What We Learned from Tenjin and Gamejam about Mobile Games and App Trends in 2021

Our latest webinar featured experts from Tenjin and Gamejam, where we discussed the current state of mobile gaming, the implications of iOS14, SKAdNetwork, user privacy, and monetization in 2021.

Kevin Ford, Marketing Manager2021-02-26

Our latest webinar featured experts from Tenjin and Gamejam, where we discussed the current state of mobile gaming, the implications of iOS14, SKAdNetwork, user privacy, and monetization in 2021.

In our recent webinar, A Guide to Mobile AdTech in 2021 we had the pleasure of talking to the founders of Tenjin and Gamejam about the current state of mobile gaming, the implications of Apple’s recent updates, trends to look out for, and opportunities for app marketers in 2021.

The webinar was moderated by Mintegral US General Manager Jeff Sue, and the following guest speakers joined him:

  • Chris Farm, CEO & Co-founder @ Tenjin
  • Christian Calderon, Co-founder & CEO @ Gamejam

The full video recording is available on the Mintegral YouTube channel, but if you’d prefer to get the key takeaways, read on!

Apple’s SKAdNetwork

Apple’s SKAdNetwork has produced ecosystem challenges and opportunities. One such challenge has been the ability to report LTV and user retention on mobile campaigns. As one can imagine, developers aren’t particularly eager on minimizing the ability to measure these specifics, and as such Tenjin has continued to focus on this by building on top of Apple’s platform in order to continue providing this a value-added-service.

There are, however, some hidden gems to the SKAdNetwork which marketers may be overlooking. One such tip is targeting based on App Store ID, something Apple will provide as a uniform ID and as such is applicable to each of your respective ad networks. This method of targeting in the past was often underutilized as site IDs were more obscure and fragmented based on each individual ad network. 

Casual Gaming and iOS 14

The pandemic changed the publisher landscape and user behavior considerably and iOS 14 definitely piled onto this in the sense that developers are now more than ever reconsidering their monetization models and ad formats. Volatility seems to be the buzzword, as measurement is not currently as precise. So does media buying become more volatile while the average CPM stays stagnant? Time will tell. Developers typically focus on specific areas of the market and those CPMs drastically differ from other areas. As an example, it’s noted the great differences between casual and hypercasual media buying. Hyper-targeting in the casual sphere is extremely important and the most successful are willing to pay more per user. On the hypercasual side, creating a broader targeted demo will increase demand and as a result, CPMs could even potentially increase. Tenjin notes some internal data showing CPMs have slowly increased as marketers have less tracking. 

Another inclusion into iOS 14 was Apple’s App Clips. It’s a noteworthy addition for marketers outside of the gaming space, as they can take advantage of reduced app friction. An example of this could be retail i.e., ordering online, viewing a menu, etc. 2020 taught us that marketers are going to have to be more creative and App Clips could be a decent catalyst. Its inclusion of NFC, QR Codes, physical locations, etc could play a role in an IDFA-free world and it’s something marketers in APAC already use to a major part of their marketing mix.

Pandemic Behavior

As we all know by now, the pandemic brought us inside and marketers saw a huge shift in user reliance on mobile for entertainment. Apps such as Roblox have shot to popularity and have become a social medium that will continue post-pandemic. It’s in this sense that we should be cautious of previous strategies and that diversifying offerings and ad formats to ensure stability will be paramount to longevity during volatile periods. 

Outside of social gaming, subscription revenue has been a major boon and many are looking to this as a positive transition period for the model. 

In-App Bidding and Waterfalls

Mintegral’s been at the forefront of in-app bidding for a while now. The industry has seen a lot of developers test bidding and an increase of networks bidding this year, which in turn increases bid density and will better refine the tech for the developer ecosystem. Christian from Gamejam noted that testing just two years ago, waterfalls often outperformed the much-touted in-app bidding auctions. Much of this has changed recently and is likely to accelerate, although given the level of volatility in the coming months it will be better to have fixed pricing that the waterfall provides. 

Conclusion

The events of 2020 had an obvious effect on the mobile industry and will continue to shape the way marketers and developers grow. Social apps continue to innovate, with apps such as Among Us provide an interactive medium for gamers and social users alike. Industry insiders should however take note of incoming volatility and strategize for it. Diversification in targeting and ad formats will hopefully provide a welcomed reprieve to marketers looking to get back on track after Apple’s changes to ad tracking. It’s more important than ever to align with partners that can provide the innovation that such diversification requires. A focus on expanding geo’s and broadening creatives are an area where Mintegral can help, so get in touch with the Mintegral team today!

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Kevin Ford is the Marketing Manager for Mintegral Americas & EMEA.
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