Tapjoy: Hi Fumiyuki. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at MagicAnt?
Fumiyuki Kojima:Hello, sure– after graduation from university, I joined a foreign exchange company as a promoter. I was responsible for User Acquisition, and after that I entered into the mobile app industry. At MagicAnt, I’m responsible for acquiring new users as a Senior UA Manager. I have been working in UA for about 10 years in different industries.
TJ: You earned a degree in Music Management from Nagoya University of Arts. How did your education in the creative arts prepare you for what you’re doing today?
FK: I learned music composition using a personal computer in Nagoya’s College of Music. I believe this background instilled an importance and focus on overall balance that stretched far beyond musical instruments. Even in my personal hobbies, like stock investing, I use these skills to predict timing, stock discounts and promotions.
TJ: Tell us about MagicAnt and what makes it an awesome company to work for.
FK: MagicAnt is a company specializing in casual games. We create mobile games catered to a variety of players regardless of geographics or demographics. Apps released by MagicAnt are created under the common theme that anyone can play. The representative one-stroke series, 1 LINE, won the #1 spot in the app-store across multiple countries, including the US. We are very proud that users around the globe interact with and find joy in our apps.
TJ: How has MagicAnt managed to stand out in the world of puzzle games?
FK: MagicAnt expanded ‘Fits’ in the Japan market at first. These apps generate revenue through advertising and yield high profitability. Triggered by this, we established a promotion logic, believing that increasing active users would lead to maximizing earnings. With my experience in Fits, I explored titles such as “1LINE” and “Fill” starting in Japan, as well as globally expanding.
TJ: Can you explain the promotion logic at a high level?
FK: Promotion logic is simply driven by “LTV per install > eCPI* per install”. Cost per Install is determined by calculating multiple factors such as LTV and promotion influence to organic installs. For example, when an app’s LTV is 50 yen (approx: $0.5 USD), if organic install is one for one install via advertisement, it would be calculated as LTV 50 yen * 2 = 100 yen (LTV $0.5 * 2 = $1.00USD). Hence, we would determine that one install via advertisement would cost 100 yen ($1.00USD), and CPI should be below 100 yen ($1.00USD).
Those values differ per country, we set appropriate CPI for each country, and promotion is ramped up as long as it is LTV > user acquisition unit price. Furthermore, most of budget is used for video advertisement, and ASO (App Store Optimization) is not necessary carried out. As ASO is not a definite solution that we cannot predict when the logic would change, we would rather construct solid promotion logic. *eCPI: CPI that includes natural inflow that increases via promotion effects.
TJ: As a Japanese developer, how difficult has it been to break into the US market? Any advice for other eastern developers looking to attract western audiences?
FK: We did not know how much LTV could be earned because we did not know much about the US market, which proved difficult to understand. In both North America and Europe, the amount of LTV each country (by app) offers differs so heavily that it is very challenging to estimate. Meaning that advertisements, even at a small scale, are crucial. When breaking down global barriers it’s important to analyze data from each country while simultaneously clarifying priorities on advertisement styles based on performance.
TJ: What are the major differences between UA in Japan and UA in North America?
FK: Promotion logic is exactly the same. However, North America has a much larger market compared to Japan, so a certain number of installations can be expected. The number of new users when we won the top spot in US ranking was 150,000 – 160,000 per day for iOS. The US market is a must, because the gap in installation volume between Japan and North America differs so heavily. It is also necessary in order to maximize the number of active users and sales. With the universal simplicity of apps we produce, effective creative is relatively similar across the globe.
TJ: What advice would you give American developers looking to acquire users in Japan or Asia?
FK: Social games are very popular in Japan– it’s hard to win in the ad space in casual games with low LTV. Therefore, understanding how we can make creatives with high CVR is essential to acquiring most users.
TJ: How effective have rewarded video ads been for MagicAnt? What have the quality of the users been like?
FK: Video ads are necessary for simple puzzle games like MagicAnt produces. Banners were a difficult vehicle to deliver messaging in games with still images, which then plays into continuous misinterpretation of content. The last thing we want to do is cause confusion for the user. However, with videos, we can deliver messaging and information about the game in a creative & engaging way. This then leads to higher retention rate (RR), increased LTV and there is less interruption between the video ads and actual experience.
TJ: What KPI’s do you track most closely? How do you ultimately measure success?
FK: What we continuously focus on is LTV and eCPI. Advertisement earning is the main criteria for MagicAnt as our apps are primarily casual games. We continuously try to improve those two factors to achieve higher LTV with the lowest unit price possible. To increase LTV, we focus on retention rate and Average Revenue Per Daily Active User. To decrease eCPI (to get the most out of our user acquisition budget) we focus on increasing conversion rates. The higher conversion rates drive more impressions at lower CPI.
TJ: Can you share your experience working with Tapjoy on the ad-monetization side? Plus anything else you are looking forward to working on?
FK: The best part of working with Tapjoy is that they understand our audience and the casual game environment well enough to properly advise on how to maximize and expand globally. By implementing Tapjoy’s SDK for ad monetization, LTV is increasing for countries with good earnings. We then reinvest these earnings to strengthen and drive business flow. Because of Tapjoy we are expecting a higher install rate & scale.
TJ: Can you share the top ad-earning countries?
FK: The top three countries for earnings are Japan, US, and UK. Countries that expanded unexpectedly are Korea and Taiwan with “Fill”. Although this is a perceived value, I believe that Korea likely has interest in puzzle games on the premise that they aide aptitude and intelligence efforts. Also, Korea has existing famous app companies like “BitMango” so they are familiar with this developing trend.
TJ: To sum up, can you share us your future plan as global apps publisher?
FK: For our future goals, we would distribute our titles and portfolio globally, in hopes that anyone can play at any time.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Fumiyuki — and to our dynamic partners at MagicAnt. Stay tuned to the Tapjoy blog for more insights from Tapjoy Mobile Champions!