Recent research shows that in-game audio is reaching astronomical heights, with 85% of mobile gaming audiences listening to in-game audio ads from start to finish, and revenues increasing by a quarter! This follows a 30% increase in budget allocated to audio marketing on mobile devices, the web and other content online, according to Mars Media Group’s (MMG) study of online brands.

In-Game Advertising and Increasing Revenues

Oren Fadloun, Founder & CEO of MMG, notes that the 25% increase in sales revenues is mainly thanks to an increase in in-game audio advertising. MMG’s study joins and corroborates a growing body of research that strongly supports more investment in audio advertising, particularly in the previously untapped realm of mobile gaming. We now know that:

  • Audio ads have a lower cost per thousand impressions compared to other marketing channels 
  • Programmatic audio solutions allow the right ad to be shown to the right audience in the right environment to boost conversion 
  • Audio is less intrusive than other ads, allowing users to carry on enjoying content without negative impacts on the customer experience 
  • Innovative solutions like Sandstorm and Mobex allow gamers to enjoy gameplay without interrupting the flow of any gaming session, without need for personally identifiable information, as they focus on contextual and behavioural targeting as well as geolocation 
  • Mobile gamers as a demographic are actively engaged, so more likely to recall brand messaging, in addition to being more open to make purchases
  • Audio is perfect for light-touch, clutter-free brand awareness campaigns that build up trust, familiarity and presence until customers are prepared to make purchases
  • App owners and website owners can effortlessly expand their revenue streams, without the need to create complex code or intrude on gameplay or enjoying content 

As smartphone usage is becoming more prolific worldwide, are there any emerging markets that marketing teams should increasingly begin to target?

Understanding the Market

As of 2022, 5.34 billion people worldwide have a mobile phone; that’s 66.9% of the total global population! Worldwide, internet users spend 55.5% of their online time on smartphones. The global average daily smartphone usage is 3 hours 43 minutes. 

Compared to the US, smartphone owners tend to spend anywhere between 3.5 hours to 5.4 hours a day on their mobile phones. In the UK, that figure is closer to between 2 hours 41 minutes and 3 hours and 38 minutes a day, whereas an average of 3 hours and 2 minutes in LATAM is noted. 

The average time spent on smartphones in Europe overall is 2 hours 47 minutes and 4 hours 48 minutes in APAC. Of all countries in the MENA region that featured in DataReportal’s 2022 report, the overall average time spent on smartphones is 4 hours 17 minutes. This figure was 4 hours and 40 minutes for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobile Market Leaders Per Region


Of the 16 highest ranking European countries to feature in the 2022 DataReportal report, the average time spent on smartphones was 2 hours 47 minutes. This can be further broken down to: 2 hours 51 minutes in Southern Europe; 2 hours 34 minutes in Northern Europe; 2 hours 28 minutes in Western Europe and 3 hours 26 minutes in Eastern Europe. The top 5 European countries were Romania, Russia, Portugal, Ireland and Poland.

Latin America

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are 4 of the leading countries in LATAM that use smartphones, spending anywhere from 5 hours 4 minutes to 5 hours 37 minutes on average daily on mobile phones. While the regional average for smartphone usage is currently 3 hours 2 minutes, the average usage of these 4 countries alone is 5 hours 19 minutes!


Southeast Asia dominates APAC’s daily smartphone usage, with the top 5 countries in APAC including: the Philippines at 5 hours 47 minutes per day, Thailand at 5 hours 28 minutes per day; Indonesia at 4 hours 56 minutes; and Malaysia at 4 hours 49, as well as Taiwan at 4 hours 12 minutes in East Asia.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The top 4 Sub-Saharan African nations to feature in DataReportal’s Report are South Africa at 5 hours 9 minute on average spent on smartphones, followed by Nigeria at 5 hours and 4 minutes, Ghana at 4 hours and 34 minutes, and Kenya at 3 hours 51 minutes.

Middle East and North Africa 

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates jointly lead the region, with an average of 4 hours 35 minutes spent on smartphones every day. This is followed by Egypt’s 4 hours and 25 minutes, then Turkey at 4 hours and 16 minutes, and finally Morocco at 3 hours and 35 minutes. 

In-App Audio Advertising: A Worthy Investment

What’s clearer now is that as digital marketing teams have increased their investment in digital audio, app-owners and publishers are reaping the rewards: healthier revenues, higher engagement, as well as improved listen-through rates. The unprecedented amount of budget allocated to audio advertising is clearly paying off!

With a global market of 5.34 billion potential customers, and with mobile gaming gaining traction in more corners of the globe than ever before, it is worth revisiting marketing strategies and exploring in-app audio advertising as a monetisation stream for your brand or inventory. 

Fadloun also highlighted that increasingly, innovative technologies are allowing users “to engage via headset or device microphones”; there will be over 311.53 million smartphone users in America by 2025 alone (the US being the biggest tech consumer worldwide), so there is ample potential to creatively leverage solutions like Sandstorm. Deliver the right messages to the right people and get the highest ROI possible.