Mobile Gaming is Bigger Than McDonald’s and Other Insights From This Year’s App Marketing Summit In New York

Couldn’t attend this year’s App Marketing New York Summit? Take a look at these key highlights.

Last Thursday, Tapjoy attended Mobile Marketing Marketing Magazine’s App Marketing New York Summit, a three-hour series of intimate round-table sessions with experts from tech and marketing fields. While the event was private, the topics we discussed were broadly relevant to these industries, covering issues like user retention, in-app advertising, and more.

Sarah Chafer, our SVP of Global Performance, took this opportunity to lead a presentation on mobile gaming market growth, player demographics, app monetization, and more. She also attended talks from other marketing platforms like Appsflyer, Fyber, Moburst, and Swrve.

If you weren’t able to make it, never fear! Here’s a summary of the most important insights from Sarah’s presentation, and others we attended:

Tapjoy: Mobile Gaming is Bigger Than McDonald’s

Marketers already know mobile gaming is a major category in our industry alongside video, music, messaging, and social networking. Despite this, we’re often still surprised by its massive scope.

Mobile gaming is enormous compared to just about every other market — with an annual revenue of $60 billion, it’s larger than McDonald’s and Box Office movie releases. 45% of players open game a game 5-10+ times each day. 55% will play for over an hour, while another 62% will enjoy 3-10 different games every week.

These figures are driven by a diversified global audience that isn’t limited by age or nation. In the United States, for example, there are approximately 193 million players accounting for 75% of smartphone users. This is one of the biggest mobile gaming markets in the world, yet it’s still surpassed by the 2.1 billion mobile gamers playing worldwide. While the majority of this market sits within the 18-24 age range, players are spread is fairly evenly across all demographics, from 15 years old to 55+.

With such an all-encompassing category, it’s crucial to make sure games are monetized effectively. A wide range of options exist, from in-app transactions to advertising revenue, but what do gaming audiences prefer? As it turns out, 80% of US customers prefer rewarded opt-in advertisements over in-app purchases or mandatory ads. Rewarded video in particular is by far the most popular option, favored by 68% of respondents.

App promotion strategies are also essential to ensure your game finds a vibrant audience. The following example can be employed anytime you wish promote a game across a monthly or quarterly time-frame:

  1. Scale your game to reach a relevant audience and create adoption.
  2. Enhance the Lifetime Value of the app through qualified users and effectively managed CPI.
  3. Encourage deep app engagement through in-app actions.

As one of the top five mobile categories, we simply cannot avoid to ignore the opportunities of mobile games and in-app reward videos. By following these insights and adopting these strategies, gaming publishers and marketers will get a head-start in launching successful mobile titles.

Moburst: Your App Store Homepage is Your Storefront

App developers mostly believe individual websites are the primary storefronts for their products. To Moburst, the real storefront is the App Store itself, and developers must shift their perspective to see its true potential.

Moburst is an App Store creative, strategy, and optimization agency that works with apps like Google and Youtube. One of the company’s key strategies is to ensure App Store homepages deliver the most important details to potential customers. While strong ratings are important, screenshots and photos should be well utilized. A/B testing suggests that using landscape photos to tell cohesive stories is a good strategy, along with featuring homepage videos. How users view your homepage has a direct impact on install rates, so it’s crucial to take some time to optimize it.

Fyber: Don’t Underestimate In-App Ad Spend

Approximately two-thirds of the ad spend budget for mobile marketing platforms is dedicated to Facebook and other social media apps. This decision might be counter-intuitive, since users only spend one-third of their mobile activity on social networks.

This insight comes from Fyber, a mobile monetization supply side platform with access to inventory across all types of apps. According to Ross Barasch, VP of Demand in North America, brands will experience a 41% ad spend lift by focusing on in-app marketing. By refocusing their efforts on more effective channels, publishers should be able to gain more benefits from their marketing budgets.

Swrve: Utilize In-App Engagements to Drive Retention

Customer retention is the most effective way businesses can find long-term success in this industry — the question is how to keep users engaged. According to Swrve, in-app engagement is more effective than any other medium for both retention and customer loyalty.

Swrve specializes in customer engagement through personalized micromoments across mobile devices, email, web, and other digital channels. In its experience, in-app engagements are by far the most effective customer loyalty tool. Simply sending an in-app push notification when an event concludes leads to a 10,000% increase in responses, as opposed to emailing attendees days after an event concludes.

While all engagement avenues are important, it’s absolutely important to utilize in-app engagements wherever possible.

Appsflyer: Not Every App Category Benefits From Organic Retention Benchmarks

Some marketers like paid advertising options, while others swear by organic ad campaigns. When measuring app retention benchmarks, analytics platform Appsflyer noticed the success of each method varies depending on the app’s category.

In mobile gaming, paid installs tend to see a higher retention rate than organic methods. Meanwhile, lifestyle apps have slightly higher retention thanks to organic installs. Health & Fitness apps see equal retention across organic and paid marketing.

Each approach also has unique quirks marketers will need to address. For example, organic users tend to stagnate year-on-year due to high competition. Being aware of the nuances of organic and paid installs goes a long way towards ensuring the long-term success of your app.

We’d like to thank Mobile Marketing Magazine for organizing this wonderful summit, and all the speakers and attendees who took part in these discussions!

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