App installs jumped 31% in Q1 2021
3 min readMay 27, 2021


App installs grew 31% year-on-year during Q1 2021, sessions increased another 30% in 2020 and global spend on mobile apps hit $112 billion in 2020 as our partner Adjust says in its last report. The interest in the mobile market keeps growing and app developers should keep up to date on the latest market trends. Let’s take a look at key takeaways from the report.


Fintech continued to grow in mobile in 2020 as more legacy banks partnered with fintechs and more users adopted them. Installs for fintech apps increased 51% from 2019 to 2020 and are up again by 12% at the beginning of 2021, compared to the 2020 average. The average user now has 2.5 finance apps installed, and global payments are projected to reach USD $1.680 billion this year.

At Hybe, we see growing interest in programmatic in-house from the side of fintech companies to run user acquisition and retargeting. The number of them grows day to day and fintech companies struggle to gain users in highly competitive but at the same time complex market. Most of them have no in-app advertising which makes it nearly impossible to find a look-alike audience in other apps via programmatic data. However, ML and contextual targeting enable us to run these campaigns successfully.


33% of all downloaded mobile apps are now games. Asia is still the biggest marketplace, making up USD $41 billion of the total value. The number of mobile gamers grew from 1.2 billion to 1.75 billion, marking an increase of 46%.

Hypercasual games are the biggest part of the game stake, and they need to get the maximum revenue per user in the first two days, as retention rates slip heavily after that.

Paid/organic installs

App stores keep growing dramatically so app developers should pay attention towards implementing complex strategies to attract users. More and more installs come from paid channels: in Q1 and Q3 of 2020 there were 0.45 paid installs for every organic.

Number of paid installs for every organic install

Hypercasual has the highest ratio of paid installs to organic installs, reaching 3.17 by Q4. 2020 was a game-changing year for the mobile app economy, which highlighted the importance of multi-channel campaigns more than ever.

Sessions and in-app patterns

Sessions increased by 30% overall from 2019 to 2020, and are continuing to grow in 2021, up by another 4.5% so far.

Combined with the huge increase of sessions and installs in 2020, users were also highly active in-app. Session lengths overall grew from 19.09 minutes in 2019 to 20.04 in 2020, and is up to 20.31 in 2021 so far.

And programmatic advertising gives a perfect opportunity to grow session length via retargeting or by attracting high-value new users.

Retention rates

Retention rates were very stable throughout the year, with Q4 performing slightly better than the previous three quarters. Day 1 hit its peak at 28% while day 7 reached 15%. Day 30 retention rates for Q4 were just over 8%.

Read the full report by Adjust on mobile app trends of 2021 here.