Photo credit: Nick Fewings, Flickr
Developers, Events

Social Gaming Summit 2014: Mark Rosner chats with Nick from 12Gigs

by Mark Rosner on Jun 25, 2014

Earlier this month, AppLovin went to the Social Gaming Summit in Vegas – and it was just as awesome as it sounds. Hundreds of social gaming experts gathered for two days to dispense advice and knowledge around how to create and maintain an audience of devoted mobile gamers. In a market that’s worth $5.4 billion now, and is expected to reach $17.4 billion by 2019, there’s a lot to talk about. Everyone is vying for the attention of over 100 million gamers in the U.S. alone, and the competition for ad space and users is fierce. Lucky for us, we got to speak with the experts.

What 12Gigs is all about

Our own Mark Rosner did a Q&A with Nick Talarico from 12Gigs, a San Francisco based company that develops social casino games. Some of their hits include Lotto Heaven, Slots Heaven, and Video Poker. Since they began in 2012, their customer base is growing every day. Nick shared some great insights with us about how the company works to monetize its customers in this increasingly competitive market.

Here are three key takeaways from the conversation.

1. Think about monetization now – not later. In the competitive gaming world, developers can’t test the water in the shallow end – they have to dive right in. There are millions of games in the app store, and statistics show that new apps get the most attention. Waiting to monetize means leaving money on the table. Nick suggests that it gets harder – and more expensive – the longer you wait to expose your players to your full monetization funnel.

2. Don’t overlook Android. In the past, iOS users spent more than Android users by a wide margin. Now, the gap is starting to close. Mobile innovation is happening at lightning speed, and with Android outselling iOS developers need consider both platforms. According to Nick: “We’re seeing spend increase on Android. Android users are paying to play – and I expect that trend to continue.”

3. Consider alternative ways of monetization – like ads. Everyone is looking for ways to increase ARPDAU.  Historically, the social casino space was averse to adding ads (because their paying players spend a lot). That’s starting to change with the increased flexibility and different types of ad formats. For example, 12Gigs found that rewarded videos worked well for their non-paying players, because players could earn coins, while 12Gigs earned advertising dollars. The company targeted ads when non-paying players were low on coins or ran out of them altogether. This way the player could keep playing and 12Gigs could increase ARPDAU.  Their players were able to keep playing, while 12Gigs increased their ARPDAU by over 25% and saw retention increase as well.

See you next year?

The games were still in high gear when we left Vegas after a successful Social Gaming Summit. Speaking to and learning from industry experts was the highlight of our summer so far. We’ll be back next year. If you’re interested in social gaming, we hope to see you there.

Mark Rosner is AppLovin’s Chief Revenue Officer.