Mobile Game Monetization - Still All About The Big Spenders

Our latest report on monetization in mobile games was released yesterday. And always, it makes for some interesting reading.

There’s a huge amount of facts and figures in there, but perhaps the most newsworthy is the headline around just how much revenue is contributed by a relatively few number of players. In keeping with previous research we’ve conducted in this area, we found that almost half of all revenue accrued from the top 10% of paying players.

Given that only 1.9% of players in the month made a purchase at all, that means that half of revenue comes from just 0.19% of all players!

To some that sounds extraordinary, but the distribution shown in the chart below is not unusual in digital businesses, or in any other business for that matter. And it is important to remember that those playing the game but not paying are NOT customers. This is sometimes the first lesson our customers (in any vertical) have to understand - installs are not the goal but merely a step along the way.

With that understood, 50% of revenue from 10% of customers is not so surprising. It does remind us, of course, that one of the key metrics for any successful mobile business is the % of individuals who migrate from a ‘free to play’ state to a paying customer. Tracking and moving that number should be a primary concern!

The fact that such large revenue amounts come from small numbers of users is also a reminder that we need to make efforts to know who these people are, understand which acquisition channels they come from, and personalize experience to ensure that we maximize their lifetime value and keep them onboard.

There’s loads more in the report - including facts relating to what typical purchases look like, when they happen, how many purchases users make and how much they spend - pretty much everything in fact. You can download it right here.