November Insights Report: A Week in the Life of a Mobile Game Launch
One of the top questions we get from game developers is how our network dynamics change throughout the week. You could probably guess that Saturday is the best day all-around for mobile games: users are more likely to be playing and more likely to download new games, so advertisers are willing to pay the most for Saturday traffic. Looking at trends throughout the week, our numbers prove that this is true—but they also reveal some other interesting tidbits that advertisers and publishers alike will find helpful in planning their week-to-week strategy.
- If you want the best bang for your buck, advertise Mondays through Wednesday- you’ll have the least expensive competition. There will be fewer overall impressions available due to low weekday app usage, but you can capture a larger portion of that traffic than you would with the same bid later in the week.
- Unsurprisingly, bids are highest over the weekend when users are most active on their devices. CPC bids peak on Saturday at 4% higher than the average CPC bid.
- CPC bids spike on Thursdays as advertisers begin weekend launch campaigns, and remain high until falling on Sunday in anticipation of a return to the workweek. This is not too surprising considering that Wednesday is the most popular day to launch an app, giving the developer time to ramp up their bids going into the weekend.
- CPI bids (not graphed) follow a similar trend to CPC bids throughout the week, but the day of the week variation is dampened (CPI bids peak at 2% over the average on Saturdays, compared to 7% over average for CPC bids). This is due to the fact that advertisers use aggressive CPC campaigns to launch their apps, and use less risky CPI bids for “set it and forget it” sustainment campaigns.
- Despite high engagement and ad performance, bids on Sunday are just about average compared to the rest of the week - and 4% lower than Saturday.
- Impressions are strongly correlated with user sessions, so they are the highest on days when users are playing games more often. The greatest number of impressions served in a week is generally on Saturday, with 14% more traffic available than an average day. Wednesdays are the slowest, with 8% less traffic than the average day.
- Click-through rates (not graphed) are fairly steady throughout the week, varying less than 2% each day on average. So regardless of when users see an interstitial, they’re roughly equally likely to click it.
- Users are most likely to install and launch a new app during the weekend. Presumably, they have more time to follow through on installing and launching apps that they’re interested in than they do during weekdays.
- We record installs that happen up to 21 days after the click, so a user who clicks on a specific day could install that app any day of the week. So just because you advertise on Tuesday doesn’t necessarily mean that your users are less likely overall to download your app - just that they might wait a few days to get around to it.