The State of Gaming App Marketing: 2019 Insights | AppsFlyer
what is the state of gaming app marketing in 2019

The State of Gaming App Marketing: 2019 Insights [Data Study]

Gaming has always been the driving force of the app marketing economy, with 35% of the overall industry’s non-organic installs coming from this category in 2019 — a growth of almost 10% compared to 2018.

Much of this momentum has been driven by Hyper Casual games. The genre, which erupted into the market in 2018, experienced continued growth in 2019 with the number of apps in the category increasing by more than three times compared to the gaming industry average. Also, Hyper Casual apps had the highest number of installs on average per app in more than half of the top markets. 

The ability of these simple games to drive significant revenue from ads has changed the way other gaming genres monetize, looking to in-app advertising (IAA) as an increasingly important source of income. 

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Core games take a hit with paying users, but compensate with more ad revenue

Beyond the success of the ad model, the reduced ability to generate in-app purchase (IAP) revenue has also led developers to increase their faith in IAA. In fact, we have found that the share of paying users in Midcore and Hardcore games dropped by a collective 40%, while the share of IAA in their apps has jumped 34% year over year. 

These trends illustrate that more and more core players are willing to engage with ads — as long as they are well positioned within the gameplay — rather than opt for paid content. 

Having said that, it is important to stress that despite the growth of IAA and drop in the share of paying users, IAP remains the driving force of the gaming industry, especially for core games, and still commands the lion’s share of revenue. 


Games uninstalled in droves, but stickiness rises for others

Unfortunately, the sheer variety of apps now available has not spelled good news for Gaming uninstall rates, which were found to be 34% higher than in Non-Gaming apps. Their rates were alarmingly high in 2019 as the following chart shows:

In the same way that users can easily switch between games to find engaging and free content, so too can they switch when that content does not or no longer meets their expectations. The exploratory nature of gaming means users pick out games in their favorite genres, try them out, and uninstall just as quickly without giving it a second thought. 

Comparing between platforms, Android’s uninstall rate is 125% higher than iOS, mainly the result of the diversification of Android devices and the average storage space on them. This space is, on average, not large enough to store many, or any, games that are not in use anymore. 

The good news is that for apps that remain on players’ devices, we have found that the overall stickiness of the average game has increased by more than 40%, reaching a DAU/MAU rate of 5, which means the user visited the app on 5 different days throughout a month. With an unprecedented large selection at their fingertips, users can easily find more engaging games that suit their exact taste and as a result play these games more often.


What else is in the report?

These trends are only the tip of the iceberg. To navigate the ever-growing, ever-competitive Gaming app ecosystem, we’ve compiled our most comprehensive report to date, The State of Gaming App Marketing, 2019 Edition, which also includes: 

  • Non-organic install growth year-over-year
  • Fastest-growing GEOs by genre
  • Retargeting adoption trends
  • In-app fraud threats
  • And more! 


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