Mobile Signals Report: Will Your App Reach $1M in Revenue?

Tapjoy has discovered five signals for predicting future lifetime value in mobile games.

Tapjoy Mobile Signals Report

Tapjoy, a marketing automation and monetization company, has released its Mobile Signals Report, which studied the mobile app behaviors of 149 million users and found five major trends that may be useful for developers to determine whether their apps will reach $1 million in revenue. Tapjoy examined user behavior in 479 apps with session counts over 1,000, from October 2013 to December 2014. The report focused on developers from Korea, Japan and China, a fast-growing but still relatively new market.

First, Tapjoy found a strong connection between the number of players making three or more in-app purchases and the likelihood the game would reach the $1 million revenue threshold. The study found 84 percent of apps with 1,000 or more users who complete three or more in-app purchases within the first 83 days eventually reached $1 million in revenue. Apps that had 4,000 or more users completing three or more in-app purchases reached $1 million 100 percent of the time.


When analyzing these three individual purchases, the study found users are more willing to make the first purchase, with “dramatic drop-off rates” afterward. For that reason, Tapjoy says first-purchase rates are potentially misleading when determining whether an app will reach a desired performance threshold. The report showed 35 percent to be the key number for reaching the $1 million revenue mark, with the “vast majority” of apps that had at least 35 percent of their first time purchasers go on to complete a third purchase reached that revenue number.

Tapjoy went further, analyzing average gameplay session length, in-app purchase trends in relation to the time of day or month, and more. The report showed the top 10 percent of games by revenue had an average gameplay session of over 25 minutes, and that 20 percent of monthly revenue is earned during the first four days of the month.

Since this data doesn’t provide a guaranteed formula for determining the lifetime value of users or the eventual revenue of new mobile games, Tapjoy says developers should “rely on multiple perspectives, with close attention to nuances, to piece together [their] revenue picture.”

The full Tapjoy Mobile Signals Report is available here.

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