Pixalate’s Q3 2023 DEFASED Mobile Apps Report: 115,168 Apps Delisted From the Apple App Store and 363,494 From the Google Play Store

Research reveals over 106,000 ad-supported apps removed from app stores in Q3 2023 -- up 95% year-over-year

London, UK, Nov. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pixalate, the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Q3 2023 Delisted Mobile Apps Report, analyzing Q3 2023 DEFASED apps (Delisted From the App Store) - apps that are no longer available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, including apps that have programmatic advertising.

Apps can be delisted from the app stores yet may remain on a user's mobile device, leaving users unaware of potential privacy and security risks. While some apps are delisted for benign reasons, others may be removed as a result of nefarious behaviors or risks to platforms’ corporate liability, including non-compliance with app store policies - such as not having a privacy policy. Advertisers can continue to serve ads on these apps even after they have been delisted, potentially exposing themselves to compliance risks as a result. Pixalate's report analyzes app profile information and various insights observed in the programmatic advertising bid stream, including: 

  • Developer country of registry
  • Potential factors for delisting, such as level of app abandonment
  • Delisted apps with advertising (an app-ads.txt file)

Key Findings:

  • Since the start of 2021, 4.3 million apps have been delisted from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined – close to the current number of apps available to download (5.4 million)  
  • 479K apps were removed in Q3 2023 – up 37% YoY from Q3 2022
    • Google saw an increase in delisting (+72% YoY) while Apple’s delisting decreased (-17% YoY)
    • 95% (458K) of apps delisted from the Google Play Store had under 100K downloads; 99% (115K) of apps removed from Apple had less than 1k user ratings in Q3 
    • 39% (186K) of delisted apps were abandoned (not updated for 2+ years) 
  • 106K delisted apps had advertising (an app-ads.txt file)
    • This is up +95% YoY
    • $9.3 million in estimated open programmatic ad spend on apps delisted in Q3 2023, according to Pixalate’s data

Download the full report

Download a free copy of the Q3 2023 Delisted Mobile Apps Report, which includes a list of the top 200 delisted apps by store with programmatic advertising (based on the presence of an app-ads.txt file).

The full report also contains the list of the top 10 developers with advertising with apps delisted in the quarter, as well as the list of the top 10 “file cleaner” apps with advertising that were delisted, according to Pixalate’s data.

About Pixalate

Pixalate is the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising. We work 24/7 to guard your reputation and grow your media value. Pixalate offers the only system of coordinated solutions across display, app, video, and CTV for better detection and elimination of ad fraud. Pixalate is an MRC-accredited service for the detection and filtration of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) across desktop and mobile web, mobile in-app, and CTV advertising. www.pixalate.com


The content of this press release, and the Delisted 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 across mobile apps in the time period studied.