 213%, while Nigerian and Kenyan consumers saw increases of 141% and 74%, respectively.

On the ad side and almost year-on-year, in-app ad revenue also increased significantly as Africans have been glued to their smartphones more than ever. According to the report, in-app ad revenue increased 167% between Q2 2020 and Q1 2021.

For gaming and non-gaming applications, which has been highlighted between the first two quarters, they both increased by 44% and 40% respectively in Q1 2021 compared to Q2 2020.

Fintech and super apps

Over the past five years, fintech has dominated venture capital investments in African startups. It is obvious why there is so much affinity for the sector. FinTechs create so much value for Africa’s first mobile population, with large sections of unbanked, underbanked and banked people. This value is the reason why all startups on the continent except one are fintech.

African fintechs grew 89.4% between 2017 and 2021, according to Disrupt Africa report. Today there are more than 570 startups on the continent. Many fintechs are mobile-based, therefore reflecting the number of fintech apps Africans use every day. Consumers in South Africa and Nigeria saw annual growth in financial app installs of 116% and 60%, respectively.

AppsFlyer says that like fintech apps, super apps are also on the rise. These “all-in-one” applications provide users with a range of functions such as banking, messaging, shopping and carpooling.. The report says their rise, in part due to device limitations on the continent, owes much to the same conditions that have led to an increase in fintech apps: the systemic sub-bank..

“Super apps remove some of the barriers these users face, while delivering a level of customer knowledge and experience that traditional banks cannot,”The report says.

Daniel Junowicz, RVP EMEA & Strategic Projects for AppsFlyer, commenting on the trends highlighted in the report, said: “… The mobile application space in Africa is flourishing despite the turbulence of the past year. The number of installs is increasing and consumers are spending more money than ever before, showing how important mobile can be to businesses when it comes to generating revenue.


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