A booming African mobile app market is being propelled by a growing fintech space, a rise in “super apps” and the Covid-19 pandemic among other factors. AppsFlyer has launched a report with Google that analysed over 6 000 apps and 2-billion installs across South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.
The report found that the African mobile app market showed strong growth, with overall installs increasing by 41%. Nigeria showed the highest growth, with a 43% uplift, followed by 37% in South Africa, and 29% in Kenya.
Showing perhaps the biggest trend, in-app purchasing revenue numbers soared between July and September, with a 136% increase compared to the previous three months. This accounted for a third of the year’s total revenue, highlighting just how much African consumers were spending within apps, from retail purchases to gaming upgrades.
South Africa’s in-app purchasing revenue surged by a massive 213%, with Nigeria and Kenya also showing significant increases of 141% and 74% in the same time frame.
With people spending more time at home, the report found overall app installs increased by 20% in Q2 2020 compared to the previous quarter.
On a country level, South Africans were quick to take to their mobiles as the first lockdown hit, with installs of mobile apps increasing by 17%. The situation was more muted in Nigeria and Kenya, with increases of 2% and 9% respectively.
These differences are likely due to the varying levels of restrictions experienced by the three countries, with South Africa facing the strictest.
Other key findings include:
* South Africa and Nigeria saw year-on-year growth in finance app installs by 116% and 60% respectively, as the need to reduce social contact has led to even more users adopting digital solutions for their financial needs.
* Android’s larger market share within Sub-Saharan Africa has seen advertisers spend more budget on the platform. Non-organic installs increased by 54%, compared to 19% for iOS.
* The cost per install (CPI) on iOS also increased by 21% between Q2 and Q3 2020, which meant iOS app developers were getting fewer installs for the same budget. Towards the end of the year and into 2021, there was no uplift in non-organic installs on iOS compared to 40% on Android.
* The report found similar levels of overall growth across verticals during the year, with gaming installs increasing by 44% and non-gaming increasing by 40%.
Daniel Junowicz, regional vice-president: EMEA and strategic projects at AppsFlyer, comments: “We’re proud to combine forces with Google to provide businesses with the insights and technology needed to succeed on mobile in Africa. The mobile app space in Africa is thriving, despite the turmoil of the last year. Installs are growing, and consumers are spending more money than ever before, highlighting just how important mobile can be for businesses when it comes to driving revenue.
“As a result, mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses across the continent. Being able to make data-driven informed decisions, and understand the ROI on marketing campaigns will be key to any app marketers success.”
Rama Afullo, apps lead for Africa at Google, adds: “While it’s clear that mobile adoption is increasing, there’s still room for growth when it comes to app marketing, with many marketers in the nascent stage of their app maturity journey.
“Taking advantage of app promotion and engagement tools like Google’s App Campaigns, using analytics and measurement tools, and working with mobile measurement partners like AppsFlyer, will be key for companies looking to grow their user base, drive customer value and continue improving the user experience.”