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The 2023 Mobile Growth and Monetization Report is here

June 12, 2023 in Games | 7 min. read
The 2023 Mobile Growth and Monetization Report is here | Hero image
The 2023 Mobile Growth and Monetization Report is here | Hero image

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The mobile monetization and advertising landscape continues to evolve every year, so staying up to date on best practices and trends is important to sustaining success. In years when revenue and resources are strained it’s even more critical to find strategic advantages.

In our second edition of the Mobile Growth and Monetization Report, we gathered feedback from across our customer and support teams about opportunities for greater efficiency in monetization and user acquisition strategies.

From there, our experts dove into our games and ads data to uncover trends, offer benchmarks, suggest best practices, and give insights that Unity is uniquely able to provide.

The end result is a comprehensive report that explores how studios can be more efficient with their game growth strategies. It covers:

  • Getting to first in-app purchase (IAP) conversions faster
  • Improving in-app advertising (IAA) with better placements and rewards
  • Supplementing revenue and retention with offerwalls
  • Harnessing the advantages of targeting by genre or country targeting and custom store pages

Read on to learn about these four key report themes that will help your monetization and user acquisition strategies achieve more with less.

1. Getting to first IAP conversions faster

Creating and managing a game with IAP is often resource intensive. Knowing how best to convert players and when IAP is most effective is critical to building a sustainable strategy that isn’t over-resourced.

Getting to first IAP conversion takes a combination of factors around price points, which ad types work best, and when. For example, our analysis found that timing is everything, since 77% of players who have ever converted to IAP will have done so within the first two weeks.

Graph showing an increasing trend over time of the percentage of payers by days to first purchase

Knowing this, players who haven’t made an in-game purchase in their first 14 days should be considered prime candidates for alternative methods of monetization and can be segmented to view ads or offerwall.

2. Improving IAA success with better placements and rewards

Getting more out of existing user bases becomes more important when user acquisition is challenging or costly.

Our analysis looked at several factors around IAA placements and rewards for guidance on which strategies tend to work best. For example, players are most likely to engage with rewarded ad placements that are found between game levels, followed by in the IAP store and in the lobby/pre-level.

Bar graph showing the locations where ads are most frequently engaged by the percent of total apps using rewarded placements.

And although 18% of games are using rewarded video ads in their IAP store, the audience that visits your IAP store are likely players who are already considering purchases. This means that in-store placement strategies could limit which players encounter these ads since many never visit the store if they have no intention to make in-app purchases.

3. Supplementing revenue and retention with offerwalls

As player behaviors change over time, finding additional ways to monetize them can be a lifeline.

Offerwall revenues can be impactful for games with multiple monetization strategies. Our analysis showed that 38% of total ad revenue comes from offerwalls for games that use this feature alongside another monetization strategy.

The data also showed a clear retention advantage for players that converted on offerwalls. Their likelihood of continuing to play goes up by as much as 5x when looking across day 7 (D7) to day 120 (D120). This is most notable at later stages, like at day 90 (D90) where retention for offerwall converters is 14%, while other players are below 3%.

Bar graph showing user retention for “offerwall converters” and “other players” by percentage of retained users over six increments of days.

4. Harnessing the advantages of genre or country targeting and custom store pages

When resources are tight, paid user acquisition can be one of the more challenging aspects of growing a mobile game. This means that it’s crucial to find even small advantages in campaign optimization to get the most out of every dollar spent.

One place that our analysis showed opportunities for efficiency is country targeting. Specifically, the data reveals benefits to targeting tier-2 countries that have more interest in a genre, while avoiding those with less.

For this analysis tier-2 countries include Australia, Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden and Singapore while tier-1 which included the U.S, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Advertising in tier-2 countries can cost less tier-1 as they are markets with less buying power. Within tier-2 countries some genres are preferred over others where performance will be greater than the average for all tier-2. This means they can be cost effective and impactful markets to advertise in and are worth the effort to localize campaigns for if your genre performs well there.

Chart showing click-through rates’ distance from the mean by advertising genre, color-coded by country.

As an example, we found that Japan is a great place to advertise a sports game – CTR performs 13% above the average of all tier-2 countries, while a racing or hypercasual game performs 7% below average in Japan.

More insights to help you get the most out of your growth strategies

Taking advantage of insights on IAP, IAA, offerwall, and campaign efficiencies can improve your ROI and growth at a time when every extra dollar earned or saved is critical.

Download the full report to dig deeper into how you can make monetization and user acquisition strategies more efficient.

June 12, 2023 in Games | 7 min. read

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