There’s a deluge of new data and research to wade through every week.
So every Wednesday we’re here to break it all down into digestible chunks: data drop has just the numbers you need to know about, minus the fluff.
This column is sponsored by MobileAction, the premier mobile UA optimization platform. Contact us to learn how our campaign management and app store marketing intelligence tools can help you generate more downloads efficiently.
Data.ai’s latest report is optimistically titled ‘Mobile Bounces Back: Global In-App Spending Grows Year-Over-Year to Record $67.5 Billion in H1 2023’.
But there’s a but…that rise describes the apps and games market combined. Poke at the data a bit and you’ll see all the growth appears to be on the apps side, with games actually down year-on-year from $41.2bn in H1 2022 to $40.9bn in H1 2023:
You can see the flat games spending figures versus apps in this split of iOS and Android spend too:
Onto downloads, and if you filter out apps you see a slight rise in the combined iOS and Google Play H1 YoY figures. Android was the dominant player in raw installs here as you’d expect – the exact figures for games alone were not quoted but Google Play downloads were around 26-27bn in H1 compared to 3.5-4bn on iOS.
Rounding out the report was this list of top tens by downloads, consumer spend and MAU, accompanied by some commentary which called out new entries Block Blast Adventure Master (Hungry Studio) and Attack Hole (Homa).
Playrix also got a nod for the H1 rise of Gardenscapes, which after seeing a spending decline throughout 2021 and 2022, beat its best-ever revenue month in May with $94 million. It moved up 11 positions to eighth by global consumer spend in H1 2023 and climbed 57 spots to become ninth most-downloaded game for H1 2023.
FIFA also got a mention for maintaining momentum after the World Cup in December 2022 – it was the tenth biggest game by MAU in H1 2023.
We saw lots of folks parroting the headline number in this report – “three trillion views of video gaming-related content in 2022”. Impressive, sure, but pretty vague and such a large number that it’s also kind of meaningless.
Still, among plenty of other woolly datapoints in this report, there were some useful tidbits for marketers and community teams:
- Release CapCut templates for your game to get it as viral-ready as possible – this is exactly how Dumb Ways To Die did it a while back
- Get your social/marketing teams to make voice filters and AR effects to help creators interact with your game’s characters easily
- Use TikTok as a sounding board for new ideas – bringing your players into the development process (to a point) is good community-building
- Dream up some sort of community challenge to get people creating content around your game
- Explore crossovers with other communities and subcultures that fit with your game’s demographic
And specifically for advertisers:
- You can target by interest and find users based on their interactions with specific hashtags and popular creators
- You can put your campaigns next to the top content of a specific category if you feel there’s strong crossover (fashion, cooking, and so on)
Column sponsor MobileAction sent us this list of top games scored by their general ‘visibility’ metric – an estimation of App Store search impressions by volume and keyword rankings. Here are the iOS rankings for the US, as of July 16:
The firm noted the impact of Monopoly Go’s launch in April and Subway Surfers’ impressive staying power – Appmagic data says it is still somehow getting around 600k installs per day, on average.
GameRefinery’s latest monthly report highlights Diablo Immortal’s Diablo 4 crossover event, which included a load of in-game activity including cosmetics, battle pass-only items and limited time gacha and subscription deals.
The result is above, where daily revenue and downloads spiked in June “by over 500%” on iOS in the US.
Homa said its flagship game, made by India-based developer RedLine Games, passed 60m installs in the last week. Over 50m of those downloads are on Android, with 10m+ on iOS.
This is pretty self-explanatory, so we had a quick look at the Appmagic data for more context. That also says the game has just passed 10m lifetime installs, and that IAP revenue stands at just under $8m.
Minor edit: Original Games’ cofounder has just told us Merge Inn has now passed 11m downloads.
The folks at SuperScale sent us this, a loose benchmark of sorts on what kind of downloads to expect if a TikTok about your game goes semi-viral.
The above Tiny Tower TikTok has got 3.5m views, 600k likes and resulted in the game’s daily downloads jumping up from around 1k per day to around 13k in 24 hours according to Appmagic data.
That’s roughly enough to get you into the top 200 free charts. So yeah: even a TikTok with views in the millions will only get you so far.