April 09, 2015 09:00 ET

Is the Mobile Games Business Getting Smarter? New Report Finds Over 60% of All In-Game Revenues Are Generated by Only 0.23% of All Players

Swrve Releases 2015 Mobile Monetization Report Covering 20 Million Players of Free Mobile Games; Average Monthly Spend Increased 33% From 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2015) - Swrve, the world leader in mobile marketing automation, today announced the results of its latest 2015 Mobile Monetization Report. The just-published report reveals that free-to-play game revenue remains skewed towards a small group of most active spenders -- with just 0.23% of all players accounting for 64% of all revenue.

The report covers the latest industry data relating to the monetization of free-to-play game players on mobile, based on real user data covering tens of millions of mobile gamers.

These findings continue to demonstrate the importance of attracting targeted players to the game, identifying them early and ensuring the best possible in-game experience to maximize ROI.

The report also indicates the focus on player acquisition in mobile games may be waning, as companies learn to manage the player lifecycle: the percentage of players who made real in-game purchases in January rose to 2.3% (from 1.5% in 2014) and average monthly spend was $29.17, up from $22 in the same month last year, an increase of nearly 33%.

Key Report Findings:

  • 2.3% of all players made a purchase with real money, an increase from 1.5% of players in last year's survey;

  • Of paying customers, 44% made one purchase, while 20% made five or more;

  • The typical paying player makes 3.5 purchases per month, at an average purchase price of $8.27;

  • 'Mid-tier' SKUs of $10-$20 drive the free-to-play business: contributing 21.9% of purchases and 38.6% of revenues -- the latter figure up from 22% a year ago;

  • The average time to first purchase is only 15 hours, down from just under 24 hours in 2014 -- making it clear that successful titles incentivize early spend.

"The numbers are clear: the mobile games space is changing and growing," said Christopher Dean, Swrve CEO. "Although still reliant on a relatively small but growing number of players, there is a clear trend towards a broader payer base, and a more sophisticated approach to driving revenues. We're leaving the 'acquisition phase' of mobile, as developers realize that success is determined by what happens after the install."

The full report is available here


The report was restricted to free-to-play games and examined 30 days of behavior for all players playing a game in January 2015. Data was collected from over 40 titles, and reflects the behavior of more than 20 million players.

About Swrve

Swrve is the world leader in mobile marketing automation. Swrve provides a set of tools and approaches that enable mobile and digital marketers to deliver outstanding experiences for mobile app users and, as a result, drive engagement, retention and revenue across the business. Those tools include everything needed to deliver the 'perfect conversation' -- push notifications, image-based in-app messages, interactive rich media messages and native content changes -- delivered to the right target audience of users with real-time segmentation, all A/B tested, and without involvement from engineering. Swrve is used by some of the world's leading app companies, and processes over 6 billion events a day across a billion devices.

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