Ben lives and breaths anything game related. When he's not out devouring hummus (he's addicted), he is spending his free time developing, modding and scripting for games, carpentry and excercising. Ben has loads of marketing experience coming from Fiverr, Conduit and his many freelancing adventures.
Marketing, Resource, Tips and Advice

The Best Mobile Gaming Conference To Attend And Why – Our Top Picks

We looked at what are the best mobile gaming conferences to attend and why.  Check out the breakdown of our top picks.

Every quarter, there are about a dozen, if not more, conferences that fall under the umbrella of mobile gaming / marketing / growth / data / analytics. Each conference tends to have a focal point, anywhere from growth, blockchain, indie gaming, monetization, retention and the list goes. Hopefully we will answer help answer “Which gaming conference should I attend / is the best?” by breaking down some of the top mobile gaming conferences out there.

The first question you should be asking yourself is, “What are my goals for the conference?”. A conference can be a great place to brainstorm ideas from peers, network, grow your client base, learn from speakers and lectures, play the upcoming games for 8 hours straight (I’m guilty of that) and of course connect with other people in your industry.

There is a pretty straightforward 10 point criteria system that should be looked at when choosing a conference:

  1. Goals
  2. Cost
  3. Location
  4. Who’s Going?
  5. Who’s Speaking?
  6. Topics / Tracks Offered
  7. Number of Relevant Topics / Sessions
  8. Conference Format
  9. Timeline
  10. Networking Opportunities

While I am sure none of those 10 criteria above are anything new to anybody who has contemplated whether or not to attend a conference, I do want to bring something new to the table here and give some insight how SOOMLA chooses which to attend.

First, let’s look at some of the conferences / events in the mobile gaming industry:

Delta DNA’s Game Industry Analytics ForumGame Industry Analytics Forum

Delta DNA’s Games Industry Analytics Forum is a series of events targeted at all industry professionals who seeks to make their games better through analytics. They bring a large mix of industry experts who speak on a variety of topics.

Name Games Industry Analytics Forum
Locations San Francisco and London
Avg. Companies NA
Avg. Attendees NA
Cost Free
Focus Analytics

Pocket Gamer Connects ConferencePocket Gamer Connects

Pocket Gamer’s Global Mobile Game Conference is held three times a year in various locations. The main focus tends to be on global game publishing strategies, opportunities in various markets. They have several (12 or so) content tracks each with a focus such as Monetization, Marketing, eSports, Growth and more.

Name Pocket Gamer Connects
Locations 3 per year: London, Helsinki, San Francisco
Avg. Companies 600+
Avg. Attendees 1200+
Cost Varies from several hundred $ to thousand +
Focus Mobile Gaming Industry

Casual Connect ConferenceCasual Connect

Casual Connects hosts several conferences across the globe, each with its own particular focus. Anywhere from developers, game design, east meets west, and game tech innovation.

Name Casual Connect
Locations 4 per year: USA, Europe, Asia, Eastern Europe
Avg. Companies 600+
Avg. Attendees 800-2000+
Cost Varies from several hundred $ to thousand+
Focus Mobile Gaming Industry

White Nights ConferenceWhite Nights

White Nights is considered to be a business conference for the gaming industry. They are focused on all aspects of the gaming industry, including mobile, PC, console, web, AR and VR.

Name White Nights
Locations 4 per year: Prague, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Berlin
Avg. Companies 800+
Avg. Attendees 1600+
Cost Several hundred $
Focus Business of Games

Mobile Growth SummitMobile Growth Summit

Mobile Growth Summit is a non-vendor conference targeted at those who work in the mobile growth industry. The conference aims to bring mobile growth and marketing professionals together to connect and learn from one another in areas such as UA, monetization, retention and eCommerce.

Name Mobile Growth Summit
Locations 4 per year: Prague, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Berlin
Avg. Companies 300+
Avg. Attendees 600+
Cost Varies from several hundred $ to thousand +
Focus Mobile Growth / Marketing

Mobile Games ForumMobile Games Forum

Mobile Games Forum brings together gaming industry decision makers to discuss the direction of the industry and potential strategies. The larger portion of attendees tends to be C level, senior managers and directors.

Name Mobile Games Forum
Locations 2 per year: London and Seattle
Avg. Companies 300+
Avg. Attendees 600+
Cost Several hundred $
Focus Upper Management / Decision Makers

Game Developers ConferenceGame Developers Conference

Game Developers Conference is a 5 day event that attracts thousands of attendees from all over the world. They have a wide variety of tracks / sessions on just about every topic from blockchain to VR to monetization. Many up and coming publishers use the conference as a great opportunity to show off their upcoming games.

Name Game Developer Conference
Locations San Francisco
Avg. Companies 700+
Avg. Attendees 3000+
Cost Depends on type of ticket: from free to several hundred.
Focus All things gaming

Game ConnectionGame Connection

Game Connection is a business convention for the game industry where publishers, developers, service providers and distributors come to find new partners and/or new clients. Considered to be the go-to conference for business.

Name Game Connection
Locations Paris and San Francisco
Avg. Companies 1500+
Avg. Attendees 2700+
Cost Several hundred $
Focus Business Creation for Game Industry

As you can see, each conference does have it own focus, and depending on what you are looking to achieve, one of the above conferences should meet your goals.

Criteria # 11 – The Meeting System

One of the topics that we did not cover however is the meeting systems that is made available to the attendees. Depending on the purpose of attending the conference, this could be irrelevant to you, but if you do plan to attend for networking purposes, a good meeting system can dramatically improve the success of your trip. Here are a few of the meeting systems we’ve encountered at SOOMLA:

Feature Pitch&Match MeetToMatch Let's Meet Bizzabo
Profile Creation Y Y Y Y
Search Filters Y Y Y Y
Internal Messaging Y Y
Mobile App Y
Block Meeting Time Slots Y Y Y
Agenda Export Y Y Y Y
“Smart” Scheduling System* Y

Smart System* refers to the meeting system’s method of organizing meetings. Let’s Meet is the only system that allows you to request a meeting without a set time before the event. Generally about a week before the event, all the meetings that have been accepted are automatically filled into your calendar based on a mutual time slot being available. This is significantly different and advantageous compared to the other meeting systems that require you to set a time, limiting your ability to be flexible.

Conclusion

While each conference has its own focus, you are bound to find a mobile gaming conference that meets your criteria. If you think there are any more that are worth mentioning, let us know in the comments below!

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Marketing, Resource, Tech Resources, Tips and Advice

Complete Mobile Advertising Glossary – Over 70 Terms Defined

SOOMLA's complete mobile advertising glossary - we've broken down the top 70 terms in ad tech to be easily understood.

From newcomers to mobile industry veterans, the amount of acronyms and terms that exist can be daunting, and frankly, often times confusing. The industry is constantly evolving, and with that, comes a steady flow of new terminology. We’ve compiled a list of 70 terms that are most prevalent in adtech and broken them down into easy to understand terms.

Here is the complete glossary to mobile advertising at your fingertips. Read, take notes and prosper.

1st Impression

Refers to the first ad displayed to a user within a session. Considered to be the most valuable in terms of eCPM.

1st Look

Ad-networks are prioritized in a a waterfall where the 1st ad-network gets to “look” at the ad request and decide if they want to provide an ad or not. If the ad-network passes the turn goes down the waterfall to the 2nd ad-network. When an ad-network asks for “1st look” it means they want to sit on the top of the waterfall and have the opportunity to see all the ad requests.

1st Price Auction

Where a bidder pays exactly what they bid. Often times leading to inflated prices and a lower demand for that publisher’s inventory.

2nd Price Auction

Where the top bidder pays the what the second highest bid was + $0.01. Allows for the saving of money due to overestimation of the value of a publisher’s inventory.

A/B Testing

A test in which all variables are identical aside from one. The purpose is to compare the two versions and see which performs better according to the established KPI.

Ad Exchange

An ad exchange refers to a platform that helps facilitate the buying and selling of advertiser inventory from multiple ad networks.

Ad Inventory

The amount of (virtual) space a publisher has available to be sold to advertisers. Also known as “ad space”.

Ad Mediation

A platform that sends requests for advertisements to multiple ad networks for publishers, ensuring the ad space is filled with the best possible deal.

Ad Network

An ad network connects advertisers and publishers looking to generate revenue by serving ads in a mobile app or website.

Ad Revenue

The amount of revenue generated from placing advertisements in an application / website.

Ad Whales

Refers to a group of users who make the most amount of ad revenue. Typically this is defined as the top 10% or 20% of the users who make 70% or 80% of the ad revenue. In other cases, the ad-whales are defined as a threshold of $0.7 (the equivalent of a $1 IAP).

Advertiser Blacklisting

The process of publishers blacklisting specific advertisers from appearing in their app. Some ad networks provide this as an option to publishers. The blacklisting is often based on competition, poor eCPMs or inappropriate content.

CASE STUDY ON OPT-IN RATES & SOOMLA INSIGHTS

Advertiser Identity

Identifying which advertisers are advertising in one’s app and their respective performance.

API

Application Program Interface. An API opens access to a limited part of a piece of software, allowing 3rd party developers to access previously unaccessible information.

ARPU

(Average Revenue Per User). Calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of users across a time perdiod (generally monthly or annually).

ASO

(App Store Optimization). The process of improving the visibility of an app in the respective app store (Google Play, iTunes, etc.)

Attribution

The process of accrediting a traffic source with the conversion. Each platform has it’s own methodologies for doing so.

Audience

A group of consumers / users within a specific target market which are targetted for a specific ad campaign.

Blacklist

A list of advertisers that a publisher has decided to not allow to appear within their app.

Churn Rate

The rate at which users have stopped using an app during a specific time period

CLV

(Customer Lifetime Value). Has the same meaning to LTV – the total value of a user if given enough time to fully exhaust all opportunities to pay or watch ads in the game. This value is often averaged across a group of users (cohort) and most publishers try to create models for future prediction of CLV/LTV based on the activity of the first few days so they can make quick decisions on the marketing side.

Cohort

A group of users that share one or more similar characteristics. Used for grouping in data analysis.

CPA

(Cost Per Acquisition). The cost a publisher incurs to bring a new user through various paid channels.

CPC

(Cost Per Click). A campaign where the advertiser is charged everytime a user clicks on the ad they are shown.

CPI

(Cost Per Install). A campaign where a price is paid when a user views an ad, goes to the app store and installs an app.

CPM

(Cost per Mile). A campaign were advertisers pay for every thousand times the advertisement is shown.

CTR

(Click-Through-Rate). The ratio of users who click on an ad / opt-in to the total users who were displayed an ad.

DAU

(Daily Active Users). How many users open your app on a daily basis. This is one of the key metrics used to measure ad revenue.

Direct Deal

Rather than going through an ad network or mediation platform, publishers can make direct deals with advertisers, cutting out the middle men.

DSP

(Demand Side Platform). A platform in which marketers can buy ad inventory from multiple ad exchanges in one place.

eCPM

(Effective Cost Per Thousand). A metric used to measure ad revenue generated. Generally calculated by dividing total revenue earned by total number of impressions in the thousands.

eCPM Decay

The inevitable decrease in eCPM as ads begin to be displayed to your users. There are however methods proven to help slow it down.

Fill Rate

The number of ads requested that are successfully filled in relation to the total number of ads requested. Tends to be displayed in a percentage format.

Frequency / Frequency Capping

The rate at which users are shown ads. For example, some apps place a frequency cap of 4 ads per day for users.

GDPR

(General Data Protection Regulation). A comprehensive new set of regulations designed to give EU citizens more control / oversight on their personal data and the entities that collect it. Under GDPR, companies will need to notify their customers when collecting personal data. Consent can be given or denied based on the purpose of the data usage.

Header Bidding

The process by which publishers open ad space to be bid upon by multiple ad exchanges, resulting in an increased yield and revenue.

IAP Cannibalization

The notion that the integration of incentivized rewarded videos are damaging to the revenue gained from in-app purchases.

IDFA

The “Identifier for Advertisers” is a random identifier number given by Apple to a user’s device. It is used for advertising targeting.

Impression

Refers to the moment when an ad is fetched from its source and dispalyed to the user. Each ad type has a varying distinction of when the impression occurs. For banner ads, once an ad is fetched from its source and the user sees the ad. For video ads, the impressions is logged once the first frame of the video is displayed.

Interstitials Ads

Ads that are full-screen which are typically displayed at natural transition points in the flow of an app. For example, between levels or when the game is paused.

Q1 2018 MONETIZATION BENCHMARKS

Lookalikes

A method of targeting additional users based on similarities to existing users. Generally based on geo, interests, gender, age etc.

LTV

(Lifetime Value). Has the same meaning to CLV – the total value of a user if given enough time to fully exhaust all opportunities to pay or watch ads in the game. This value is often averaged across a group of users (cohort) and most publishers try to create models for future prediction of CLV/LTV based on the activity of the first few days so they can make quick decisions on the marketing side.

MAU

(Monthly Active Users) How many users open your app on a monthly basis. This is another of the key metrics used to measure ad revenue.

Mobile Ad Fraud

The process which fraudsters cheat advertisers into displaying ads to fake users / bot traffic.

Multi-Touch Attribution

Allows for the attiributing of all channels in the conversion process. Different from the existing last touch approach.

Offer Wall

A list of incentives which a user can receive by performing a specific action, typically downloading another app, watching a video ad, or sharing content on social media. The rewards for doing so tend to be some form of digital currency or other in-app incentives.

Opt In

When a user actively agrees to participate in viewing an ad.

Pipelining

The process of moving data from one point to another.

Playable Ads

Ads that request the user to interact, often showing off the basic gameplay of the game being advertised.

Postbacks

The ability to notify a third party of a specific event that occurs within an app (install, in-app event, etc.)

Programmatic

An automated process for purchasing digitial advertising, eliminating the need for a human touch.

Reach

The number of unique users who can potentially be targeted by advertising.

Real-Time Bidding

Bidding on inventory in real-time. The bid is often dynamically generated based on past performance of creatives, inventory, user groups, and other parameters.

Retargeting

A marketing effort in which targeted online advertisements are shown to users based on their previous behaviour.

Rewarded Video Ads

Video ads that are offer the user the option to opt-in to view them in order to receive some incentive. Can range from free coins, extra lives to free uprades.

ROI

(Return on investment). A performance measure used to determine the efficiency of an investment / effort.

SDK

(Software Development Kit). A set of software development tools that can be added to existing apps to support new capabilities.

SDK Mediation

Mediation of ad-networks allows publishers to use a few ad-networks in parallel and maximize fill rates and eCPM. SDK mediation is a form of mediation where each ad-networks installs an SDK on the publisher’s app and the mediation is done on the client side.

Server Side Mediation

Server side mediaiton is a form of mediation. Unlike SDK mediation, the goal of maximizing fill rates and eCPMs for the publisher is acheived with a single SDK provided by the mediaiton company and the ad-networks have to serve their ads through that SDK. This means that the mediaion is done on the server side

Share of Voice

Refers to the portion that one company controls out of the total. In terms of ads, can refer to an ad network who maintains a larger share of voice in rewarded video displays in comparison to other ad networks.

SSP

(Supply Side Platform) A platform that allows publishers to sell their advertising inventory in an automated way.

Target Audience

A group of consumers / users within a specific target market which are targetted for a specific ad campaign.

Traceback

SOOMLA’s unique ability to traceback individual user’s ad behavior.

Tracker

A tracker is a link structure generated by the attribution platform on behalf of the advertiser. The tracker is than passed along to the ad-network so clicks on the ads of the advertiser which are associated with the ad-networks can be identified through the unique link structure of the tracker.

Unified auction

On open auction where all ad networks are given an equal opportunity to bit on an app’s inventory, without any preferential treatment, in which the highest bid tends to win.

UDID

(Unique User ID). A unique identifier assigned to each device. Apple and Google have their own methods for doing so.

User Acquisition

The marketing efforts to acquire new users through advertising campaigns.

VAST Tag

(Video Ad Serving Template). A universal XML-based protocol specification created by the IAB for serving video ads.

Whitelisting

The opposite of blacklisting in which certain entities are explicitly approved.

Yield Management

The use of tools and business practices to maximize revenue.


Find a term that we didn’t define here? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get them added ASAP.

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Analytics, App Monetization, Game Design

Inside SOOMLA: Advertiser Breakdown

Inside SOOMLA: A sneak peak into our Advertiser Breakdown screen.  One of the many unique and invaluable features within SOOMLA

In this installation of “Inside SOOMLA”, we’re going to show off our “Advertiser Breakdown” screen. In a nutshell, the entire purpose of this feature is to provide publishers with invaluable data about who is advertising in their app. Whether you want to understand which advertisers are paying out the highest eCPM, make direct deals, or see which advertisers are causing churn – this the place to get it all.

Ultimately, the ad experience is a double edged sword. On one end, ads can provide a significant boost to revenue and counter in-app purchase cannibalization by being properly monitored. On the other end, if not controlled, ads can ruin a user’s experience in the app and send them running for the uninstall button.

There are a few related posts to this – so I recommend checking them out for some context:

  1. 10 Mistakes That Will Keep Your Ad Revenue Low
  2. Data Based Formula – Which Advertisers to Block
  3. Q4 2017 Ads and Churn Case Study

There are several use cases that we’ve seen throughout the market for this data, so let’s take a look:

Case 1 – Advertiser Blocking Compliance

Ad-networks sometimes provide the ability for publishers to block specific advertisers. There are several reasons why publishers tend to do so:

  1. Publishers suspect that their direct competitors are causing churn (despite SOOMLA’s report on advertiser churn).
  2. Certain advertisers are deemed inappropriate for the target audiences of some apps.

These are valid reasons to want to block advertisers, however how does a publisher know that the ad-network is complying with their request. This can easily be tracked by drilling down into the specific ad networks and seeing all of the advertisers it pushes through via the campaigns.

CASE STUDY ON OPT-IN RATES & SOOMLA INSIGHTS

Case 2 – Comparing Ad Networks

More often than not, multiple ad networks are running the same campaigns, however not necessarily paying out the same eCPMs the the publishers. By drilling down into each specific advertiser, publishers can see understand which ad networks are offering what terms for one advertiser allowing you to compare ad networks to each other.

Publishers can begin to maximize their revenue potential on the per impression level like never before.

Case 3 – Doing Direct Deals

You’ve set up a deal to get ads in your app. Great. But do you know how many middle men there are between you and the advertiser? It could be 1, but it also could be 10. Each consecutive step in the process, someone is taking a cut, meaning publishers are leaving money on the table.

By knowing who is advertising in your app, you can build a priority list of advertisers you should approach and attempt to close direct deals with. Even if you don’t choose to close a direct deal, knowing the eCPMs of the advertisers through the ad-networks is still useful to establish benchmarks.

Conclusion

The Advertiser Breakdown analysis is another unique feature to SOOMLA that bring value to publishers who can utilize the data. Our quarterly Monetization and Insights reports can help make sense of all the data, providing some actionable insights. Check out our recent case study with Applife where our report insights boosted their rewarded video revenue by 94%.

In case you missed the previous “Inside SOOMLA” on Waterfall Analysis – be sure to check it out!

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Analytics, App Monetization, Marketing

Inside SOOMLA: Ad Waterfall Analysis

Inside SOOMLA's Ad Waterfall Analysis - an invaluable took for publishers to optimize their eCPM

As a marketer for SOOMLA, I’m often disconnected from the customers / potential clients themselves. Much of my time goes towards content writing, web design, SEO, conferences and the tons of other micro tasks that arise. However lately I’ve found myself sneaking into some of the demos our sales team gives to potential clients because.. well, it’s amazing to see.

Each customer has their own current setup, pain points, ad revenue, integrations, in-app purchases, ad types but one thing I have consistently seen is the reaction from some of the capabilities that SOOMLA brings to the table. This is why I started the “Inside SOOMLA” series to show off a bit, but also to give a sneak peak into our system for those who have yet to sign up and request a demo (which you can do here… shameless plug).

One of the most common scenarios that we see are app publishers leaving money on the table. There are a number of ways that this can occur, however specifically let’s look at the “Ad Waterfall”.

What is an Ad Waterfall?

Also referred to as daisy-chaining, simply put, the ad waterfall works as a prioritized series of ad networks or exchanges arranged from top to bottom in order of performance set by the publisher. The performance tends to be based upon the network’s history of payouts (eCPM), their fill rate, latency delays when serving ads and many more other potential reasons.

To gain some context on what makes the ad waterfall so important, we recently published a monetization benchmarks report which specifically looked at the importance of first impressions. TL;DR – Advertisers payout exorbitant eCPMs for first impressions as they understand their importance.

Q1 2018 MONETIZATION BENCHMARKS

Waterfall Analysis Screen

The entire purpose of this feature within SOOMLA is to give publishers the ability to make more data-driven decisions rather than biased ones. Publishers often times have a strong biased towards one ad-network since they see a higher eCPM coming from that network however this has been shown to be misleading. The position of the ad network in the waterfall often dictates the higher eCPMs and not necessarily the caliber of the ad network.

There are however other key features of this screen. By giving publishers the ability to visualize the data, they can make data-driven decisions towards changing up their ad-network mix, as well as helping to leverage this information for more beneficial discussions / negotiations with the ad networks. How is this all achieved you ask? Here goes…

Feature 1 – Ad Networks per Impression

This particular section shows full details about what is happening throughout the first ten impressions broken down by ad-network. Publishers see the number of impressions, the total revenue generated by that impression and the current eCPM, all broken down by the impression # in the ad waterfall.
Inside SOOMLA's Ad Waterfall - Ad Networks per Impression

Feature 2 – eCPM Decay Chart

What publisher wouldn’t like to know if they are achieving the optimal eCPM and not leaving money on the table? Thanks to this feature, publishers are now able to see just that. For the first ten impressions, publishers are displayed the “Actual eCPM” (the average across all selected ad-networks) while the “Optimal eCPM” represents the maximal eCPM attainable for the given impression by one of the ad-networks. For a more in-depth explanation about eCPM Decay, check out one of our posts on it.

Inside SOOMLA's Ad Waterfall - eCPM Decay

Feature 3 – Ad Network Comparison

This section visualizes for the publisher which ad-networks serve at which impression and how many ads they server daily. Furthermore, you can see exactly the eCPM paid by each ad-network for each impression count.

This is an invaluable tool in conjunction with the eCPM Decay feature as it allows you to break down why certain ad networks, while having higher eCPMs, are not displaying more ads as I’m sure publishers would like them to be. Low fill rate or bad choices vis a vis the mediation are often the culprits here.
Inside SOOMLA's Ad Waterfall - Ad Networks Comparison

Conclusion

Our Ad Waterfall analysis feature is unique to SOOMLA and one has one of two effects on potential clients of ours: 1) They are amazed and want to see a direct business case via their data, or 2) The stream of questions comes, asking how we achieve this, is the data credible and so on.

If you have any of these questions, or want to see a far more in-depth demo of SOOMLA (not just the Ad Waterfall feature), reach out and we’ll get one set.

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Analytics, App Monetization, Game Design

How Applife’s Rewarded Video Revenue Jumped By 94% In 100 Days With SOOMLA’s Insight Reports

Case Study with Applife and SOOMLA's Insight and Monetization Reports

One of the great benefits afforded to our clients, is our tailored Insight and Monetization Reports that we produce for them on a quarterly basis. Just like it sounds, we have dedicated customer success managers that use mobile industry benchmarks and powerful analysis tools to make sure our customers can convert their data into actionable insights.

Our Insight and Monetization Reports have been beneficial to our clients and for Applife it was no different. Here you can find a copy of a sample Monetization Report.

Applife, has been a customer of ours for a little over 4 months at this point. They have several apps, however the one we took a look at is “Parking Escape”. Parking Escape is a casual sliding block puzzle game. The goal of this game is to get the blue car out of a six-by-six grid full of automobiles by moving the other vehicles out of its way. The game contains 6 difficulty levels with thousands of puzzles to be solved.

Our analysis noticed a severe drop off in users’ opt in rate to rewarded videos after the first week of and immediately noticed a strong opportunity to boost Applife’s rewarded video revenue. Get the full report and case study below, seeing how Applife was able to boost their rewarded video by revenue by 94% within 100 days of using SOOMLA.

CASE STUDY ON REWARDED VIDEO REVENUE & SOOMLA INSIGHTS

Here are some related articles that can help:

  1. Measuring and Improving Opt-In Ratio with SOOMLA TRACEBACK
  2. 4 Proven Tips for Improving Opt-In Rate – Based on Data
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Analytics, App Monetization, Game Design

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series – Top Advertisers Comparison

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series - Top Advertisers Comparison

We’re back for another installation of Japan’s eCPM Benchmark Series! In the 3rd (and final) part, we’ll be looking to compare the performance of advertisers who serve interstitials and rewarded videos in Japan. In order to be as concise as possible, we’ll be looking into the top 10 performing advertisers in each category. In case you missed the previous parts, can find part part 1 and part 2 here.

For each ad type, we will look into advertisers who were first impression focused, as well as those who maintained a low amount of first impressions. Furthermore, we looked at the top performing advertisers, broken down by iOS and Android in terms of first impression volume and eCPM.

Why 1st Impressions

By focusing on 1st impression monetization, we are able to provide a better measure of the strength of different monetization channels. More importantly, it allows us the compare between advertisers on a more level playing field.

Ad networks will be able to see which advertisers are buying aggressively for each format and platform, while publishers can gain some insights on which advertisers are a potential fit for direct deals.

Note: As a base filter, we looked at apps with a minimum of 5,000 first impressions for the date range selected.

Interstitials – 1st Impression Lovers / Non-Lovers

The chart below shows advertisers that served a higher ratio of first impressions in the day compared to the total impressions.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Interstitial 1st Impression Lovers

To show the contrary, the chart below displays advertisers that have a lowest ratio of 1st impressions to the total impressions. These advertisers have not adopted a strategy focused on the importance of the 1st impression.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Interstitial 1st Impression Non-Lovers

While these charts might not be indicative of anything in this context, the next few charts showing the eCPMs can help give insights about advertiser specific strategy.

Top Advertisers for Interstitials – iOS

The chart below ranks the top 10 advertisers who placed ads in other apps via different channels. The comparison of these advertisers is based on 2 dimensions – 1st impression eCPM and 1st impression volume.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Interstitial Top Advertisers iOS

We can see that Kurashiru, Homescape and Wooden Block Puzzle are the only 3 advertisers that are performing above average (green line) for both 1st impression volume and eCPM. Another interesting note is that Fill has a very high eCPM payout in comparison to the other advertisers despite having a fairly lower volume of impressions.

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Interstitial Top Advertisers Android

For Android, we can see that only Hidden City – Mystery of Shadows maintains an above average 1st impressions volume and eCPM in comparison to other advertisers.

Q1 2018 MONETIZATION BENCHMARKS

Rewarded Videos – 1st Impression Lovers / Non-Lovers

The chart below shows advertisers that served a higher ratio of first impressions in the day compared to the total impressions.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Rewarded Videos 1st Impression Lovers

Yes, 96% and 91%. I saw it as well and was positive there was an error in my data, however after triple checking, the data was in fact accurate. Both of those apps are ENTIRELY focused on 1st impressions.

To show the contrary, the chart below displays advertisers that have a lowest ratio of 1st impressions to the total impressions. These advertisers have not adopted a strategy focused on the importance of the 1st impression.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Rewarded Videos 1st Impression Non-Lovers

Top Advertisers for Rewarded Videos – iOS

The chart below ranks the top 10 advertisers who placed ads in other apps via different channels. The comparison of these advertisers is based on 2 dimensions – 1st impression eCPM and 1st impression volume.
SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Rewarded Videos Top Advertisers iOS

For this case, we can see that no apps are performing above average for both 1st impression volume and eCPMs. However we do see that Hidden City is dominating the 1st impression volume, while Matchington Mansion and Seeker’s Notes maintains very high 1st impression eCPM payouts.

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Rewarded Videos Top Advertisers Android

For Android, we can see an almost mirroring of iOS. There are no apps that are performing above average for both 1st impression volume and eCPMs. Hidden City however has appeared on the high end of 1st impression volume for both iOS and Android.

Conclusion

This concludes our first eCPM Benchmark Series who’s sole focus has been on Japan. In our next series, we will be looking at India and how the growing gaming market is now one-tenth of all global gamers.

In the spirit of being big in Japan, enjoy the closing song!

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Announcement, Events, Marketing

MAU Vegas 2018 Ultimate Attendee List

We've got the ultimate spreadsheet containing 998 companies and 1862 attendee who are attending MAU Grow in Vegas this year.  Want to take a peak?

MAU Grow is in a few days and we’re excited to be attending. Based in Vegas, MAU Grow is considered to be the world’s leading mobile acquisition and retention summit of the year, attracting some of the top mobile brands for a full two days. The conference is packed with networking events and keynote speakers from some of the world’s top marketing talent. You can find the full brochure / overview here if you want to take a look.

Who is coming?

The number one issue with most conferences is combing through the hundreds (in this case thousands) of people attending and finding ways to reach out the them.
I’ve done the hard work for you! In the spreadsheet below you can find a list of 998 companies and 1862 attendees that are going to be at MAU Grow this year in Vegas. To make it even easier for you, I’ve added the name, title and company for each attendee.

Downloading, Copying and Editing this Spreadsheet

Here is a direct link to the spreadsheet.

You can download this Spreadsheet or copy to your own Google Drive from the file menu once you open it. Please do not use the “Request Access” option as we will not approve those.

If your company is not in there and you want to add yourself to the list, simply email us to scottie [at] soomla [dot] com. We will be happy to add you.

Of course, SOOMLA will be there too so if you want to meet – drop us a line to scottie [at] soomla [dot] com.

How to connect with other companies

MAU Grow does offer an internal networking app, however it is only available for those who have applied, been approved and bought a ticket to attend the official event. For those of you who are not officially attending the event, this is why the spreadsheet is even more important. To connect with some of these companies we recommend utilizing the tried and true Linkedin – simply send people connection requests and ask for a meeting

If you found this helpful at all, we’d love to hear and of course feel free to share to anyone. Also, be sure to check out our latest series on Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series! Part 1 is a broader overview of iOS vs Android and Part 2 looks at the individual ad networks and their performance / dominance.

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Analytics, App Monetization, Game Design

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series – Ad Network Performance

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series - Ad Network Performance

In the first part of our Japan eCPM Benchmark series, we kept a fairly broad approach to getting an understanding of how the Japanese mobile gaming market is performing. Before diving in to deeper breakdowns, it was important to look at the overall differences between iOS and Android.

There were some differences, but the most significant was how Rewarded Videos and Interstitials performed at near polar opposites. For Android, Rewarded Videos were far outperforming Interstitials in terms of eCPM payouts for 1st and overall impressions. On the other hand, we saw iOS dominating Interstitials with significantly higher eCPMs. Yes this is important, but at such a high level of analysis, it’s hard to gain actionable insights. This leads us to part two!

For the second part of our Japan eCPM Benchmarks series, we’re going to take a deeper look into the how the various ad networks are performing in Japan. Because we saw such a significant difference between iOS and Android in the ad types (Rewarded Videos and Interstitials), it only makes sense to keep the breakdown going in the same direction. It’s important to keep in the back of your mind that the majority of the mobile operating system market share in Japan is held by iOS, contrary to the rest of the world where Android maintains the larger share of mobile users. There are several reason for this, as one Tech blogger from Japan mentioned – if it interests you.

The Data

The data used for this series is based upon the data used in our recent Q1 Monetization Benchmarks Report collected through the SOOMLA platform. We analyzed the activity of over 30 million users in 8 countries over the span of 3 months (October 2017 – December 2017). Together these users viewed 600M impressions showing 2,500 advertisers in close to 100 apps. The app sample consists a higher ratio of games compared to the ratio of non-games in the app stores. However, we’ve seen the same patterns regardless of app category. The ad-formats analyzed through the study are: Interstitials, video interstitials and rewarded videos.

Interstitials – Premium Paid for First Impressions

This section looks at the premium paid in eCPM rates for 1st impressions compared to the overall average for ad networks prevalent in Japan’s interstitial domain. We compared this premium across all ad-networks who serve a high volume of interstitials. We’ve indexed the average eCPM as 100% and then presented the 1st in comparison.

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Interstitial iOS - 1st Impression Lift*Only ad networks with over 1,000,000 total impressions during the data period were considered.

Japan eCPM Benchmark Series - Interstitials Android 1st Impression Lift*Only ad networks with over 100,000 total impressions during the data period were considered.

First and foremost, it’s important to note the vast difference in minimum impressions for Android and iOS. The majority of interstitial ad impressions recorded are from iOS, confirming the majority of Japan’s iOS adoptance. Furthermore, after a deeper look, the data sample has a slight bias due to a large portion of the impression counts originating from a few highly successful mobile apps. Regardless of this, we can still see that iOS does maintain significantly higher payouts for 1st impressions than the average eCPMs.

Q1 2018 MONETIZATION BENCHMARKS

Interstitials – Share of Voice

Share of voice refers to the percentage of impressions each ad network displays of the total. We broke this down into 1st impressions and total impressions for ad networks displaying interstitials in Japan.

Japan eCPM Benchmark Series - Interstitials Share of Voice
See original Android – Share of VoiceSee original iOS – Share of Voice

For iOS – we can see that AdMob take a large share of both 1st impressions and total impressions. Mopub for instance has a strategy more focused on 1st impressions compared to their total impressions. For Android – taking into consideration the previous comments, we see that AdMob maintains the lion’s share.

Rewarded Videos – Premium Paid for First Impressions

This section looks at the premium paid in eCPM rates for 1st impressions compared to the overall average for ad networks prevalent in Japan’s rewarded videos domain. We compared this premium across all ad-networks who serve a high volume of rewarded videos. We’ve indexed the average eCPM as 100% and then presented the 1st in comparison.

Japan eCPM Benchmark Series - RewardedVideos iOS 1st Impression Lift*Only ad networks with over 300,000 total impressions during the data period were considered.

Japan eCPM Benchmark Series - RewardedVideos Android 1st Impression Lift*Only ad networks with over 300,000 total impressions during the data period were considered.

For iOS – we see, as expected, the majority of the ad networks have a higher first impression eCPMs compared to the total, however AdColony is the only ad network which the first impression eCPM is lower than the average. For Android – we see TapJoy with a significantly higher first impression eCPM ratio compared to the other ad networks.

Rewarded Videos – Share of Voice

Share of voice refers to the percentage of impressions each ad network displays of the total. We broke this down into 1st impressions and total impressions for ad networks displaying rewarded videos in Japan.

Japan eCPM Benchmark Series - Rewarded Videos Share of Voice
See original Android – Share of VoiceSee original iOS – Share of Voice

Across both iOS and Android, we see that Ironsource servers large portions of the 1st and total impressions that are served, only to be surpassed by Applovin in Android. It seems like Ironsource’s dominance as a mediation for rewarded videos allows it to obtain a high number of impressions without paying a premium for it. For Applovin, it’s possible that their self-serve interface for advertiser is able to generate higher demand diversity which translates into better results in later impressions.

Conclusion

This concludes part two of the Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series where we took a deeper look into the performance of ad networks for interstitials and rewarded videos. In the next part of the series, we will be looking into specific advertisers : which love being first (impression), which don’t, which have high volumes and which have high eCPMs. See you then!

In case you missed part one, you can find it here.

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Analytics, App Monetization, Game Design

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series – iOS vs Android Breakdown

Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series

We’ve received a lot of great feedback based on our recent data report, so we’ve decided to conduct further drill-downs on a country basis.

Japan is well known for its expansive gaming market that has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and according to a recent study by AppAnnie, mobile gaming revenue increased by 35% in 2017 year over year.

For the first part of our Japan eCPM Benchmarks Series, we will look breakdown on how iOS and Android are performing.

The Data

The data used for this series is based upon the data used in our recent Q1 Monetization Benchmarks Report collected through the SOOMLA platform. We analyzed the activity of over 30 million users in 8 countries over the span of 3 months (October 2017 – December 2017). Together these users viewed 600M impressions showing 2,500 advertisers in close to 100 apps. The app sample consists a higher ratio of games compared to the ratio of non-games in the app stores. However, we’ve seen the same patterns regardless of app category. The ad-formats analyzed through the study are: Interstitials, video interstitials and rewarded videos.

Q1 2018 MONETIZATION BENCHMARKS

Overall Android vs iOS

In this section we’ll keep it fairly broad and as we progress, we’ll get more in depth. For now, we will look at the high level eCPM benchmarks for Japan – how Android is performing in comparison to iOS. Similar to the main report, the aim is to show the vast differences between the eCPMs being paid out for the first impressions.

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - by OS

To no surprise, we do see a similar trend in Japan as we do for overall Android and iOS. iOS does tend to overall have higher payouts for eCPMs, while both maintain first impression eCPMs that are up to 1.43x higher than the average impression eCPM.

Ad Type Breakdown

The next drill down will be looking at the overall performance (in terms of eCPM payouts) of ad types in Japan. For the purpose of this section, we’ll be looking at Rewarded Videos and Interstitials (includes video ads and playable ads).

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - Android

SOOMLA's Japan Breakdown - iOS

Generally speaking, the comparison between Interstitials and Rewarded Videos is nearly identical at this level of breakdown, however as we can see above there is a significant difference between Android and iOS. While it’s difficult to say exactly what the reason behind this is, it’s worthwhile to understand the unique features of the Japanese mobile gaming market which can provide some insights.

Interstitials iOS have significantly higher eCPMs payouts as well as a ratio of 1st to average impression eCPM.

This is the first part in the series, so the breakdown is kept to be very high level. In the next part, we will be looking into the performance of the individual ad networks. Stay tuned!

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Analytics, Announcement, App Monetization, Resource, Tech Resources

Industry’s First Monetization Benchmark

Header image - the SOOMLA ads and churn case study is out for Q4 2017, full of insights

We are excited to announce our industry first “Q1 2018: Monetization Benchmarks” report today. This is one of the many industry data reports that we will continue to publish providing important insights related to monetization through ad revenue. This report gives an in-depth comparison of eCPMs for 1st impressions and overall and providing a ranking of monetization providers in the mobile industry.

You are welcome to download the report through this link.

Here are the quick take-aways from the report:

  • Advertisers and monetization providers are clearly paying a premium for first impressions. The premium can be as high as 100% of the average eCPM, sometimes higher
  • Monetization providers and advertisers have different bidding strategies when it comes to first impressions. Some are more aggressive while others seem indifferent to the impression sequence
  • Games tend to have a bigger focus on getting the 1st impression in comparison to non-gaming advertisers who appear to be indifferent to whether or not they are shown 1st.
  • There are a few advertisers who repeatedly show up in the top 10 across different ad formats and platforms. They are able to do that by having a clear data advantage. When negotiating prices for 1st impression – make sure you have enough data.

 

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