Market Data

State of Mobile 2022: Market Spotlight on Middle East & North Africa Report

data.ai Insights

New data from data.ai confirms MENA is a rapidly growing market on mobile across many key verticals – with consumer spend up +110% in live streaming apps and +45% in gaming apps YoY.

The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is one of the fastest-growing mobile regions in the world. In 2021, app downloads grew 53% from 2019 and consumer spend in apps and games more than doubled. Categories such as Escape (Hypercasual) Games, Finance, Social, and Tools are driving high growth in the region.

The MENA region is a diverse and rapidly growing mobile market, attracting the attention of many publishers looking to go overseas. To succeed in this mobile landscape, publishers and brands need a comprehensive and trusted view of the region. Download our State of Mobile 2022: Spotlight on MENA report to uncover how to succeed in this booming mobile economy.

Consumers in MENA alone spent $3.3 billion in the app stores in 2021, $1.0 billion more than 2020, equating to a 44% growth year-over-year and a 103% 2-year-growth. This was driven by strong performance across both apps and games, as they saw a 101% and 106% increase in consumer spend since 2019, respectively.

Games made up 49% of consumer spend and 43% of overall app downloads in MENA in 2021. See how the region’s gaming downloads have evolved over time in data.ai.

2021 was a banner year for games in MENA, with downloads surpassing 4.9 billion and consumer spend surpassing $1.6 billion. That represents a growth rate of 9x faster than the global growth rate of 5% YoY in downloads and 3x faster than the global growth rate of 14% YoY in consumer spend. In fact, both increased by 2x within the past 2 years. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel saw the largest gains YoY in mobile game consumer spend in 2021. For games downloads however, Pakistan and Egypt saw the largest YoY gains over the past year within MENA.

Download the Market Spotlight on Middle East & North Africa Report to uncover the full list of the top 10 rising stars in gaming.

According to Game IQ, Hypercasual, Simulation, and Action genres were the most downloaded among games in MENA, accounting for 33%, 17%, and 11% of all gaming downloads, respectively. Hypercasual games Bridge Race, Hair Challenge and Count Masters were the top games by breakout downloads in nearly half of all markets in MENA. However, Free Fire, a Shooting > Battle Royale game, topped the breakout list for Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman — indicating the rising popularity and importance of online competitive multiplayer games.

Social Continued to Drive Time Spent on Mobile in MENA in 2021 as Live Streaming Grew in Popularity

Outside of gaming, Social apps were another category that saw substantial gains over the past few years in MENA. Within Social, Live Streaming apps saw particularly strong demand. Time spent surged 12.5x among the top 25 Live Streaming apps in MENA over the past 4 years — and up 81% YoY. Consumer spend was also up 110% YoY — 1.3x the broader Social app genre (+68% YoY).

TikTok, BIGO LIVE, and Tango Live were the largest drivers of consumer spend in live streaming apps, while TikTok, Likee, and Twitch were the largest apps by average time spent in 2021. This is a critical subgenre when it comes to capturing user attention on mobile and is rapidly growing across MENA. Publishers and marketers should take note to maximize mobile exposure and drive adoption with customers.

Download the Market Spotlight on Middle East & North Africa Report to uncover which social apps are gaining popularity with consumers.

Finance is another sector of strong growth in MENA. Finance app downloads in MENA grew 18% YoY and 36% increase since 2018. Download the full report to dive into which sectors are moving the needle.

Download the Report Today to Uncover How to Succeed in the Rapidly Growing MENA Market:

MENA is one of the world's fastest growing mobile markets. To uncover deeper insights into what makes MENA unique and how you can grow your mobile business, check out our latest report: State of Mobile 2022: Spotlight on MENA.

Insights include:

  • How the mobile landscape in MENA is evolving
  • Which sectors of the rapidly growing mobile gaming market are growing the fastest
  • How demand for Finance apps in MENA outperforms the global market
  • Which Social media and live streaming apps are booming with consumers
  • Where there are high-growth opportunities in the Food & Drink landscape
  • How Travel & Navigation apps are beginning to rebound
  • And More!

Looking to make more of the mobile opportunity? Talk to an expert today.

DISCLAIMER: 

data.ai is a mobile market estimate service provider. data.ai is not registered in any investment advisory capacity in any jurisdiction globally, and does not offer any legal, financial, investment or business advice. Nothing contained in this communication, or in any data.ai products, services, communications, or other offerings, should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security or investment, or to make any investment decisions. Any reference to past or potential performance is not, and should not, be construed as a recommendation or as a guarantee of any specific outcome. You should always consult your own professional legal, financial, investment and business advisors. Additionally, by providing the information herein, data.ai does not make any representations or warranties and does not undertake any legal or contractual obligations whatsoever. No liability may accrue to data.ai as a result of providing this information to you.

July 20, 2022

Market Data

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