Abandoned Mobile Apps Cost Advertisers $29M In 2022

The number of abandoned mobile apps across the Google Play and Apple App stores rose by 10% last year — including 6% between Q3 and Q4 alone — to reach 1.86 million, according to Pixalate data.

Abandoned apps — defined as those that have not been updated in at least two years — cost advertisers an estimated $29 million in programmatic spend last year, in addition to putting users’ security and data privacy (and the reputation of brands that advertise on them) at heightened risk.

The estimated programmatic ad losses in Q4 were $4.6 million — down from a 2022 peak of $10 million in Q1 (chart above).

However, 12% or 15,000+ apps with programmatic ads were abandoned as of Q4 — about the same percentage as of Q1.

The actual number of abandoned ads with programmatic ads in Q4, 15,219, was down from Q1’s 16,758, but up by 500 from Q3’s 14,688.

By region, 38% (128,000) of all apps registered in the U.S. were abandoned as of Q4, along with 45% (22,000+) of those registered in Russia and 40% (35,000) of those registered in China.

Thirty-five percent of all apps were abandoned as of Q4—up from 33% in Q1, and outnumbering the 30% of apps found to have been updated as of Q4.

Fully 86% (13,000+) of abandoned apps were found to transmit geo-location in the ad bid stream.

Virtually all (97%) of Apple apps and 61% of Google apps with no privacy policy URLs were abandoned as of Q4.

Half of likely child-directed apps in the Apple store were abandoned as of Q4.

Next story loading loading..