Research shows $192 million spent on gaming apps in ANZ for user acquisition in 2021

AppsFlyer has released the findings of the State of Gaming App Marketing 2022 Edition for the ANZ region, showing that in 2021 US$138 million (AU$192 million) was spent on user acquisition gaming apps.

The AppsFlyer State of Gaming App Marketing study is an in-depth report on the key trends that shaped gaming in 2021, with the aim of helping gaming app marketers and developers understand the current climate and adapt strategies and innovations accordingly. The findings indicate an increased sensitivity and awareness to data privacy and security in gaming apps operating in the ANZ region.

The survey found that 80% of gaming apps in ANZ implemented Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, with a low user sign-up rate averaging 37% across genres, capitalizing on the increased awareness of the ANZ region in terms of data privacy and security.

App Tracking Transparency Not a Complete Privacy Solution

Apple’s ATT prompt is an opt-in privacy framework that requires all iOS apps to ask users for permission to share their data — essentially asking users for permission for Apple to share their data with advertisers.


The Financial Times published a report at the end of last year revealing the processes behind the feature aren’t exactly foolproof when it comes to fully protecting users’ privacy from advertisers.

The feature, introduced in iOS 14.5, is designed to prevent app developers from tracking your activity and selling that information to advertisers.

However, the report noted that while signing up and asking apps not to track you prevents apps from collecting and selling data associated with your individual, personal ad identity, it doesn’t stop developers from providing any information at all. collect about you.

In fact, developers have access to user data that allows them to target ads to cohorts, justifying this by stating that uniquely identifying user data is not mapped – data is anonymized and grouped to help advertisers without technically tracking users individually. Some personalized data like IP address, location, and screen size still finds its way to developer advertisers.

Fast facts: the mobile game industry as a goldmine for advertisers

While iOS 14.5+ and other privacy updates have been challenging, the gaming industry is trying to stabilize as the following data shows:

  • Globally, US$14.5 billion (AU$20.2 billion) was spent by gaming apps on user acquisition (UA) in 2021, compared to US$138 million (AU$192 million) in ANZ
  • The trend of inorganic installs (NOI) on Android remains stable, while iOS (traditional*) saw a downward trend
  • Hardcore games continue their winning streak with in-app purchase (IAP) revenue up 1.7x (70% increase in iOS) in iOS in Australia
  • The mid-core gaming vertical (including games such as adventure, simulation, action, arcade, and racing) accounted for the highest user sign-up rate of 45.75%
  • In ANZ, 80.2% of gaming apps have implemented the ATT prompt

“Gaming is the most popular form of entertainment today. 2021 was a challenging year for the industry due to the privacy changes and there will be more hurdles in 2022 and beyond. From the upcoming privacy changes of Android, mergers and acquisitions in the market to international competitions. Industry players should continue to improve the ATT clearance rate. Using ATT sign-up rates as a KPI can help clarify goals for the team to improve consent,” said Antony Wilcox, director of growth, AppsFlyer ANZ.

“Doubling creatives for app optimization can also help. This is especially important with changes in iOS 15 and will allow for a more unified flow – from context, segmented creatives to a landing page with the same look and feel. Going forward, players will need to The industry is also looking at emerging trends such as the involvement of blockchain technology and web3 to preserve user privacy,” Wilcox added.

The mobile gaming industry now generates more than US$77.2 billion in revenue of more than 2.5 billion mobile gamers worldwide, but there are still lingering perceptions about the consumer profile of a ‘typical gamer’.

Programmatic can help brands identify the most relevant genres and games that engage their core audience, then activate, experiment and evaluate campaigns in real time to optimize for key KPIs.

What the future of data in gaming means for advertisers: blockchain, Web3 and P2E

While blockchain technology and Web3 are still in the early stages of the game industry, it will be a game changer for app marketers and developers. Web3 provides new ways for game developers and players to increase their profits and democratizes data ownership for gamers, where users can manage their own data and identity.

Technological innovations adopted by marketers have resulted in attracting, retaining and engaging high-quality players. As the adoption of Play to Earn (P2E) through blockchain gaming, advanced game analytics and cohort technologies accelerates, marketers will be able to better understand player behavior and engagement tactics to balance user privacy and user experience.

Other forms of online gaming, such as esports, are emerging as a reward for advertisers, with the Newzoo Global Esports & Live Streaming Market Report (2021) Puts Australia’s Current Esports Audience at 2.3 million. Newzoo estimates that by 2023 there will be 646 million people watching esports worldwide with a 10.7% year-over-year growth.

Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to advertisers taking advantage of the massive esports market. While the infrastructure and intricacies of the esports ecosystem are difficult to understand and offer limited support unlike other traditional channels that still dominate the bulk of ad investment, the industry’s burgeoning growth is critical for advertisers. to take into account in the coming years and months. A 2021 report from PwC found that total interactive gaming and esports revenues grew 7.2% to $3.41 billion in Australia in 2020 – and this figure is only expected to continue rising.

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