Market Data

Data Gems: Royal Match’s Run to $3B Is Without Equal, Tax Apps Strike Back and the Health & Fitness Category’s Record January

Randy Nelson

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Personal Tax Apps Filed Their Return to Prominence in January

From 2018 through 2021, first-time personal tax app installs were on a roll of sequential year-over-year growth in January. Then we reached 2022 and downloads of these apps dropped to their lowest January level in at least seven years. Various factors contributed to this decline at the time, including reduced IRS enforcement, the end of government stimulus checks leading to smaller returns for filing and concerns over the security around e-filing due to cyber attacks.

Growth returned in January 2023 to the tune of 32% more installs than a year before. Now our research shows they’ve jumped 22% YoY to cross 2.7 million first-time downloads last month. This is despite widely discussed expectations of lower-than-average refunds for many taxpayers this year.

TurboTax remains the dominant tax prep app brand in the US, four years running, and is the only one of these apps to generate more than 1 million new downloads in three of the past four years. As it did last year, H&R Block on mobile ranked #2 for downloads in January, having spent 2021 and 2022 at #3 behind IRS2Go. The past two tax seasons have also seen the arrival of both Keeper and TaxesToGo in the 50,000 to 100,000 download range for January. In contrast, previous years didn’t see any emerging brands make it above 50K installs.

 

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Health & Fitness Apps Get Pumped Up for a New Record Month

Back in the 1/19 edition of Data Gems, we looked at the “early returns” on fresh new Health & Fitness category downloads in the front half of January. Now we have the full data, and it reveals some very good news for makers of these apps: They’re more in demand than ever.

Specifically, we saw first-time downloads of apps in this category eke out their single best month (and thus best January) ever, reaching 316,000 installs globally. That’s about 5% growth from 302,000 in January 2023 and just above the category’s previous best month, January 2022, with 313,000 downloads. As the app market continues to bounce back from a slow run between 2022 and 2023, this record performance for a key category is an early indicator that the growth outlook we have for the ecosystem in 2024 is on track — hopefully like our resolutions to get fitter this year!

 

Read More About Our Outlook for 2024

Royal Match Ignites Rapid Path to Another $1 Billion

Finally this edition, we have a new speed record to watch in the mobile gaming space, as well as a new way to look at the performance of other titans in the category as they build their legacies. The impending record belongs to Turkish publisher DreamGames and its M3-Meta genre puzzle title Royal Match, which is poised to make the climb from $2 billion to $3 billion in lifetime consumer spending in just five months.

As the above visualization shows, this will just barely surpass Supercell’s Clash of Clans, which pulled off this feat in a mere six months — back in 2015. Even MiHoYo’s stupendously successful Genshin Impact trailed it at seven months.

The most recent titles to climb from $2B to $3B globally did so last year after considerably more time working at it. Rise of Kingdoms from Lilith, Lords Mobile from IGG and Slotomania from Playtika arrived at the $3B mark 18, 24 and 32 months, respectively, after hitting $2B.

 

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February 28, 2024

Market Data

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