Tag Archives: monetization

Unveiling expert insights in our new podcast series: Apps, Games, & Insights

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Global Marketing, Platforms & Ecosystems

This is a cross-post from The Google Keyword blog.

Apps, Games, & Insights illustrated banner with gaming imagery.

Today we’re launching the Apps, Games, & Insights podcast series, bringing together insights, stories, and learnings from industry experts, on some of today's hottest topics surrounding mobile, apps and games businesses, and the wider industry.

Listen to the podcast here!

The series has eight episodes which aim to challenge, provoke thought, and enlighten listeners - from designers and developers, through to product managers and marketers, and those interested in the apps and games industry.

The podcast is hosted by Googlers Tamzin Taylor, who heads up Apps & Games Business Development for Google Play in Western Europe, and Dirk Primbs, who leads the Ecosystem Developer Relations team in EMEA. Together, they have many years of experience working with partners to assist with Android development, mobile, app, game, and business growth. Every week they will be joined by different guests for each of the episodes.

Sneak peek at what’s coming up

Kicking off the series are Judy Chen and Sarah Fuchs from Crowdstar, the developers of Covet Fashion and Design Home. They join us for episode 1 to discuss how to build a long-term games business by taking a holistic approach to the game, its players, and the people who create the game.

Ever wonder if it's worth selling your app or game business, and if so how to approach it? It's not all about pocketing the cash and walking away. For episode 2, game mergers and acquisitions expert Chris Petrovic from Zynga will talk about how acquisition can free developers to focus on what they love: creating great apps and games.

The popularity of subscriptions continues to grow, with developers who used subscriptions earning 4X more in 2018, than in 2016. Holly Ackerman and David Berlin, from the sports streaming platform DAZN, join us for episode 3 to provide some fascinating insights into how they have grown their subscription business in this industry.

Whether you are a startup in search of funding or an established business looking to accelerate your investment, venture capital can often be a good source of funds. In episode 4, venture capital expert Matteo Vallone from Cherry Ventures offers insights into the investment process and how to maximize your appeal to investors.

For episode 5, we have what is possibly one of the biggest topics in mobile and throughout the tech industry: privacy. Bruce Gustafson, CEO of Developers Alliance brings us up to speed on trust and safety, platform value, respecting the user, and ultimately building privacy friendly apps and games.

Successful game developers put players front and center of everything they do. When over 270 million people have played your games, you must be doing something right. Ben Clarke, Senior Global Marketing Director at Jagex, joins us for episode 6 to discuss some of the innovative approaches to player engagement and retention taken in their RuneScape games.

Figuring out how to make your app or game accessible to all can often be a challenge, sometimes both from an organizational and technical perspective. However, many developers have made accessibility a core part of their app development process and company culture. For episode 7, we’re joined by Ceri Lindsay and Rosalind Whittam from the BBC to discover how they address accessibility.

Today, Android is not just about smartphones, Android apps and games can run on a range of devices with larger screens, such as Chromebooks. At the same time, mature mobile game franchises are looking for opportunities beyond mobile. In our final episode 8, we’ll be joined by Maximiliano Rodriguez of Gameloft to talk about the challenge of taking games to big screens and new platforms.

We hope you’ll join us over the next eight weeks to dive deeper and hear what our thought leader guests have to say on each topic.

How to stay tuned in

To listen to our first podcast and find out more about what’s coming, check out our new Apps, Games, & Insights podcast homepage.

Listen to our first episode here, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Google Podcasts, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and also on LibSyn. Keep an eye out on @GooglePlayDev and @AndroidDev on Twitter where we will be announcing the launch of the new episodes each week.

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Optimize your subscriptions with new insights in the Play Console

Posted by Daniel Schramm, Product Manager, Google Play

Since launching on Google Play nearly 7 years ago, subscriptions have proven to be an essential element in creating sustainable mobile app businesses; 89 of the top 100 highest grossing apps on Google Play in the US now provide subscription products. As the market matures, it is becoming increasingly important for subscription developers to optimize both subscriber conversion and retention in order to maintain growth. To help you do that, we're rolling out new insights available directly in the Play Console.

Subscription retention report

Example subscription retention report data in the Play Console. Source: Google Internal Data.

The recently updated subscription retention report shows how well you are retaining subscribers, along with how well subscribers convert from free trial, introductory price, and first to second payment.

You can configure two cohorts based on SKU, country, and subscription start date. This is particularly useful for evaluating the success of A/B tests; for example, to determine if changing the duration of a free trial has an impact on free trial conversion.

Example free trial conversion data in the Play Console. Source: Google Internal Data.

Cancellation survey results

Retaining your existing subscribers is just as important as acquiring new subscribers, so we have updated the subscription cancellations report to give more insight into voluntary and involuntary cancellations.

The launch of the subscriptions center last year introduced a cancellation survey allowing users to give developers feedback as to why they were cancelling, with results available through the Google Play Developer API. To make these results easier to access and monitor, we now surface daily aggregates directly within the Play Console, along with the ability to download written responses in a CSV.

Example cancellation survey responses in the Play Console. Source: Google Internal Data.

Recover more users

Involuntary cancellations, which occur when a user's form of payment fails, account for over a third of all cancellations. The new recovery performance cards in the cancellation report helps you understand how effectively you are recovering users with grace period and account hold, and the day the subscriptions were recovered to help you evaluate the effectiveness of recovery messaging.

Example account hold performance recovery card in the Play Console. Source: Google Internal Data.

Make sure you've set up grace periods and account hold for your apps! We've seen that developers who use both grace period and account hold see more than a 3x increase in decline recovery rate from 10% to 33%. Discover more information on grace period and account hold.

You can find the subscription retention and cancellation reports linked from the bottom of the Subscriptions page, in the Financial reports section of the Play Console. If you don't have access to financial reporting, ask your developer account owner for permission to view financial data.

Example account hold performance recovery card in the Play Console. Source: Google Internal Data.

We hope this new reporting gives you new insights to optimize your subscription business, and we look forward to sharing more with you at Google I/O in May.

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Grow and optimize your subscriptions with new Google Play features

Posted by Larry Yang and Angela Ying, Product Managers, Google Play

Subscriptions on Google Play continue to see huge growth, with subscribers growing over 80% year over year. At I/O 2018, we announced several improvements we're making to the user experience to reduce barriers to subscription sign-up, and more tools to let you manage your business the way you want to.

More control for subscribers

While users derive a lot of value from their subscriptions, our research shows their fears of being "trapped" in a subscription without the ability to cancel or worry they'll lose track of how much they're spending create a hindrance to users signing up for your subscription apps. To address these fears, we recently launched a new subscriptions center, a one-stop shop for users to manage their subscriptions on Google Play.

Through the subscriptions center, users can:

  • View all of their subscriptions to see details and status
  • Manage and update payment methods, including setting up a backup payment method
  • Renew a subscription
  • Restore a cancelled subscription
  • Cancel a subscription

In addition, if a user cancels a subscription, we will now trigger a cancellation survey to give developers feedback as to why the user is cancelling. Currently you can see the data from the cancellation survey by querying our server side API.

The new subscriptions center also has a "Get Started" link in the empty state that lets users discover subscription apps through curated and localized collections.

With the launch of the subscriptions center, we're also launching new deep links you can use to direct your users to manage their subscriptions from your app, over email or via the web. To implement, use the package name and SKU to construct the deep link, and then add the deep link as a button or link from anywhere in your app. View the Android Developers website for more information.

More control for you

In addition to creating a better experience for users, we're also rolling out new tools that give you more flexibility in managing your business. One of the features we've heard requested most is price changes. Coming soon, you can easily ask users to accept a price change via the Google Play Console without having to set up a completely new SKU. Google Play will notify users of the change via emails, push notifications and in-app messaging, and if by renewal date the user hasn't agreed, we'll cancel their subscription. Sign up here if you are interested in participating in the early access program.

Other features we launched at I/O that help you better manage your subscription business include the ability to:

This is in addition to faster test renewals and flexible intro pricing we announced earlier this year.

To easily implement all of these, make sure you are using the Google Play Billing Library, which launched version 1.1 at I/O. The billing library is an abstraction layer on top of the AIDL file, and API updates are automatically picked up when you update your build dependency file the next time you compile your app. Price changes and upgrade/downgrade with the same expiration date are only available through the billing library. This will be the case for future launches as well.

Better for everyone

We strongly believe that by building a great user experience, we build a high quality subscriber base. And by giving you tools and insights to better manage your business, you have the flexibility to do what is best for your business and your customers.

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Google Play Billing Library 1.0 released

Posted by Neto Marin, Developer Advocate

In June we announced the developer preview for a new Google Play Billing Library. Today, we are pleased to announce the official release of the Play Billing Library 1.0. This library simplifies the development process for Google Play Billing, allowing you to focus your efforts on your app.

Thank you for your valuable feedback and suggestions that helped us reach the 1.0 release. Watch the video below for a quick overview of the library's features.

Before you start

With Play Billing, you can receive payments from users around the world via a payment system they trust and you can take advantage of features and reports in the Play Console to manage and earn more revenue.

If you have never implemented in-app billing in your apps, or you want to know what you can offer using Play Billing Library, read the In-app Billing Overview to familiarize yourself with concepts and terminology that make it easier for you to implement In-app Billing using the Play Billing Library.

Getting started

Play Billing Library is available through Maven repository, and adding Play Billing Library to your project is simple as adding the following dependency into your app's build.gradle file:

dependencies {
    ...
    compile 'com.android.billingclient:billing:1.0'
}

The Play Billing Library 1.0 automatically adds the com.android.vending.BILLING permission to your APK. This means you no longer need to manually include it in your application module's manifest.

BillingClient and PurchasesUpdatedListener

These classes are the most important pieces when integrating the library into your Android app. The BillingClient is the bridge between your app and Google Play. You will use it for listing available products, starting the billing flow for in-app products or subscriptions (i.e. opening the payment interface), getting user purchases, and creating or modifying subscriptions.

When creating your BillingClient instance, you'll need to set a PurchasesUpdatedListener. This allows your app to receive updates from the In-app Billing API, including transaction results after the billing flow, as well as purchases completed outside of your app, e.g. user redeemed a Promo Code or bought a product on another device.

The following code demonstrates how you could override the )">onPurchasesUpdated() method of your PurchasesUpdatedListener:

@Override
void onPurchasesUpdated(@BillingResponse int responseCode,
        List<Purchase> purchases) {
    if (responseCode == BillingResponse.OK
            && purchases != null) {
        for (Purchase purchase : purchases) {
            handlePurchase(purchase);
        }
    } else if (responseCode == BillingResponse.USER_CANCELED) {
        // Handle an error caused by a user canceling the purchase flow.
    } else {
        // Handle any other error codes.
    }
}

You can implement the PurchasesUpdatedListener in your Activity or in any other class you want, according to your app's architecture. And here's the code for creating the BillingClient instance, and setting the PurchasesUpdatedListener:

mBillingClient = BillingClient.newBuilder(mContext)
                              .setListener(mPurchasesUpdatedListener)
                              .build();

Listing and selling products

To sell products in your app, first, you need to add them using the Play Console. For more details about how to add in-app products see the page Administering In-app Billing.

Attention: If this is a brand new app, before adding the products you must publish it to the alpha or beta distribution channel. For more information, see Draft Apps are No Longer Supported.

To get a list of product details with prices for current user, call , com.android.billingclient.api.SkuDetailsResponseListener)">querySkuDetailsAsync(). You must also specify a listener which implements the SkuDetailsResponseListener interface. You can then override the onSkuDetailsResponse() method which notifies the listener when the query finishes, as illustrated by the following sample code:

List<String> skuList = new ArrayList<> ();
skuList.add("premiumUpgrade");
skuList.add("gas");
mBillingClient.querySkuDetailsAsync(SkuType.INAPP , skuList,
    new SkuDetailsResponseListener() {
        @Override
        public void onSkuDetailsResponse(SkuDetailsResult result) {
            // Process the result.
        }
    })

After the user chooses a product to buy, you'll need to start the billing flow and handle the transaction result. To start a purchase request from your app, call the launchBillingFlow() method on the Play Billing Library client. You must call the launchBillingFlow() method (and all the other methods from BillingClient) from the UI thread.

The launchBillingFlow() method needs BillingFlowParams object that contains relevant data for completing the purchase, such as the product ID of the item to purchase and the product type (in this case, SkuType.INAPP). To get an instance of BillingFlowParams, construct it with newBuilder() method:

BillingFlowParams.Builder builder = BillingFlowParams
                                       .newBuilder()
                                       .setSku(skuId).setType(SkuType.INAPP);
int responseCode = mBillingClient.launchBillingFlow(builder.build());

As we mentioned earlier, the transaction result will be sent to the )">onPurchasesUpdated() method. For details how to process the data received on )">onPurchasesUpdated() and how to handle a purchase, check the section Purchase an item in our training guide.

Consuming products

By default, all in-app products are managed. It means that Google Play tracks the product ownership and doesn't allow to buy multiple times. To be able to buy a product again, you must consume the product before it becomes available again.

It's common to implement consumption for in-app products which users may want to purchase multiple times, such as in-game currency or equipment. You typically don't want to implement consumption for in-app products that user purchases once and provide a permanent effect, such as a premium upgrade.

To consume a product, call the consumeAsync() method on the Play Billing Library client and pass in the purchaseToken String value returned when you made the purchase. The consumption result is returned via onConsumeResponse() method of the ConsumeResponseListener interface, that you must override to handle the consumption result.

The following example illustrates consuming a product using the associated purchaseToken:

ConsumeResponseListener listener = new ConsumeResponseListener() {
    @Override
    public void onConsumeResponse(@BillingResponse int responseCode, 
                                  String outToken) {
        if (responseCode == BillingResponse.OK) {
            // Handle the success of the consume operation.
            // For example, increase the number of player's coins,
            // that provide temporary benefits
        }
    }
};
mBillingClient.consumeAsync(purchaseToken, listener);

Sample updated: Trivial Drive V2

With a new library comes a refreshed sample! To help you to understand how to implement in-app billing in your app using the new Play Billing Library, we've rewritten the Trivial Drive sample from the ground up.

Since we released Trivial Drive back in 2013, many new features, devices, and platforms have been added to the Android ecosystem. To reflect this evolution, the Trivial Drive v2 sample now runs on Android TV and Android Wear.

What's next?

Before integrating within your app, you can try the Play Billing Library with the codelab published during Google I/O 2017: Buy and Subscribe: Monetize your app on Google Play.

In this codelab, you will start with a simplified version of Trivial Drive V2 that lets users to "drive" and then you will add in-app billing to it. You'll learn how to integrate purchases and subscriptions as well as the best practices for developing reliable apps that handle purchases.

Get more info on the Play Billing Library and the official reference for classes and methods documentation on the Android Developers website. For a step-by-step guide to implementing the Play Billing Library in your project, visit the library's training class.

We still want your feedback

If you have issues or questions, file a bug report on the Google Issue Tracker, and for issues and suggestions on the sample (like a bug or a new feature), contact us on the Trivial Drive issues page.

For technical questions on implementation, library usage, and best practices, you can use the tags google-play and play-billing-library on StackOverflow or visit the communities on our Google+ page.

Learn tips from Memrise to increase in-app conversions with pricing experiments

Posted by Tamzin Taylor, Partner Development Manager at Google Play, & Kristina Narusk, Head of Production at Memrise

Getting people to install your app is one thing, getting them to sign up to your paid offering is quite another. It's important to understand the complete journey your users take from installing your app to paying for something. Once you do, you can experiment on the flow to try and increase conversions. Memrise has found great success in experimenting on their language learning app to increase the number of paying users.

Four experiments Memrise use to improve conversions

Memrise makes languages fun with a number of different learning modes you can play to help increase your vocabulary in a chosen language. You can download the app for free and play some of the modes or take advantage of their premium subscription offering called 'Memrise Pro' which offers new game modes and additional features like offline learning. Memrise recently ran a number of conversion experiments with the main objective of increasing the Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). These experiments tested multiple user experience and pricing experiment scenarios.

1. A/B test how messaging different user benefits can impact conversion

What they did: Memrise wanted to know what motivation and call to action would convert the most users to buy a Pro subscription from a locked game mode in the app. To do this, they ran an A/B test with two similar designs, featuring different reasons for the user to upgrade, and compared the results to their original upgrade messaging.



Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 15.26.00.png
Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 15.25.34.png
Test A: Focus on ‘difficult’ words with an orange background.
Test B: Focus on ‘favorite’ words with a pink background.

Results: Test A performed the best. Conversion to Pro in Test A was 28% higher than in Test B. Pro mode usage was subsequently 9.7% higher in Test A compared to Test B too.

Next steps: After seeing how test A won the experiment, Memrise applied this creative across the board. Subscribers driven by that particular mode increased as a percentage of all subscriptions in the app by 16%. Memrise plans to run additional A/B tests at others points of conversion in the app to see if they can increase the results even further. They'll also try different text for the call to actions.

2. Test whether adapting to local price points results in sustainable uplift

In 2015, Google Play launched new minimum local price levels in countries around the world. To take advantage of the new price points, Memrise tested lowering localised prices in certain markets to better match purchasing power. Prices were an average of 6 times lower during this experiment.

Results: After 30 days, Memrise saw the following changes in conversions to paid users:



??
Turkey
180%
??
Brazil
182%
??
Russia
99%
??
Mexico
115%
??
India
5.1%
??
Indonesia
152%
??
South Korea
120%
??
Thailand
70%
??
Malaysia
27%

Next steps: The change in price affected the subscription dynamics with more users taking advantage of Memrise's in-app discounted offer in most countries. The offer was for annual subscribers only and has led to a positive effect on LTV. One insight from the experiment was that Indian users prefered to have the option to subscribe in weekly or monthly increments and not just annually. Memrise is still tracking carefully to see whether the discounted subscription pricing will lead to an increase in conversions.

3. Test when and how often you offer free trials to see if that affects conversion rate

Memrise occasionally offers users, who aren't Pro subscribers, a free trial of one of the Pro game modes while cycling through the various free modes. After the free trial session, users are presented with an offer to subscribe. Memrise experimented with the offer's timing making it appear more frequently while users were cycling through normal free sessions Instead of after every 49th session, users saw the unlocked mode after every 21st session.



Screenshot_unlocked.png
Screenshot_unclocked_offer.png
An example of a free trial of a Pro mode.
After completing a free trial, users see a discounted subscription offer.

Results: Offering a free trial more frequently paid off. The conversion rate increased by 50% while all other conversion rates remained the same.

Next steps: Memrise maintained the more frequent offer cadence and has seen revenue growth as a result.

4. Test whether seasonal discounts result in more conversions Memrise launched a 'Back to School' campaign presenting all users with a discounted annual plan offer for a week in September 2016. The aim was to convert more users and generate higher value users from annual subscription plans.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 16.03.14.png

Results: Memrise saw two effects from the seasonal offer. As a result of only presenting an annual period and removing weekly and monthly, 20% fewer users per day converted to Pro. However, because more people were taking an annual subscription than a shorter subscription, the average revenue per day increased by 32% justifying the change.

Next steps: Memrise plans to test different offers in the future with a combination of subscription offerings. They'll also focus offers in countries like Turkey and Mexico, where they saw the biggest increase in conversions.

Keep experimenting and take advantage of new features to improve the user experience and increase conversions

At Playtime San Francisco, we announced that introductory pricing for subscriptions would be coming soon and the feature is now live. By continually testing messaging, pricing, offers, and free trials or discounted trials, you could increase the conversions in your app and your ongoing revenue just like Memrise. Learn more about Google Play in-app billing subscriptions and get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date with features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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Do more with Ads on AMP

Cross-posted from the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Blog

Over a year has passed since the AMP Project first launched with the vision of making mobile web experiences faster and better for everybody. From the very beginning, we’ve maintained that the AMP project would support publishers’ existing business models while creating new monetization opportunities. With regards to advertising, this meant giving publishers the flexibility to use the current technology and systems they’re used to, and evolving user-first mobile web initiatives like AMP for Ads (A4A).

With a growing number of publishers embracing the speed of AMP, today we’re addressing some of the ways in which we’re helping you do more with ads on AMP.

Serve ads from more than 70+ ad tech providers

Keeping with the open source nature of the project, more than 70+ advertising technology providers have already integrated with AMP. And that list is only growing. Existing tags that are delivered via a supported ad server also work in AMP. So, you can serve ads from both directly-sold campaigns as well as third-party ad networks and exchanges so long as they have support for AMP.

Keep 100% of the ad revenue

AMP is an open source project. It does not take a revenue share. AMP is not an advertising service provider or intermediary, and publishers can monetize AMP pages the same way you monetize HTML pages, keeping 100% of the revenue you earn based on negotiated rates with ad providers.

Choose the advertising experience on your pages

You can choose to serve any number of ads per page to serve in locations that works best for your content, including the first viewport. Just remember that regular ads in AMP load after the primary content. So, unless you’re loading the lightning fast A4A ads, we recommend placing the first ad below the first viewpoint to optimize for viewability and user experience.

Take advantage of video ad support

AMP currently supports 13 different video players, ranging from Brightcove to Teads, all of which can serve video ads. If you want to use a video player that is not currently supported in AMP, place the video player inside amp-iframe. Learn more.

Differentiate yourself with rich and custom ad formats

AMP accommodates a large variety of ad formats by default, ranging from publisher custom ad units to IAB standard outstream video and in-feed native ads. We value publisher choice and support efforts to create proprietary ad formats. For example, with responsive layouts in AMP, you can offer advertisers custom ads that can dynamically span the entire width of the mobile device. Learn more about how you can adapt your ads strategy for AMP.

Maximize revenue with interchangeable ad slots

In September 2016, both YieldMo and DoubleClick announced support for multi-size ad requests on AMP pages. With this launch, you can optimize yield by allowing multiple ad creative sizes to compete for each ad slot, capturing the most advertiser demand possible on AMP pages while still protecting the user’s experience.

Plan ahead with a view into AMP’s roadmap

Transparency is important to the success of any open source project and is a key value for AMP. Accordingly, we started publishing the AMP roadmap publicly nearly 6 months ago, including milestones for ads. These roadmaps are accompanied with bi-quarterly status updates and you can also see all AMP releases here.

Over 700,000 domains have published AMP pages and a good many are monetizing them with ads. Early studies suggest that ads on AMP are more viewable and engaging than ads on non-AMP mobile pages. That’s because with AMP, you don’t have to choose between good user experiences and monetization opportunities. When balanced and optimized, you can have both.

Reach out -- we’re eager to hear your suggestions and feedback to make sure that AMP pays off for everyone.

Posted by Vamsee Jasti, Product Manager, AMP Project

Source: Inside AdSense


Android Developer Story: Papumba grows revenue globally by localising its family titles on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Papumba is an educational games developer based in Argentina, with a core team of four people and a vision to grow a global business.

Watch Gonzalo Rodriguez, CEO, and Andres Ballone, CFO, explain how working with a team of experts from across the world and adapting their games to local markets helped them find success globally.

Learn more about localized pricing and translation services to grow your app or game business globally on Google Play. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

5 Tips to help you improve game-as-a-service monetization

Posted by Moonlit Wang, Partner Development Manager at Google Play Games, & Tammy Levy, Director of Product for Mobile at Kongregate

In today’s world of game-as-a-service on mobile, the lifetime value of a player is a lot more complex, where revenue is now the sum of many micro transactions instead of a single purchase with traditional console games.

Of course you don’t need a sophisticated statistical model to understand that the more time a player invests in your game, and the more money they spend, the greater their LTV. But how can you design and improve monetization as a mobile game developer? Here are 5 tips to help you improve game-as-a-service monetization, with best practice examples from mobile games publisher, Kongregate:

1. Track player behavior metrics that have a strong and positive correlation with LTV

  • D1, D7, D30 retention indicates how well a casual player can be converted into a committed fan.
  • Session length and frequency measures user engagement and how fun your game is.
  • Completion rate at important milestones can measure and pinpoint churn.
  • Buyer and repeated buyer conversion, represents your most valuable user segment.

2. Optimize for long-term engagement and delight your best players

Retention is the first metric that can distinguish great games from mediocre ones. Games with higher retention rates throughout the user’ lifecycle, monetize better consistently. Retention is king, and more importantly, long-term retention should be prioritized. Therefore, when designing your game, aim to create a sophisticated and engaging experience to delight your most committed fans.

[This chart shows the retention of top games / apps over time]
  • When considering long term retention, focus on achieving a strong D30, but also look beyond the first 30 days. Measure long term retention by assessing the following rates: D30 to D60, D30 to D90, and D30 to D180. The higher the rate, the stickier your game is in the long term, which will increase your LTV.
  • Players are willing to pay a fixed amount of money per hour of “fun”, so think about updates when designing your game, to make the content rich and fun for those who will play at very high levels and spend the most time within your game, don’t gate your players or hinder their in-game progression.
  • Use the Google Play Games Services - Funnel Report to help you track different milestone completion rates in your games, so you can identify drop off points and reduce churn
.
3. Increase buyer conversion through targeted offers

First-time buyer conversion is the most important as player churn rate drops significantly after the first purchase, but stays relatively flat regardless of the amount spent. Also, past purchase behavior is the best predictor of future purchases. Find your first-time and repeated buyer conversion rate directly in the Developer Console.

  • Use A/B testing to find the price that will maximize your total revenue. Different people have different willingness to pay for a given product and the tradeoff between price and quantity is different for different products, so don’t decrease prices blindly.
  • Tailor your in-game experience as well as in-app purchase offers based on the player’s predicted probability to spend using the Player Stats API, which predicts players churn and spend.

For example, in Kongregate’s game Spellstone, testing two pricing points for a promotion called Shard Bot, which provides players with a daily “drip” of Shards (the premium currency) for 30 days, showed players had a much stronger preference for the higher priced pack. The first pack, Shard Bot, priced at $4, granted players 5 daily shards, and the second pack, the Super Shard Bot, was priced at $8 and granted players 10 daily shards.

[Two week test results showing preference for the more expensive pack, which also generated more revenue]

Kongregate decided to keep the higher priced Super Shard Bot in the store, although both packs resulted in very similar retention rates:

4. As well as what monetization features to implement, take into consideration why, when and how to do so

  • Why: “Buyer intent” is most important. Any item with a price tag should serve to enhance your players in-game experience. For example, a new map, a new power, something exciting and additional to the free experience. Don’t gate your players with a purchase-only item as happy users means more time spent with your game, which will lead to higher revenue. Educate users by gifting some free premium goods and currency during the tutorial, and let users experience the benefit first.
  • When: Time offers based on when users may need it. If your IAP is to continue gameplay after timeout, then you should surface it right when the timer ends. If your IAP is to offer premium equipment, then you should surface it when users gear up their characters. The offer should be contextually relevant, such that the content should cater to the player’s current status and needs in-game.

    In particular, Starter Packs or New Buyer Promos need to be well timed. Players need to understand the value and importance of all the items before they are shown the promotion. If surfaced too early, players will not feel compelled to purchase. If surfaced too late, the offer will not be compelling enough. The Starter Pack should appear within 3 to 5 sessions since install, depending on your game. Additionally, limiting its availability to 3 to 5 days will urge players to make a quicker purchase decision.

    For example, BattleHand’s starter pack is surfaced around the 4th session, it is available for 36hrs and contains the following items to aid players in all areas of the game:

  • Powerful cards that have an immediate effect in battle
  • High rarity upgrade materials to upgrade your card deck
  • A generous amount of soft currency that can be used in all areas of the game
  • A generous amount of hard currency so players can purchase premium store items
  • Rare upgrade materials for Heroes
[Example starter pack offer in Battle Hands]
Thanks to the strength of the promotion over 50% of players choose the Starter Pack instead of the regular gems offerings:
  • How: There are many ways you can implement premium content and goods in your game, such as power-ups, characters, equipment, maps, hints, chapters etc. The two most impactful monetization designs are:
      Gacha - There are many ways to design, present and balance gacha but the key is to have randomized rewards, which allows you to sell extremely powerful items that players want without having to charge really high prices per purchase.
[Example of randomized rewards in Raid Brigade’s boxes]
      LiveOps - Limited time content on a regular cadence will also create really compelling opportunities for the players to both engage further with the game and invest in the game. For instance, Adventure Capitalist has been releasing regular limited themed time events with their spin on the permanent content, their own progression, achievements and IAP promotions.
[Example timed event for Adventure Capitalist]

Through this initiative, the game has seen regular increases in both engagement and revenue during event times without affecting the non-event periods:

[Timed events drastically increase engagement and revenue without lowering the baseline average over time]

5. Take into account local prices and pricing models

Just like different people have different willingness-to-pay, different markets have different purchasing powers.

    • Test what price points make sense for local consumers in each major market. Don’t just apply an umbrella discount, find the price points that maximize total revenue.
    • Consider charm pricing but remember it doesn’t work everywhere. For example, in the United States, prices always end in $x.99, but that’s not the case in Japan and Korea, where rounded numbers are used. Pricing in accordance to the local norm signals to the customers that you care and designed the game with them in mind. The Google Developer Console now automatically applies local pricing conventions of each currency for you.

Check out the Android Developer Story from games developer, Divmob, who improved their game’s monetization threefold simply by adopting sub-dollar pricing strategies. Also, learn more best practices about building for billions to get more tips on monetization.

Get the Playbook for Developers app and stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

Android Developer Story: Vietnamese games developer Divmob finds more users with localized pricing on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Based in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, games developer Divmob has grown quickly from an original team of five people to 40 employees since it was founded three years ago. Divmob now has over 40 million downloads across its various titles, including the popular game, Epic Heroes War.

Watch Ngo Van Luyen, CEO & Founder at Divmob, and his team explain how introducing sub-dollar pricing in various markets resulted in a 300% increase in daily transactions, and increased the number of paying users threefold.

Find out more about local pricing models on Google Play

We recently introduced new features in the Google Play Developer Console to help you meet local expectations when setting prices, to make purchases more attractive to your users. The Developer Console will now automatically round pricing to local conventions in each market, and you can also set up pricing templates to manage pricing across multiple currencies more efficiently, and easily make bulk changes to the prices of multiple apps and in-app products in a single click. Learn more about the improved local pricing tools.