New Challenges for Mobile User Acquisition in 2022

By Alberto Nicolas Casado, Director of Sales, FOUND

In 2021, the mobile app ecosystem experienced several changes. Some of these were outlined in’s “State of Mobile 2022” report, such as: 

  1. Time spent in mobile apps reached 4.8 hours/day in the top mobile-first markets
  2. Ad spend in 2021 soared to $295 billion, and $350 billion was forecast for 2022
  3. App store spend also increased to $170 billion which works out to $320K/minute
  4. Downloads increased, with global consumers downloading more than 430k apps/minute

Those figures continue to increase year over year, and the challenges to getting more installs, improve retention rates, decrease cost per install, and be relevant are different across verticals. 

After having conversations with user acquisition leaders from several GEOs and verticals I wanted to understand more about their needs, in order to develop better solutions for them. The final objective was to have a better understanding of the overall situation in the industry and the challenges that they’re facing, for that reason I started a quick poll on LinkedIn:

linkedin poll about user acquisition challenges

Top challenges for app publishers in 2022

  • Finding new growth channels – As we can see, the top challenge was finding new channels to grow. With this in mind, it’s clear that there is opportunity for DSPs, influencers promotion, and referral among other cool growth channels to help app publishers grow outside of traditional channels like search and social media advertising.
  • Retentions rates – The second concern for publishers was to improve the retention rate –  a task that is important for all verticals, especially for short video and gaming apps, that are fighting for the time on screen.
  • Lower CPI – Decreasing the CPI was not so relevant for app publishers, and that gives a good insight for sales leaders in the industry. Listen more, instead of jumping in with promises of lowering CPI. If a UA manager is having an issue with their retention rate, why offer a lower CPI if this is not an issue?

The opportunities are there to help app publishers solve these challenges – and some savvy vendors and service providers are already focusing on finding new growth channels and helping app improve retention. If solutions to these problems are not already on your road map for 2022 and beyond, they should be.


Alberto Nicolas Casado is Director of Sales at FOUND. He has diverse experience in the development of business in the digital arena, achieving millions of downloads and marketing buzz in the LATAM region. Alberto will be speaking at Fintech Growth Summit and is a member of MGA’s Gaming Advisory Board – exclusive access to which can be had by becoming an MGA Member