Research reveals $192m was spent by gaming apps in ANZ on user acquisition in 2021

AppsFlyer has released the results of its State of Gaming App Marketing 2022 edition for the ANZ region, which show that US$138 million (AUD$192 million) was spent by gaming apps on user acquisition in 2021.

The AppsFlyer State of Gaming App Marketing study is an in-depth report on the top trends shaping gaming in 2021, aimed at helping marketers and gaming app developers understand the current climate and adjust strategies and innovations accordingly. The results highlight increased sensitivity and awareness of privacy and data security in gaming apps operating in the ANZ region.

Research found that 80% of gaming apps in ANZ have implemented Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, with low user take-up which averaged 37% across all genres , responding to the ANZ region’s more heightened awareness of privacy and data security.

App Tracking Transparency Isn’t a Solution to Full Privacy

Apple’s ATT prompt is an opt-in privacy framework requiring all iOS apps to ask users for permission to share their data – it effectively asks users to consent to their data being shared by Apple with advertisers .


The Financial Times published a compared to the end of last year revealing the processes behind the feature aren’t exactly airtight when it comes to fully protecting user privacy from advertisers.

The feature, introduced in iOS 14.5, is designed to prevent app developers from tracking your activity and selling that information to advertisers.

However, it was noted in the report that while registering and instructing apps not to track you prevents apps from collecting and selling data tied to your personal advertising identity, it does not prevent developers to collect information about you.

This is because developers can access user data that allows them to target ads to cohorts, justifying this by stating that the user’s unique identifying data is not attributed – the data is anonymized and aggregated to help advertisers without technically tracking individual users. Some personalized data such as IP address, location, and screen size are still passed to advertisers by developers.

In short: the mobile gaming industry as a gold mine for advertisers

While iOS 14.5+ and other privacy updates have posed a challenge, the gaming industry is looking to stabilize, as the following data shows:

  • Globally, gaming apps spent US$14.5 billion (AU$20.2 billion) on user acquisition (UA) in 2021, compared to US$138 million ( AU$192 million) in ANZ
  • The trend of non-organic installs (NOI) on Android remains stable while iOS (traditional*) has seen a downward trend
  • Hardcore games continue their winning streak with in-app purchase (IAP) revenue with a 1.7x increase (up 70% on iOS) on iOS in Australia
  • The midcore games vertical (which includes games such as adventure, simulation, action, arcade, and racing) accounted for the highest user activation rate of 45.75%.
  • In ANZ, 80.2% of gaming apps have implemented the ATT prompt

“Gaming is the most popular form of entertainment today. 2021 has been a tough year for the industry due to privacy changes, and there will be more hurdles in 2022 and beyond. Android’s upcoming changes in privacy, from mergers and acquisitions in the market, to international competitions Industry players should continue to improve the ATT consent rate The use of ATT consent rates as KPIs can help clarify team goals to improve consent,” said Antony Wilcox, Chief Growth Officer, AppsFlyer ANZ.

“Double the number of creations for app optimization can also help. This is especially important with the changes in iOS 15 and provides a more seamless flow – from context, segmented creative to a landing page with the same look and feel. Going forward, industry players will also need to consider upcoming trends such as the involvement of blockchain technology and web3 to safeguard user privacy,” Wilcox added.

The The mobile gaming industry now generates over $77.2 billion in revenue of more than 2.5 billion mobile gamers worldwide, but lingering perceptions about the consumer profile of a “typical gamer” remain.

Programmatic can help brands identify the most relevant genres and games that their primary target audience engages with, then activate, experiment, and evaluate campaigns in real time to optimize key KPIs.

What the future of in-game data means for advertisers: Blockchain, Web3 and P2E

Although blockchain technology and Web3 are still in their infancy in the gaming industry, it is expected to be a game changer for marketers and app developers. Web3 offers new ways for game developers and gamers to increase their profits and democratizes data ownership for gamers where users can control their own data and identities.

Technological innovations embraced by marketers have helped attract, retain and engage high-value players. As the adoption of Play to Earn (P2E) through on-chain games, advanced game analytics and cohort technologies accelerates, marketers will be able to better understand player behavior and tactics of engagement to balance privacy and user experience.

Other forms of online gaming like esports are emerging as a premium for advertisers, with the Newzoo’s Global Esports and Live Streaming Market Report (2021) Places Current Esports Audience in Australia at 2.3 million. Newzoo estimates that by 2023, 646 million people worldwide will watch esports at a growth rate of 10.7% year-on-year.

Australia lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to advertisers tapping into the massive esports market. Although the infrastructure and intricacies of the esports ecosystem are complex to understand and enjoy limited support unlike other traditional channels which still dominate the lion’s share of advertising investment, the flourishing growth of the sector is essential. for advertisers. years and months to come. A PwC report in 2021 found that total interactive gaming and esports revenue grew by 7.2% in 2020 to $3.41 billion in Australia – and the figure is only expected to continue to climb.

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