Emerging Mobile Markets Part 2: Spotlight on Brazil

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Welcome to the second part of our Emerging Markets Series, where we will be focusing on the main trends shaping the app economy in the regions of Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia. For each region, we will elaborate on the main trends in the mobile market, get insights into the acquisition costs, as well as, dive deep into the key growth app verticals. Through this series, we hope our readers will be able to put the trends into perspective to better understand the prospects of growth and challenges, as well as, decode what these trends hold for the future of app advertising both in these regions and globally. For Part One of the series, please click here.

This post is authored by Manuel Paisana, Country Manager at AppLift Sao Paulo.

When I first came to Brazil, in early 2015, the situation in the mobile space was much different than what it is now.

While on a global level the mobile ad tech industry was already thirsty for more and better performance, as well as for new ways of increasing their revenues from their apps, Brazil was still taking its first steps into mobile.

Fast forward to 2017: In almost 3 years, Brazil has emerged as one of the top growing countries in mobile in the LatAm region. The growth of the mobile market has been fast rising, having surpassed the US in number of downloads on the Google PlayStore in Q2 2017.

This growth stems from every aspect: from infrastructure, to consumer behaviour, to the government and companies in mobile — the positive trend is here to stay.

Back in 2015, infrastructure was one of the big barriers in this market: devices were expensive and only for the most fortunate, network coverage was minimal and credit card usage was limited.

With the rise of lower end and more accessible smartphones, it became possible to have one or more apps to communicate and to socialise, or to play games, enabling a part of the population that was still excluded from the digital era to take shape. Indeed, by 2020, it is predicted that the share of population that uses a smartphone in Brazil reaches 44%: and that is huge for a country with 200 million inhabitants…!

Network coverage was certainly one of the most challenging aspects to improve, but came hand-in-hand with the growth in the number and quality of devices. 3G and 4G are now common in the country, and the mobile plans are more affordable. It has become increasingly easy to be online while on mobile!

This also means that the average Brazilian is now increasingly able to and using internet payments, but this doesn’t come without its hiccups: while credit cards and online payments have come a long way, the generation-old “boleto” payment system is still widely accepted (but probably not for a lot much longer). An effort to bring the stratospherical interest rates back to normal along with fin-techs finding their spot in the eco-system, has made it more attractive to own and use a credit card.

These improvements have enabled users, and customers, to be more comfortable spending money on mobile.

Talking, sharing, browsing, playing and buying on their phones has become a habit for Brazilian users, who, driven by the conditions mentioned above (as well as the natural taste for socializing and interacting), are now more comfortable on mobile. And app advertisers are getting the message: the total ad spend in Brazil keeps on growing, predicted to hit a staggering amount of $3,75 Billion USD already in 2019.

Seeing the potential and benefits that their mobile platform brings them, app advertisers are also shifting their attention to mobile and all that it can bring them. Benefiting from the global mobile trend, they are following their users into mobile, and making sure they take the most out of it. Bigger investments on the mobile side, not only on apps but also on resources and time, has truly enabled the mobile circle to close, and to be set in motion.

So, indeed, with quite some of the old limitations in decline, Brazil is at the ideal stage for a mobile explosion: despite a hovering gloomy political situation, the country is thirsty for mobile and all its benefits.

In 3 years Brazil has changed a lot, and is for sure one country to keep on the radar when considering marketing your app! Check out our infographic below to get deeper insights into the mobile marketing landscape in Brazil and click on the image for a larger view.

Come back for the next instalment in the series, where we will take you to yet another region in the world and discuss the trends that are shaping the app market.