Mobile App Monetization 2023

In-App Purchases Resume Growth but Still Trail Advertising

A drop in US virtual goods sales in games dragged in-app spending down overall in 2022, but growth is set to return in 2023. Even so, sales of subscriptions and virtual goods—together, in-app purchases (IAPs)—will still bring in barely a quarter of what in-app advertising (IAA) earns. And the gap in revenue generation will only grow in the future.

Key Question: Which app monetization methods are poised to grow—and what does that mean for advertisers and app publishers?

KEY STAT: IAP sales volume will remain barely a quarter (26.6%) of the size of IAA spend in 2023, with the ratio dropping every year through our forecast.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Despite continued strength in mobile advertising, app publishers look for alternatives.
  3. A yawning gap opens between IAA and IAP spending.
  1. After a tough 2022 for gaming, in-app spending swings back to positive growth.
  2. What do these monetization trends mean for marketers?
  3. Sources
  1. Media Gallery

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First Published on Aug 28, 2023


Yoram Wurmser


Ross Benes
Senior Analyst
Chris Keating
Director, Research
Andrew Spink
Forecasting Analyst