It's an A.R.M.'s Race (Acquisition, Retention and Monetization in Mobile Gaming)


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Tapjoy's Brian Sapp gave this presentation at the SF Game Monetization meetup. If you're in San Francisco, join the meetup to see more presentations like this:

Be sure to thank Brian for letting us publish this by tweeting him at @sappalicious (

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  • ----- Meeting Notes (8/30/12 15:30) -----add a section break for
  • Reward users for inviting their friends
  • Reward users for inviting their friends
  • It's an A.R.M.'s Race (Acquisition, Retention and Monetization in Mobile Gaming)

    1. 1. It’s An A.R.M.’sRace(Acquisition, Retention, and Monetization in MobileGaming)Brian SappDirector, DeveloperPartnerships
    2. 2. Overview• Introduction To Tapjoy• User Acquisition• User Retention• Monetization• Pre-launch Checklist
    3. 3. Tapjoy by the Numbers 9 0 0 MILLION mobile devices 75,000 1.2 MM 600 MM 100 MM Apps Daily Ad Daily Monthly Engagements Sessions Active Users
    4. 4. Acquisition
    5. 5. Mobile Acquisition ChannelsHow are developers promoting free-to-play apps?• Rewarded installs • Organic discovery (top• Non-rewarded installs charts, search, word of• Video ads mouth, etc.)• Cross promotion• Social discovery (FB, Twitter, etc.)
    6. 6. Mobile Acquisition ChannelsWhat you can expect to get from:Featured Placement: Front page placement App to App Cross-Promotion: Free crossof your app in the platforms market, promotionnormally for no more than 7 days. @ 1% of DAU traffic of hosting app, 15,000 – 30,000, paid, per day very dependent on placement 100,000+, free, per day Review Sites: Have your app reviewed on aTapjoy User Acquisition: Pay per install bid blog sitesystem @ 1,000 +/- installs, hard to track @$0.10 bid - 5,000+, per day actual volume, important for app @$1.00+ bid - 60,000+, per day storeFree App Promotions: Destination appsand sites that feature your app $5,000 - $20,000 for 1-7 daylisting, no volume guarantee (2,000-30,000 installs)
    7. 7. The Holy Grail – Getting Featured on GooglePlay Can translate into as much as $1-$2 million in immediate revenue.
    8. 8. The Holy Grail – Getting Featured on GooglePlay Featured!
    9. 9. Getting Featured What they’re looking for: • Well Known IP • Technology Supported • Retina Display, Multitasking, Gyroscope, • Prior Hits Accelerometer, Location Services, Game Center, • Territories Available etc. • Languages Supported • App Store Landing Page • Supported Devices • One-liner that captures what makes your app special • User Reviews/Ratings • Video on Google Play Store And of course…a great game!
    10. 10. New User FlowThe new user flow is one of the most important parts of asuccessful game.• Optimize the download (<50 MBs)• Show off the cool parts of the game• Use clear directions• Get the user playing as soon as you canYou have @ 30 seconds to hook your users andunder 5 mins to teach them.• The goal is to shoot for 70% tutorial completion rate
    11. 11. Optimize the DownloadTapjoy Network Android Conversion Rate:(clicks to installs)
    12. 12. Start Off SimpleTake Users by the Hand and Guide Them Into the App • During the first 30 seconds put the user on rails, don’t let them get lost • This is your chance to take an uncertain user and create a engaged user • You can’t display everything, show off your core loop and build from there CSR Racing iOS
    13. 13. Retention
    14. 14. Take Advantage of Social APIs• Most social networks offer free connections API’s and SDK’s• Forcing a connection to a network can cause a large drop-off in new users• Present the choice to your users, use the network icons and let them opt in to sharing Orange’s TV Check app saw a 75% drop off when the app forced users to connect with Facebook.
    15. 15. RSocial ChannelsSometimes it’s better to create your own sociallayer Surface social activity to users early on
    16. 16. Incentive Friend Invites • 3x more monthly sessions • Average: 11.9 monthly sessions • Facebook: 32 monthly sessions • Facebook: 7% to 12% sign up when rewarding users with coins Subway Surfer* Clash of Clans MinoMonsters *Kiloo Games/Chartboost Case Study
    17. 17. Reward Users for Inviting Friends
    18. 18. Daily RewardsGive your users a reward for coming back every day.• In the later days of the reward cycle give the users bigger or exclusive rewards• Show them what they earned and also show them what is coming up
    19. 19. Build Daily Rewards Into The Game Play CSR Racing iOS
    20. 20. Use Push Notifications Mobile users are slightly A.D.D. – remind them to come back through notifications, but don’t spam them.Appointment Mechanics Notifications Appointment Mechanics
    21. 21. Monetization
    22. 22. RStore Funnel• Make it easy for users to find your store and buy items.• No more then two clicks• Prompt to the store when currency runs out
    23. 23. RStore Design• Use icons over text when possible• Design for the phone, not tablet, use all your real estate• Let users know they’re getting a deal• A well designed, clean store = happy customer
    24. 24. Mobile Revenue ChannelsDirect Payment - In-app purchase (IAP) through iTunes or Google Checkout • Top 25 Grossing Apps can earn as high $1 million to $8 million a month in revenueAlternate Payment – Offerwalls, Banner ads, Featured ads, and Videos • Alt pay, like Tapjoy’s Marketplace and ad units, typically account for 30%-40% in additional revenue on iOS & 50% + on Android iTunes Google Offerwalls
    25. 25. Mobile Revenue: Ad Types 1 5 1 3 1 2 1 4 1 111 Rewarded Offerwall 1 3 Featured Ads 1 5 Videos12 Non-rewarded Offerwall 1 4 Banner Ads
    26. 26. Which Ad Units Are Right For MyGame? HARDCORE CORE CASUAL Usage: Usage: Usage: Low Engaged User/Massive User BaseHighly Engaged User/Smaller User Base Engaged User/Large User Base Monetization: Monetization: Monetization: Low ARPDAU ($.01-$.04) High ARPDAU ($.15-$1.00) Mid Level ARPDAU ($.04-$.15) Ad Solution: Ad Solution: Ad Solution: Alt Pay/Featured Ads/Video Ads Alternative Payment Platform Alternative Payment Platform Featured Ads/Video Ads Banner Ads/Cross Promo Wall Are you leaving revenue on the table? Are you balancing user engagement with monetization?
    27. 27. Smart Ad PlacementTry to place ads in less conspicuous areas where users regularly view, butthat don’t interfere with game play.• Landing screen/Main Menu• Inventory screens• Transition pages/Loading pages• Use featured ads sparingly (Every third app launch, post PVP play)• Only show ads to non paying users Consider giving users the option to remove ads with a purchase.
    28. 28. Pre-launch Checklist
    29. 29. Self-Publish or Get Published? Get Published?• Make sure you get adequate, hard commitments on marketing budget and promotional efforts, including agreed upon KPIs/metrics.• Know what you’re giving up and getting in return.• Get references – Who have they worked with before? How did it work out? Ask other developers. Self-Publish?• You should have at least $100K-$200K to promote your app or be pretty damn sure Apple/Google are going to feature your app• Ideally you already have a built-in user base playing your previously launched titles that you can use for cross promotion
    30. 30. Checklist QA like crazy  Maximize device and OS coverage Integrate SDKs  Social  Monetization  Analytics  Advertising Create required creative asset  App icons and screenshots  Banner creative  Video trailer Localize  Prioritize Japanese & Korean
    31. 31. App IconsThey are starting to look a bit similar…
    32. 32. What Should You Be Tracking?A baseline set of metrics from launch will help you identify problems early • DAU • New users • 24hr, 2nd day, 7 and 30 day re-engagement • New user funnel (Install, Open, Tutorial Start & Finish) • Average game session length • APRDAU & ARPPU • % of users monetizing • Item sales • IAP salesThis is a basic list to get started.As the game matures you’ll learn theKPI’s (key performance indicators) foryour game
    33. 33. Testing the Waters• Choose a smaller region to test in – Everybody uses Canada, so you’re probably better off going with another English-speaking country (ex. AU, NZ, SG) – Get 5K+ DAUs flowing through your app• Focus on retention (next-day, 7-day, 14-day) – Rough targets: 40%+ next-day, 25%+ 7-day, 15%+ 14-day – Tutorial completion rate goal at 70% – Are users dropping off at a certain level? If so, why? What items are users buying the most?• Monetization measurement – High end: $1 ARPDAU – Realistic ARPDAU range: $0.04-$0.15 – % DAUs monetized: 1%-5%• Take care of any bugsProceed with a full launch only when you’re happy with the performance ofyour bucket test
    34. 34. Thank You! m @sappalicious© 2012 Tapjoy, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Tapjoy and the Tapjoy logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tapjoy, Inc.All third party logos and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.