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How Mobile Games Made 2014 a Year to Remember (and Earn)
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How Mobile Games Made 2014 a Year to Remember (and Earn)

A study into the rise of Android apps has gone some way to explaining why our TVs have become inundated with ‘those’ adverts for mobile gaming titles such as ‘Clash of Clans’ and ‘Game of War’. 

Products within the Google Play store are riding high on a wave of optimism and earnings, according to App Annie, as a comparison between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015 shows their revenue spiking over the period.

The data reveals an estimated 30% year-on-year rise in app downloads for the Play store up to Q1 2015, but graphs reveal a much higher rise in installs for games. 

In a side-by-side comparison, the estimated 50% rise in games revenue - including takings from in-app ads - was much higher than the amount gained by regular apps.

A global chart indicating the top games by active Android users gives some idea of where some of the money is going, with the likes of ‘Candy Crush Saga’, ‘Clash of Clans’ and ‘Subway Surfers’ all featuring highly.

Meanwhile huge marketing campaigns such as the one launched by ‘Game of War’, featuring supermodel Kate Upton, are living proof of just how quickly apps have earned a reputation as major advertisers and publishers.

Apps grow tall 

Numerous studies have pointed to in-app inventory driving huge growth for mobile advertising in general as developers found new ways of monetising their titles.  

One of the most notable cases of business success through an app came in 2014 with the release of ‘Flappy Bird’ - Dong Nguyen’s “addictive” game which, despite being a free download, was racking up $50,000 a day in ad revenue.

A large part of this taking will have been gained through trading on eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions), although developers have also been known to offer inventory which requires payout for clicks and installs of other apps. 

According to data from Think Gaming, the iOS version of ‘Clash of Clans’ - a popular medieval strategy title - is currently earning $1.5 million daily in the US but keeps to a free-to-play model.

America, incidentally, remains a key market for business on Google Play, with App Annie stating that 70% of the store’s takings come from the US, Japan and South Korea.  

Richard Towey

Richard Towey

Richard serves as head of content at PerformanceIN. After many years spent covering developments from the automotive, sports, travel and finance sectors, he eventually turned his full attention to reporting on stories from the fast-evolving world of digital marketing. Richard now heads up the editorial team at PerformanceIN: the performance marketing industry's leading publication.  

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