Mobile 'whales' Make Up Much Of The Gaming Market

New study from mobile monitor Swrve claims that 0.23 percent of players generate 60 percent of in-game revenues

After studying data on 20 million players of free mobile games, the US mobile marketing monitor Swrve reports that 0.23 percent of players generate 60 percent of in-game revenues, and that average monthly spend is up 33 percent.
The statistics are presented in Swrve's just-published 2015 Mobile Monetization Report, which covers the latest industry data relating to the monetisation of free-to-play game players on mobile, based on real user data covering tens of millions of mobile gamers.
Researchers conclude that the findings continue to demonstrate the importance of attracting targeted players to the game, identifying them early and ensuring the best possible in-game experience to maximize ROI.
The report also indicates the focus on player acquisition in mobile games may be waning, as companies learn to manage the player lifecycle: the percentage of players who made real in-game purchases in January rose to 2.3 percent (from 1.5 percent in 2014) and average monthly spend was $29.17, up from $22 in the same month last year, an increase of nearly 33 percent.
Key findings in the Swrve report include:
* 2.3 percent of all players made a purchase with real money, an increase from 1.5 percent of players in last year's survey;
* Of paying customers, 44 percent made one purchase, while 20 percent made five or more;
* The typical paying player makes 3.5 purchases per month, at an average purchase price of $8.27;
* 'Mid-tier' virtual sales of items priced between $10-$20 drive the free-to-play business: contributing 21.9 percent of purchases and 38.6 percent of revenues – the latter figure up from 22 percent a year ago;
* The average time to first purchase is only 15 hours, down from just under 24 hours in 2014 – making it clear that successful titles incentivise early spend.
"The numbers are clear: the mobile games space is changing and growing," said Christopher Dean, Swrve CEO, in a press release announcing the study results.
"Although still reliant on a relatively small but growing number of players, there is a clear trend towards a broader payer base, and a more sophisticated approach to driving revenues. We're leaving the 'acquisition phase' of mobile, as developers realize that success is determined by what happens after the install."
The Swrve study was restricted to free-to-play games and examined 30 days of behaviour for all players playing a game in January 2015. Data was collected from over 40 titles, and reflects the behavior of more than 20 million players.
Access the full report here: http://landingpage.swrve.com/the-swrve-monetization-report-2015.html

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