It’s now more expensive than ever to turn mobile gamers in paying users

Anne Freier | September 21, 2020

App Business

While it’s now cheaper than ever before to acquire new mobile gamers, the cost to turn them into paying users has hit a high at a hike of 24% compared to 2019.

That’s according to new research from Liftoff which found that while CPIs were just $1.47, conversion rates dropped 22% in 2020.

The cost to acquire players was down 66% from 2019.

What’s more, engagement rates were down almost 3x from 2019 at just 3.3%. It shows that marketers may be struggling to turn installations into subscriptions going forward.

Back in 2018, campaigns converted almost half of players to payers (54.6%) compared to just 25.7% in 2020.

Return on ad spending was 2x within three weeks, according to the latest data with iOS retaining an edge over Android, but at 4x the cost.

Regionally, the findings reveal that APAC has some of the ROAS but at the highest CPI. LATAM had the lowest costs, but its ROAS was 8 percentage points below that of APAC.

When it comes to retention rates, North America boasted some of the best rates – an average 3.6 percentage points above that of other regions for Day 1 and Day 3.

Europe remains in spot 2 at a 32.3% retention rate for Day 1. APAC ranked third, followed by LATAM and MENA.

In terms of gaming category, social casino saw some of the strongest retention curves but at the highest costs of $6.82 on average.

Casual and hyper casual players responded well to non-organic approaches in terms of retention on Day 1.

Non-organic worked well for midcore games at an average 13% above organic rates.

Organic saw some of the lowest retention rates for hardcore game players (-29.8% on Day 1).

The findings show that getting users to install games on mobile devices is easier and cheaper than ever before, but getting them to stick around and purchasing in-app is much harder.

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