Android vs iOS Monetization Secrets
No point in pre-facing as to why I’m writing this, fact of the matter is: time is our enemy, and if you’re a developer for every second, or minute you spending reading this you could be missing out on potentially more downloads than what you’re getting with your currently implemented tactics. So let’s jump right in.
There are some major differences between iOS and Android, the biggest being – iOS doesn’t allow for incentivized installs within the in-app environment. In fact, they’re so strict they’ve barred several developers from the App Store because of what they considered ‘questionable distribution tactics’.
Android is a lot more flexible and friendly when it comes to distribution and monetization strategies. Developers are actually able to incentivize their installs in order to move up in the app rankings. iOS however, does have a distinct advantage being; it only has one piece of hardware. Android is on several different devices from several OEM’s. Because of this, it’s not easy to develop an app on Android compared to iOS.
While it may be easier to acquire users on Android, research has proven that its actually easier to retain users on iOS. Localytics has shown retention rates being 52% higher on iOS vs Android. Additionally, 35% of iOS users open up an app more than 10x vs 23% on Android.
Digging deeper, when looking at devices, iPhone has a 94% retention rate compared to 47% of Android devices. Sticking with the same product hardware, and software means users are much more likely to transfer their old data including: photos, contacts, ..and you guessed it – apps.
When looking at the handful of successful publishers out there like: Rovio, EA, Outfit7, etc.. it naturally makes one curious as to what exactly drove their sucess. The answer – they understood each operating system they were creating on, were abe to create effecient user acquistion strategies, and also implement effective engagement triggers to optimize retention.
Others have been able to implement customized offer feeds and offer banner ads that gave users the opportunity to engage with ads and trial otehr apps in exchange for their virtual currency, ‘Respect Points’ as was used by Creative Mobile in their Drag Racing Game. This tactic allowed them to double in-app and is leading them to be one of the highest grossing apps of all time on Android.
Another user acquisition method is the use of app trailers (not the company – well maybe). The video demonstrates the value beforehand to aid users in deciding if they’d like to install or not, therefore – kickass video = tons of installs. With more than 25 million mobile owners streaming at least 4 hours of video per month, and is looking to rise at 28% over the next 5 years – better sooner than later.
The most successful games are the ones built with timely in-game triggers that are used to, both engage users in their current session but also coming back and opening the app frequently and consistently. A great example of a mobile game that does this is Bread Kittens. The game allows you to “bake bread” to feed your kittens, and when its doesn’t cooking you receive a push notification that naturally leads you back into the app.
Having effective in-game triggers will most definitely have a direct impact on in-app purchases. A great example of a company that did this right is Imangi Studio’s with their Temple Run, and Temple Run 2 games. When a user dies, they’re presented with an opportunity to use gems to revive the character to prolong the run (mind you, these gems are an in-app purchase). Clearly, a tempting proposition for someone who’s eager to reach a new high score, or build upon a newly reached highscore.
Sure, monetization is one of the biggest challenges for freemium apps, but as it stands – there’s never been a better time. By implementing the aforementioned tactics users can be both acquired and monetized.