Market Data

Insights Newsletter Recap: Health & Fitness Apps Surge, OTT Starts 2024 Strong and Team Battle RPG Towers Above Other Gaming Subgenres

Randy Nelson

See what you missed from the latest edition of data.ai’s biweekly Insights newsletter — and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of data.ai’s biweekly Insights newsletter on our blog. Signing up for our market-scanning briefs will still get you them first via email every other Friday, but for those yet to subscribe or email-averse, we’ll be publishing the original analyses from our newsletters here on the site.

 

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First off this time, we’d like to share a (very) belated Happy New Year to our new web readers! In keeping with that theme, this edition will focus on how 2024 is starting out compared to 2023 for both apps and games, but we’ll begin with one of our favorite updates this time of year: How consumers’ resolutions have impacted Health & Fitness apps since January 1.

Health & Fitness Apps Saw a Smaller Boost from New Year’s Resolutions, But the Genre Remains Healthier Than Ever

Just as you can expect our State of Mobile report to arrive every January like clockwork, so does the unavoidable spate of New Year’s resolutions, whether you want to hear about (or make) them — or not. Enough consumers do make them that it results in a fairly robust lift for adoption of Heath & Fitness genre apps in early January of each year. This year? It happened again, and while the “resolution bump” was the smallest in recent years, the first two weeks of 2024 delivered more downloads for this app genre than all but one of the previous four years (2023).

As you can see, downloads reached nearly 23 million in the first half of the month, up 22.6% from the preceding 15 days. A high point of 24.2 million on close to 44% year-over-year growth was hit in 2023. This year, we’re seeing the typical spikes in Workout Program and Weight Loss & Calorie Tracker subgenre downloads, but also noteworthy growth in the second-largest subgenre, Telehealth, but also in the burgeoning Mental Health subgenre.

As for the apps health- and fitness-minded US consumers have been most drawn to compared to the last half of 2023? We’ve ranked them below. They’re ordered by the amount of downloads added versus the preceding two weeks.

As the content offerings and capabilities of these apps continue to grow, we will see the coalescing of usage around one or two main apps in each offshoot from the genre which, given the individuality of consumers, could extend in a lot of niche directions. Based on our data and research, the appetite for self-improvement via a mobile device has never been greater. It’s time to learn from the best and pump up those product offerings and marketing plans.

 

It’s a New Year, But the Category Breakdown of January’s Top Apps Looks Eerily Familiar  

Our State of Mobile report places emphasis on studying the year that was and looking ahead to the next 12 months — and beyond. In the here and now, however, we wanted to take a snapshot of how 2024 is getting started in terms of consumer preference on the app stores. As it turns out, not much has changed from the first half of January 2023.

OTT (Over-The-Top) streaming apps in the Entertainment genre continue to represent the single largest distinct subgenre within the top 100 earning apps globally so far this month. Their number has declined ever-so-slightly year-over-year, however, with two fewer representatives among the topmost earners. Meanwhile, Dating and Weight Loss & Calorie tracking made some minimal movement, perhaps due to more resolutions around relationships and fitness.

The table above contains the top 10 apps that didn’t appear in the first-half January 2023 top 100 by revenue. You can see where they ranked this time, and there are some noteworthy standouts, including AI frontrunner ChatGPT; short-format streaming app ReelShort; and X. Instagram is leading the charge as its in-app revenue continues to grow thanks to new monetization offerings. We are on track for our 2024 prediction of growth in direct spending in the social media space as consumers seek more control over their social identities. 

 

Mobile Gamers Start the Year with Team Battles As the RPG Subgenre Expands Its Footprint in the Top 100

Team Battle subgenre RPGs have expanded their reign as the mobile gaming subgenre with the most representative titles among the top 100 earning games during the first half of January. Compared to nine of the top 100 in 2023, the subgenre now counts 13. Meanwhile, the persistently popular 4X March-Battle subgenre shed two titles to have 12 in the top 100 this year.

Below we have the 10 highest-ranked mobile titles globally from the past two weeks that weren’t among the top 100 during the same period in 2023. Top (hatted) among them is Scopely’s wildly successful Monopoly GO, coming as little surprise. It’s also no shocker that Honkai: Star Rail, another excellent RPG from Genshin Impact maker miHoYo, made the cut.

It’s exciting (and perhaps a bit surprising given location-based AR titles’ track record) to see another Location RPG from Pokémon GO developer Niantic performing well. In this case it’s Monster Hunter Now, based on the hit IP from Capcom. Like Niantic’s biggest hit, this one has players hunting creatures in real-world locations and is part of a hugely successful franchise. It’s almost as if there’s a formula here that works. The question is, how many IPs remain for which location-based battles make sense? But maybe two is enough; for one publisher, at least, for now.

 

Read About More Mobile Market Insights and Trends in Our New State of Mobile Report

data.ai’s 2024 State of Mobile Report delves deep into regional and category-level market trends made possible by the more than 1.2 million apps categorized under data.ai’s industry-first Game IQ and App IQ taxonomy and data.ai’s applied ai-driven market data. Claim your copy of the State of Mobile 2024 today! 

 

February 2, 2024

Market Data

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