I was looking for some data on Cost Per Install (CPI) for games in Japan and a friend of mine who runs a large studio there sent me this link, a blog post by InMobi that I missed in January. It basically sets out the relative cost of mobile installs worldwide. While it isn’t exclusive to games, we can use it to decipher regional costs. To get started, I went over to one of my favorite CPI sites, MobPartner, to check out their scrolling list of live CPI transactions. If you like to watch CPI bidding, it’s the best place to watch the action. Here are a couple pics to illustrate the CPIs today:
As you can see, Empire: Four Kingdoms is buying a lot of installs and they are ranging in the U.S. between $1.90 and $2.40 and hitting $3.05 in the U.K. I would guess the higher priced acquisition in the U.S. is on a better performing network, or more proven ad channel that provides players that either convert a bit higher, or have a higher Lifetime Value (LTV). You need to balance cost with volume in any acquisition campaign, but that’s probably obvious.
So now let’s dig into the InMobi data. We know that their numbers are not just games, so we need to create a reference point.
The 174 is a number from InMobi on the relative cost per install in the U.K. related to the U.S. Since we know what Goodgame Studios is paying for their users we know the numbers in bold to be true. The InMobi numbers don’t quite match up yet. The difference is 160.5 instead of 174, which is roughly 92.2 percent of the difference. I broke down the numbers with the Relative CPI (R CPI), the Adjusted Relative CPI (AR CPI) and came up with the Actual Game CPI (AG CPI) below. It looks about right to me in terms of acquisition costs. I hope it’s helpful for you too.
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: iOS was the top selling smartphone platform in the U.S, for the 12 week period ending November 25th, 2012. iPhone 5 helped push the number past 50 percent, the first time iOS has hit that level.
In an article on GamesBeat, information was given as to how GREE values mobile installs when determining what to spend on user acquisition.
*In Japan, GREE’s mobile install Lifetime Value (LTV) is around $15
*In the U.S.A., a mobile install is valued between $2-$5
*GREE says they have a 50 percent organic install rate and they tune the amount they are willing to spend on an install accordingly.
*The average install they are paying is in the $2 range according to the article.
According to Strategy Analytics, and a VentureBeat article, we have a pretty good view of what is happening in the mobile market with respect to smartphones and tablets. Growth continues in the market and Android continues to gain market share from Apple.
Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in the third quarter of 2012
Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share
Android captured a 41 percent global market share
Apple shipped 14.0 million iPads worldwide in Q3
Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units
Global tablet shipments grew just 43 percent annually in Q3 2012, compared with 289 percent annually in Q2 2011.
162 million smartphones sold globally in the third quarter of 2012
While Samsung shipped 56.9 million smartphone units