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Australia and New Zealand in three charts: Installs, sessions, and retention rates

Australia and New Zealand have established themselves as thriving hubs for mobile app innovation and adoption. In 2022, the Australian app market generated an impressive $7.8 billion in revenue, with projections to exceed $11.5 billion by 2027. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand generated a substantial $734 million in revenue in 2022, with expectations to surpass $1 billion by 2027.

The strong growth of mobile apps in both countries can be attributed to their exceptional smartphone and mobile internet penetration rates. By 2026, Australia is projected to reach a staggering 87% smartphone penetration, while New Zealand is anticipated to hit 74% by 2028. Additionally, matching the smartphone figures,  more than 87% of the Australian population is projected to have access to mobile internet by 2028. Telstra, a prominent Australian telecom provider, has plans to extend 5G coverage to 95% of the country by the end of 2022, a move that will undoubtedly attract even more developers and foster greater adoption of mobile apps.

According to Adjust, overall app sessions in both countries experienced a slight decline in the first half of 2023. However, app installs increased by 6% in Australia and 9% in New Zealand compared to the average in the second half of 2022, and app categories such as gaming, shopping, and medical have witnessed continued growth.

Aussies and Kiwis love mobile gaming

Mobile gaming took center stage in Australia during the first half of 2023, with over 179 million downloads across all platforms. Not far behind, entertainment apps claimed second place, with over 31 million downloads, followed by shopping, tools, and photography apps. As usual,  preferences diverge between Android and iOS users. The former sees tools in the third spot, followed closely by shopping and social apps. Meanwhile, iOS users pushed photo & video apps into second place, followed by shopping, entertainment, and utility apps.

Mobile gaming dominated the app scene in New Zealand as well, taking the lead with 53 million downloads across all platforms. Following closely behind were medical apps, capturing the attention of over 18 million users. The entertainment, food & drink, and tool apps also proved popular choices, rounding out the top five. On the iOS front, the rankings took a slight twist, with photo & video apps securing the second spot, while shopping, entertainment, and utility apps followed suit.

Education app usage increases in 2023

The usage of educational apps in Australia and New Zealand has grown considerably in recent years, mirroring global trends. In 2022, the combined education app market revenue was over $117 million, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 9.4% in Australia and 8% in New Zealand from 2022 to 2027.

In Australia, education app sessions experienced 26% growth between 2021 and 2022, followed by an additional 35% hike in the first half of 2023 compared to the 2022 average. The second quarter of 2023 outperformed the first quarter, demonstrating a 3% increase.

Similarly, New Zealand observed substantial growth in education app sessions, with a 36% year-over-year increase in 2022 and a further 35% growth in the first half of 2023 compared to the 2022 average. Focusing solely on 2023, app sessions in the second quarter surpassed those in the first quarter, with a 5% increase.

Food & drink app sessions continue to grow

The popularity of food and drink apps is on the rise in Australia and New Zealand. According to new research, over 7 million Australians above the age of 14 now use food delivery services. Adjust data reveals a 10% year-on-year increase in food and drink app usage in Australia in 2022. In the second quarter of 2023, there was a 9% increase in app sessions compared to the first quarter.

In New Zealand, food and drink app sessions saw a 21% year-on-year growth in 2022. In the first half of 2023, app sessions increased by another 25% compared to the 2022 average. The second quarter of 2023 performed slightly better than the first quarter, with a 14% increase in app sessions.

Sessions for mobile gaming see an uptick

As mentioned earlier, mobile gaming is the most popular app category in both Australia and New Zealand. A recent survey revealed that 85% of Australians play games on their mobile devices, and the Australian mobile gaming industry is projected to generate $2.2 billion in revenue in 2023. In New Zealand, the industry is expected to turn over $261 million by the end of this year.

According to Adjust data, mobile gaming usage in Australia followed global trends, experiencing a decline in 2022. However, sessions are growing in 2023. In the first half of 2023, they increased by a tiny 1% compared to the average of the second half of 2022—and the second quarter of 2023 performed slightly better than the first quarter, with a more substantial 5% increase in sessions.

In New Zealand, the growth has been a little bit more substantial. Mobile gaming sessions in the first half of 2023 were 4% higher than the average of the second half of 2022, and the second quarter of 2023 saw a 15% increase in sessions compared to the first quarter.

Medical app usage reaches new heights

The digital health market is thriving in Australia and New Zealand, with promising projections for the future. According to a recent report, Australia's digital health market is set to soar to a value of $10.96 billion by 2030. Meanwhile, New Zealand is expected to witness an impressive surge and generate over $983 million in revenue by 2028.

Adjust data backs up this trend, showing significant growth in the usage of medical apps in both countries. In fact, app sessions experienced a remarkable increase in Q2 2023, with a whopping 312% rise compared to Q1 2023. Similarly, New Zealand witnessed a huge boost in medical app sessions during the second quarter of 2023, surpassing the Q1 2023 average by 160%.

Shopping app sessions continue to climb

The Australian e-commerce market is poised to generate revenue of over $36.8 billion by the end of 2023 and $53.3 billion by 2027. The New Zealand e-commerce market, though smaller in scale, is projected to rake in a substantial $5.3 billion in revenue by 2023 and $8.3 billion by 2027.

In line with recent research showing that one-third of Australians are avid users of mobile shopping apps, shopping app sessions in 2022 grew 21% YoY in the land down under. In H1 2023, they increased by an additional (albeit small) 1%. The momentum picked up in Q2 2023, which with sessions increasing by 15% YoY.

New Zealand experienced slower growth in shopping app sessions during 2022, but the tide turned in 2023. During Q2 2023, shopping app sessions increased by 9% compared to Q1 2023.

Retention rates are the highest for gaming and social apps

In July 2023, social apps in Australia had the highest Day 1 retention rate with a very strong 27%, followed by mobile games at 26%, shopping apps at 15%, and entertainment and utility apps at 14%.

Although the mobile market in New Zealand may be smaller than Australia's, user engagement levels are higher. In July 2023, social apps in New Zealand had the highest Day 1 retention rate at an extremely impressive 30%, followed by mobile games at 27%, entertainment apps at 18%, shopping apps at 16%, and utility apps at 15%.

Australia & New Zealand: Two great markets to test your app’s success

Despite being mature markets, mobile app usage in Australia and New Zealand has seen significant growth in 2023, presenting an excellent opportunity for app marketers to expand their user base.

While the mobile app market in these countries is competitive, it is not as saturated as markets like the U.S. Moreover, Australia and New Zealand share many cultural similarities with other Western countries, making it easier to localize campaigns and creatives if you’re already active in, say, the U.S. or the U.K. With a relatively lower level of competition, app marketers can experiment with their creativity and marketing tactics.

If your app is a hit with Aussies and Kiwis, it will likely succeed in other highly competitive markets. By harnessing the power of mobile app analytics, marketers can track user engagement levels, identify churn points, and create personalized app experiences and innovative marketing strategies.

Ready to grow your app business? Schedule your personalized demo with Adjust now to see firsthand how our mobile analytics suite will help you measure and optimize your marketing campaigns.

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