Blog Ireland and U.K. in three charts: Instal...

Ireland and U.K. in three charts: Installs, sessions, and retention rates

In recent years, the U.K. and Ireland have emerged as significant and thriving mobile markets. This is particularly impressive considering their smaller user bases than giants like the U.S., China, or India. With smartphone penetration rates of 94% in the U.K. and 82% in Ireland, along with total revenues of $14.47 billion and $512.4 million, respectively, in 2022, it's evident why mobile app developers and marketers see these regions as prime targets.

In 2023, categories such as education and gaming apps have seen a notable rise in installs and sessions. However, the overall app economy in the U.K. and Ireland has faced challenges, likely influenced by slower economic growth. This article explores the top-performing app categories in both countries, focusing on those with the highest number of downloads and maximum user engagement.

Productivity apps: Top-grossers on Android in the U.K. and Ireland

While the U.K. and Ireland share similarities in their top-grossing apps on both Android and iOS, the rankings vary. On Android in the U.K., the top spot is claimed by Google One, a productivity app, followed by Coin Master (gaming) and TikTok (entertainment). The iOS platform presents a slightly different picture, with TikTok reigning supreme, followed by YouTube (entertainment) and then Tinder (social).

Shifting focus to Ireland, Android users also prefer Google One as their top choice, but the following apps differ, with Disney+ (entertainment) ahead of TikTok. On the iOS front in Ireland, Tinder emerges as the frontrunner, with Disney+ and YouTube completing the top three.

These rankings offer an intriguing glimpse into the preferences and habits of mobile users in the U.K. and Ireland. While productivity tools like Google One dominate on Android, social and entertainment apps capture more attention on iOS. This divergence underscores the importance for app developers to tailor their strategies based on both geographic and platform-specific trends.

Notable rise in education and gaming app usage in Q3 2023

The surge of the COVID-19 pandemic indisputably catalyzed the rise of educational apps in the U.K. and Ireland. Beyond this, advancements in technology coupled with increased connectivity have continued to propel the popularity of these apps among British and Irish users. In 2022, the U.K.'s education app market raked in a revenue of $315 million, while Ireland garnered $17.5 million.

During the first half of 2023, educational app installs in both the U.K. and Ireland surged to a remarkable 31% above the 2022 average. By the third quarter of 2023, installs grew an additional 7% from the previous quarter (Q2). App sessions mirrored this growth trajectory. Educational app sessions increased by 33% compared to the 2022 average, with an added 6% growth in Q3 2023 relative to Q2.

Mobile gaming dominates the app landscape in both the U.K. and Ireland. By the end of 2023, revenues from this segment are expected to exceed $3.3 billion in the U.K. and reach $161 million in Ireland. This preference for mobile platforms is supported by a survey, which reveals that over 32% of U.K. gamers prefer mobile gaming over consoles and PCs.

However, the mobile gaming industry experiences fluctuations. Data shows a slight decline in mobile gaming installs and sessions in 2023 compared to the previous year. However, there are signs of recovery in the latter part of the year. Specifically, in Q3 2023, gaming installs increased by 13% compared to Q2, and sessions also saw a 3% uptick.

Surge in social and utility app installs in Q3 2023

Social apps have been consistently growing in popularity in both the U.K. and Ireland. In 2022, they generated impressive revenues of $4.59 billion in the U.K. and $160 million in Ireland. However, like any industry, there are periods of fluctuation. According to Adjust data, social app installs experienced a decline in the first half of 2023 in both countries. However, in Q3, there was a 4% increase in installs compared to Q2.

On the other hand, user engagement showed a different trend. There was a modest 2% session increase in H1 2023 compared to the average of 2022, but a slight 3% decrease was observed in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.

Utility apps, which include productivity tools, experienced a 6% increase in installs during Q3 compared to the Q2 average. However, the number of utility app sessions slightly decreased by 0.4%.

Social and gaming apps boast the highest retention rates

As of July 2023, social apps in Ireland had the highest retention rate on the first day, reaching an impressive 27%. Mobile games came in a close second with a retention rate of 26%. Education apps maintained a retention rate of 14%, while entertainment and utility apps had lower rates of 13% and 11%, respectively.

In the U.K. market, the hierarchy of user engagement was different. Gaming apps took the lead with a Day 1 retention rate of 25%. Social apps, although strong, fell behind at 18%. Education apps followed at 12%, with entertainment apps closely trailing at 11%. Utility apps had the lowest retention rate at 9%.

Mastering the mobile app market in the U.K. and Ireland

The mobile app market in the U.K. and Ireland has remained dynamic and resilient, driving growth and user engagement across various app categories despite economic turbulence and market fluctuations. Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, these markets are poised for continued innovation and expansion.

To stand out in this competitive landscape, app marketers must develop a nuanced and robust strategy that aligns with the unique preferences of local audiences. Success hinges on a deep understanding of these preferences, which can be gained through diligent tracking and analysis of key performance indicators (KPIs) such as engagement, retention, and conversion rates. Armed with this data, marketers can enhance the user experience and tailor marketing initiatives to meet the diverse demands of the U.K. and Ireland's user base. By doing so, they can not only compete but also lead in these vibrant markets, creating compelling app experiences that engage and retain users.

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