Date: September 22nd, 2014

San Francisco, Calif. – Swrve, the leader in mobile marketing automation, today announced the results of its latest “Monetization Report,” lifting the lid on who is spending money in mobile games. The report covers data from the full month of July 2014, showing a sixth month comparison from Swrve’s first monetization report, published in January. Produced using the same methodology, it enables like-for-like comparison in order to identify trends in the industry.

Download the Monetization Report here

The report reveals that spending has become even more concentrated to a smaller group of players. In July 2014, only 1.35% of players spent real money. This compares to 1.5% spending in January. Meanwhile, the top spenders contributed 62% of revenues in July (50% in January), meaning that just 0.135% of players contribute over 62% of all revenues within mobile games.

Other key findings include:

  • Monthly mean average spend is $24.93 (up from $22 in January).
  • The typical paying player makes just under 3 purchases in a month, with the average price of each being $8.34.
  • 50% of all paying players make only one purchase in the month, with 16% making five or more in the same period.
  • Individual purchases of a value up to $5 made up 55% of all purchases, yet only 18.5% of revenue. Conversely, purchases over $50 made up only 1% of all purchases but contributed more than 11% of revenue.
  • ‘Mid-tier’ SKUs - those between $10 and $20 - showed significant growth, contributing 18.4% of unit sales and 32.3% of revenue, compared to figures of 8.2% and 22.4% respectively six months ago.

“These findings stress once again just how important it is to consider retention and conversion - rather than simply acquisition - when it comes to building a successful mobile business” said Christopher S. Dean, CEO of Swrve. “With such a significant percentage of revenues coming from a small base, it is essential to both attempt to increase that number with smart in-game campaigns, but also identify your most important players and personalize their experience.”

“One interesting finding was the growth in ‘mid-tier’ SKUs. The data suggests that users are more willing than ever before to make relatively significant one-off in-app purchases in mobile, and that developers should start to consider this type of purchase as core to their business” said Christopher S. Dean.

Notes on Methodology

The report is restricted to freemium games and examines revenue delivered via in-app purchases.
Using Swrve’s Fraud Filter technology, only ‘genuine’ revenue events are reported.
The report is restricted to a single month of data - providing a snapshot of how mobile gamers monetize. It is not intended to show customer lifetime values.
In total tens of millions of users, and their associated monetization events, have been analyzed and aggregated to produce this data.