Pixalate Releases Global Abandoned Mobile Apps Report Q4 2023: Google (1.3M+) and Apple (581k) Host 1.89M+ Abandoned Apps (40.5B+ Downloads), 5,388 of Which Share User Location Data in the Ad Bid Stream


Advertisers spent an estimated $5.3M in open programmatic advertising ($1M on Google-hosted apps, $4.3M on Apple-hosted apps) on abandoned apps in Q4 2023; Google hosts 449k “super abandoned” apps (last updated 4+ years ago), Apple hosts 229k of such apps; 46% of Russian-registered apps in Google and 39% in Apple are abandoned, per Pixalate’s research

LONDON, March 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pixalate, the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Q4 2023 Abandoned Mobile Apps Reports, analyzing apps from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store that are considered “abandoned” – meaning the app has not been updated in the last two years. The report also analyzes “super abandoned” apps (last updated 4+ years ago). 

As of Q4 2023, there are a total of 1,893,484 abandoned apps in both the Google Play Store (1.3M+) and Apple App Store (581k), 5,388 of which were found to share user location data in the advertising bid stream, according to Pixalate’s research.


Key Findings: Pixalate’s Q4 2023 Abandoned Apps Reports

  • Google Play Store had 1.3M abandoned apps
    • 38% of all apps, down 4% YoY
    • 449k “super abandoned” (last updated 4+ years ago)
    • Downloaded 40.5+ billion times
  • Apple App Store has 581K abandoned apps
    • 32% of all apps, up 17% YoY
    • 229k “super abandoned” (last updated 4+ years ago)
  • Estimated open programmatic ad spend on abandoned apps totaled $5.3M between Google ($1M) and Apple ($4.3M)
  • 46% of Russian-registered apps in the Google Play Store and 39% in the Apple App Store are abandoned
  • The total number of abandoned apps with ads (containing an app-ads.txt file) in the Apple App Store increased 24% YoY (60k in Q4 2022 to 74k in Q4 2023)
    • Google Play Store saw a decline of -11% YoY (from 160k in Q4 2022 to 142k in Q4 2023)
  • 89k likely child-directed apps in the Google Play Store are abandoned (30% of all apps). This is a -12% YoY decrease
  • 71k  likely child-directed apps in the Apple App Store are abandoned (48% of all apps). This is a 4% YoY increase 
  • 2,985 abandon apps in the Apple App Store and 2,403 abandoned apps in the Google Play Store shared user location data in the advertising bid stream in Q4 2023, according to Pixalate’s data

In a 2022 note to developers regarding app abandonment, Apple emphasized the importance of keeping apps up-to-date to keep pace with “innovations in security and privacy.” Apple added: “When developers update their apps to incorporate such technologies, they’re doing their part to help safeguard user safety and security.”

Pixalate’s report analyzes profile information about abandoned apps such as developer country of origin, app store category, and child-directedness under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (as determined by Pixalate). The report also contains insight into the apps’ behaviors in the programmatic advertising bid stream, such as transmission of personal information, location data, and estimated ad spend.

The Full Abandoned Apps Reports Include:

  • Abandoned apps by app store 
  • “Super abandoned” apps (4+ years with no update) 
  • Abandoned apps with ads 
  • Estimated ad spend on abandoned apps 
  • Likely child-directed apps that are abandoned 
  • Abandoned apps by country/region of registry 

Download a free copy of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store reports.

About Pixalate
Pixalate is a global platform specializing in privacy compliance, ad fraud prevention, and digital ad supply chain data intelligence. Founded in 2012, Pixalate is trusted by regulators, data researchers, advertisers, publishers, ad tech platforms, and financial analysts across the Connected TV (CTV), mobile app, and website ecosystems. Pixalate is accredited by the MRC for the detection and filtration of Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT). pixalate.com
The content of this press release, and the Abandoned Mobile Apps Report (the Report), reflect Pixalate’s opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes may  be useful to the digital media industry. Pixalate’s opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees. Pixalate is sharing this data not to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but, instead, to report findings and trends pertaining to programmatic advertising activity in the time period studied.

CONTACT: Nina Talcott Pixalate Inc. [email protected] 

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