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Q1 2024 Digital Market Index: Digital Advertising and Mobile Reached New Heights in Q1

United States digital ad spend and mobile app consumer spend both climbed 16% year-over-year. Globally, consumer spend in mobile apps grew nearly 10% YoY.

Q1 2024 Data Digest Report Resource-Page R1

Sensor Tower’s first ever Digital Market Index report looks into the latest trends across mobile app performance and digital advertising. One quarter into 2024, the digital economy looks stronger than ever with solid growth across most major markets. Global consumer spending in mobile apps hit a new high at $35.8 billion in Q1 2024, while US digital ad spend reached $25.5 billion, only trailing the previous record set in Q4 2023. 

Non-Games Continue to Drive Consumer Spend Growth While Mobile Gaming Shows Positive Signs

The strong bounce back on mobile has only accelerated as we enter 2024; with economic and regulatory headwinds fading further into the past. Global consumer spend across iOS and Google Play surpassed $35 billion in a quarter for the first time ever in Q1 2024, an increase of 9.5% year-over-year and 3.4% higher than the previous record from Q4 2023. Growth in Q1 was similar to the roughly 10% YoY growth seen the past two quarters, and it was the best first quarter by growth in three years (when consumer spend climbed 30% YoY in Q1 2021).

Apps continue to be the leading driver of consumer spending growth, with YoY growth in non-games approaching 20% in Q1. Mobile games lagged behind with nearly 3% YoY growth. However, this is still a positive development as mobile game consumer spend surpassed $20 billion for the first time in two years. Q1 2024 was also the third straight quarter of positive YoY growth for mobile games, following six straight YoY declines between Q1 2022 through Q2 2023. While there are still challenges for mobile games, particularly in some of the largest markets in Asia, the market has bounced back nicely across most of the globe.

The top apps in Q1 2024 were largely the same as the previous quarter, with TikTok, YouTube, and Google One leading the way by consumer spend. Looking at downloads, Meta’s Instagram overtook TikTok to regain the top spot in Q1 2024, followed by fellow Meta-Owned apps Facebook and WhatsApp Messenger.

Digital Ad Spend Saw Double-Digit Growth Across Top Markets

US digital ad spend across mobile, desktop, and OTT surpassed $25 billion in Q1 2024 with 3.3 trillion impressions. While ad spend was down 13% compared to the previous quarter during the holiday season, it still showed strong growth over the past year, up 16% YoY.

Other top markets also saw strong ad spend growth YoY, including 18% in the United Kingdom, 12% in Germany, and 33% in Canada. Please note that the ad channels included vary by market.

Want More Insights on the Digital Economy? Read the Full Report

Read the Q1 2024 Digital Market Index report highlighting the market leaders in mobile and digital advertising, spanning 21 markets in a dynamic, interactive format covering:

  • Top Markets - strong growth in Japan as North America and Europe show growth opportunities for publishers

  • Top Categories - Consumer spend increases in ALL top app categories with many seeing 30% growth

  • Top Apps - TikTok still leads by global consumer spend, but falls in downloads

  • Top Mobile Games - Monopoly GO! breaks records in Q1

  • Digital Advertising - US digital ad spend up 16% YoY

  • Retail Media Networks - Walmart and Target dominate Retail Media Networks by impressions

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Jonathan Briskman

Written by: Jonathan Briskman, Principal Market Insights Manager

Date: June 2024