Mobile Video Monthly #31 – December 2022

App News

January 9, 2023

All of Apptamin’s team is wishing you a happy new year! Let’s start 2023 the right way: with our latest digest of app world news. December was a little slower with everyone getting ready to celebrate, but there was still some notable news happening. 

In the meantime, Pantone announced the color of the year, 2023 will be the year of Magenta! (And 2022 was the year of goblin mode according to the Oxford English Dictionary).

Apple to finally allow alternative app stores on the iPhone

The DMA and the DSA are here and as we’ve said before, this means that Apple will have no choice but to allow alternative app stores on the iPhone, breaking open the iPhone after years of exclusivity for the App Store.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the Cupertino firm is already thinking about how to implement this new feature. So far, nothing has been made official and it’s too early to know how it will work. However, rumors have it that Apple is considering “mandating certain security requirements even if the software is distributed outside its store” as well as a verification led by Apple, which could carry a fee.

As the DMA’s enforcement is expected to begin mid-2024, there’s still some time before any official announcement. 

New rules for mobile games ads in the UK

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued new guidance for mobile-gaming ads. The goal is to limit harmful, offensive, and misleading imagery. The ASA recognizes that deciding when an ad’s content is harmful or offensive is subjective, so cases will be judged on their own and depending on their context. 

However, they are asking for respect of the UK CAP Code. These rules include:

  • Ensuring advertisers create ad content with a sense of social responsibility
  • Prohibiting ads that are likely to cause serious or widespread offense
  • Prohibiting ads that evoke gender stereotypes that could cause harm or offense
  • Do not represent in a sexual way someone who appears to be under 18
  • Do not use sexual content for the sole purpose of titillating players
  • Sexual and violent content should always be avoided for games targeted at children
  • No depiction of assault or abuse
  • Instances and suggestions of physical violence (especially over those in vulnerable or compromising positions) are forbidden
  • Visuals and game descriptions should accurately represent the game

    Size does matter (for ads)

    The bigger the mobile ad, the more attention it gets. Ads that cover most of the screen are the ones getting more attention according to recent data. Ads covering 80% of the screen receive twice as much attention as ads covering 50% of the screen, and 8x more than those covering only 10%.

    The study also found that video ads capture more attention than other formats. With a 15 seconds length being the one with the longest active attention, twice the one 30-second videos get. 

    They also stated that when the ad is matching the surrounding content, it gets a higher level of attention. A sign that contextual advertising is back in the game

    The UK introduced a new code of practice for app stores and app developers

    The UK introduced a new code of practice to better protect users from malicious apps. These new rules are aimed at both the app stores and the app developers. The government will require that all apps and app stores available in the UK sign the new code of practice over a period of nine months.

    The goal is to protect users by helping them make an informed choice when downloading an app, giving them access to information such as: who has access to their data, and where it is stored and processed.

    The new measures include:

    • Better reporting of software vulnerabilities
    • More transparency for users on the privacy and security of apps available in the stores (this information should be shared in a user-friendly way, ensuring they’re easy to understand)
    • Making sure that security updates are highlighted properly to users
    • Ensuring that apps will work even if a user chooses to disable optional functionalities and permissions (access to microphones or location for example)
    • A “robust and transparent” app vetting process
    • Clear feedback for developers when an app is not published on app stores for security or privacy reasons
    • Regular updates for apps to reduce the number of security vulnerabilities

    In addition to this code, the UK government is “collaborating with international partners to develop international support for the code and will explore the possibility of creating an international standard for apps and app stores”.

    2023 ad spend will be going to social advertising and short-form video

    For its 2022 end-of-the-year report, Mediaocean surveyed over 600 marketers to ask them how they will shape their marketing budget for the next year. Most of the interviewees have said they expected to drastically increase (over 25% increase in budget) or moderately (under 25%) the ad spend on social platforms and digital videos. 

    source: Mediaocean

    When asked to choose the top trends for 2023, 63% of them answered with TikTok and social video, just in front of streaming (54%) and e-commerce (47%). With all the new privacy rules coming soon, consumer privacy snagged the 4th spot with 35%. However, a cookie-less future took the first spot when asked about their biggest concerns.

    source: Mediaocean

    Most of the concerns shared are centered around the lack of access to precise targeting data and the need to figure out new solutions to efficiently measure campaign effectiveness. 

    Meta and Alphabet are losing their hold on the US digital ad market

    For the first time since 2014, Meta and Alphabet (Google) won’t hold the majority share of the market, with their share set to drop to 48.4%. It has been in decline for 5 years now but so far it never went below the 50% line. Meanwhile, Amazon’s ads business will rise by 19%, Apple’s by 26%, Spotify 30%, TikTok 36%, and Walmart 42%

    This duopoly ruled over the $300 billion advertising market for years, but now other players are taking their dues. They are mostly losing their dominance to Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.

    The competition has been exacerbated by regulatory challenges and a dynamic market with strong new entrants. Meta had a rough year dealing with Apple’s ATT consequences and the looming threat of the European Union’s DMA. Antitrust scrutiny is growing more and more important as of late, and may not change the tides for Alphabet and Meta. 

    In Twitter ad news

    Twitter had a busy month in December, and not a lot of good news for its ad manager. Reports are saying that monthly visits to Twitter’s ad manager dropped drastically after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform. 

    Moreover, the platform’s US ad revenue was reportedly 80% below expectations during the first week of the FIFA World Cup. 

    Trying to offset their advertising system’s bad luck, Twitter offered to match ad spend to boost revenue. During the month of December, Twitter offered a “value add” to advertisers that reached a certain incremental spend limit:

    • Within the US, if an advertiser spends $200,000, they’ll get a 25% value add.
    • If they spend $350,000, they’ll receive a 50% value add.
    • If they spend $500,000, they’ll get a 100% value add, capped at $1 million per advertiser.

    After some big advertisers stopped all advertising on the platform, Twitter announced a new set of ad controls that would allow advertisers to prevent their ads from being shown next to content with specific keywords. Twitter generates 90% of its revenue from online advertising. 

    Award season in the app world

    With the end of the year, everyone celebrated the best apps and games of the year on their platform. Here are the App Store’s best apps and games of 2022:

    • BeReal is the iPhone app of the year
    • GoodNots 5 is the iPad app of the year
    • MacFamilyTree 10 is the Macbook app of the year
    • ViX is the Apple TV app of the year
    • Gentler Streak is the Apple Watch app of the year
    • Apex Legend Mobile is the iPhone game of the year
    • Moncage is the iPad game of the year
    • Inscryption is the Mac game of the year
    • El Hijo is the Apple TV game of the year
    • Wylde Flowers is the Apple Arcade game of the year
    • League of Legends Esport Manager is the China game of the year

    And here are Google’s Play Store picks:

    • Dream is the best overall app
    • Apex Legend Mobile is the best overall game and users’ choice game
    • BeReal is the users’ choice app
    • PetStar is the best for fun app
    • Breathwrk is the best for personal growth app
    • Plant Parent is the best everyday essentials app
    • Recover Athletics is the best hidden gems app
    • STIGMA is the best app for good
    • Todoist is the best app for wear
    • Pocket is the best app for tablets
    • BandLab is the best app for Chromebooks
    • Dislyte is the best multiplayer game
    • Angry Birds Journey is the best Pick Up & Play game
    • Dicey Dungeons is the best indie game
    • Papers, Please is the best story game
    • Genshin Impact is the best ongoing game
    • Very Little Nightmares is the best Play Pass game
    • Tower of Fantasy is the best tablet game
    • Roblox is the best chromebook game

    Not one to be left out, TikTok announced its top European ad of the year as well. The finalists were a selection of top ads from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Nordics. The winner was the Unieuro campaign where an actor, a customer service agent, is essentially trapped inside TikTok.

    As for The Game Awards, mobile games, Marvel Snap snagged Mobile Game of the Year at the 2022 edition.

    Numbers of the month

    December’s App Marketing Snack episode

    What we talked about this month

    More about App News

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