Japan’s mobile app market has witnessed a surge in activity, with users spending 13% more on apps in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.

According to a recent report from analytics firm Adjust and mobile data analytics provider data.ai, the growth in app spending can be attributed to the rise in mobile installs and sessions.

The report analyzed over 2,500 apps and the complete dataset of all apps tracked by Adjust, revealing that mobile installs increased by 7% compared to the average in the fourth quarter of 2022, while sessions jumped by 9% year-over-year.

One of the notable findings of the report is the resurgence of mobile gaming in Japan.

There was a 12% growth in app installs and a 6% increase in gaming sessions in the first quarter of the year compared to the data from the fourth quarter of 2022.

Japanese mobile gamers also showed a remarkable boost in spending on gaming apps, with a substantial 13% rise compared to the previous quarter.

Image Source: Adjust

Puzzle games have gained immense popularity in Japan, accounting for 19% of all gaming sessions and capturing a significant portion of the gaming market.

E-commerce apps have also shown resilience in Japan, with deal discovery apps experiencing a 24% year-over-year growth in 2022 and an additional 11% growth in the first quarter of 2023.

Marketplace apps achieved an impressive 28% day-one retention rate in the first quarter of 2023. While e-commerce app installs dipped, sessions increased by 5% year-over-year in 2022.

“With one of the highest adoption rates in the world and continually increasing spend across verticals, the opportunity for mobile marketers and developers in the Japanese mobile app market is enormous,” said Naoki Sassa, General Manager of Japan, Adjust, adding:

“Fierce competition, coupled with a complex economic climate and continually changing user needs and expectations, makes it essential to be ruthlessly data-driven and strategic. Now is the time to scale by building a diversified channel mix and leveraging tools that enable insight into aggregated data.”

Digital Payment and Crypto Apps See Increased Adoption in Japan

Digital payment apps have captured an impressive 77% of the install share, indicating a marked trend towards Japan becoming a cashless society, the report said.

Moreover, these apps witnessed a 7% increase in sessions compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

The report also highlighted the explosive popularity of cryptocurrency-related services in Japan.

Crypto apps saw significant growth in both app installs and sessions, with a day-one retention rate of 28% in the first quarter of 2023.

Image Source: Adjust

The fintech sector as a whole experienced a substantial boost, with overall app sessions increasing by 17% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter, reflecting the growing importance of financial technology solutions in Japan.

Despite the growth in app spending, data privacy remains a top concern for Japanese mobile app users.

The report found that the iOS App Tracking Transparency (ATT) opt-in rates in Japan are consistently below global averages across various verticals. Social apps have the highest opt-in rate among Japanese users at 37%, followed by gaming at 30% and e-commerce at 23%.

Furthermore, the report predicted that app spending in Japan will exceed a staggering $17.7 billion this year.

All in all, the mobile app market in Japan is experiencing explosive growth, with users spending 13% more on apps in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.

Mobile gaming, puzzle games, e-commerce, digital payment, and cryptocurrency-related services are driving the growth.

However, data privacy remains a top priority for Japanese mobile app users.

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