AppsFlyer’s Performance Index: Google reigns as top player in mobile app advertising

  • Google tops the power ranking, while Facebook is still retargeting king
  • Regional and local players are making their mark, with TikTok seeing tremendous growth

AppsFlyer’s Performance Index: Google reigns as top player in mobile app advertising

Google is listed at the number one spot in the AppsFlyer Performance Index power ranking. (measuring both quantity and quality of app installs). According to the global mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform, this is the first time the tech giant hit the top spot since the Index’s launch in 2015, and is attributed to its performance on Android and App Campaigns product.

The AppsFlyer Performance Index is segmented into 252 rankings and includes new categories like Finance, Entertainment, Travel, Photography and multiple Gaming genres. The 10th edition, released recently, covers 21 billion installs, and 52 billion app opens of over 16,000 apps.

In Southeast Asia, the index covers 3.2 billion installs and 6.6 billion app opens across 4,850 apps.

The primary takeaway for Southeast Asia is that Google and Facebook dominate interchangeably in the power and volume rankings, which are then usually followed by either TikTok ads or Apple Search Ads.

AppsFlyer’s Performance Index also found that regional and local players are making their marks at mobile marketing. These include Asian brands like Oppo and Xiaomi, the former which is usually listed at the top five of each categories above, particularly in the Life & Culture and Finance apps category.

Xiaomi, on the other hand, ranks in the top 10 power rankings for Life & Culture in Asia. In the volume rankings, Xiaomi ranked at sixth place.

The Index also listed up and coming players that include networks from India and other locally-relevant players such Shopback, Kreditpedia, Vietnam’s VN Ngay Nay, and China’s Mintegral.

AppsFlyer’s Performance Index: Google reigns as top player in mobile app advertising

Facebook: the retargeting king

According to the Index, low retention and high uninstall rates across the industry are driving app marketers to increase their retargeting efforts. They found that the second half of 2019 showed a 20% increase in the number of apps running retargeting campaigns compared to the first half.

Retargeting adoption is the most widespread in APAC, which holds the largest share of conversations – nearly half of the global conversions in this Index, and up 12% compared to the previous Index findings.

The share of retargeting conversions out of total conversions (retargeting and non-organic installs combined) within the region has also grown by nearly 10%, with North America showing similar growth rates. 

When it comes to retargeting, Facebook reigns supreme. It tops Appflyer’s Retargeting Index, which the report says is thanks to unrivalled targeting capabilities and its Dynamic Ads product. Facebook also dominated marketing on iOS – it topped the power ranking in 17 out of 19 global segments in the Performance Index across gaming and non-gaming categories.

Google takes second place when it comes to retargeting, but the Index found that it’s growing faster with a 44% rise, compared to Facebook’s 5% increase. Google’s success, Appsflyer notes, can mostly be attributed to its stronghold on Android.


The year of TikTok

Beyond Google and Facebook’s dominance, Appsflyer’s Index found that a “triopoly” of networks – namely ironSource, Unity Ads and AppLovin – has emerged by capitalising on the massive growth in the gaming sector.

They collectively control 35% of the gaming app install segment in the second half of 2019, a 10% increase compared to H1 of the same year. Other players in the gaming space, the Index found, trail far behind.

The Index additionally states that 2019 is “the year of TikTok”. The Chinese video sharing social platform went all-in into the media business with the introduction of TikTok Ads, and captured the top spot in AppsFlyer’s previous Growth Index. Currently, TikTok Ads is now the fourth largest media source for non-gaming apps.

Overall, its share of the app install pie has jumped 120% in the current edition of the Index.

“The data shows that Google’s choice to go all-in on machine learning, while focusing on video and creative to power its App Campaigns product has paid off,” says AppsFlyer Mobile Insights head Shani Rosenfelder.

“When looking at the Retargeting Index, their numbers are even more impressive considering that ACe was only rolled out to some clients in beta. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves when the product becomes available to everyone.”


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Google: the future consumer of APAC will do more than just consume 

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