An analysis of hyper casual’s high ATT opt-in rate: Learnings and tips for mobile marketers
The hyper casual games monetization model relies heavily on in-app advertising, cross-promotion, and a user base with an understanding of the benefits of targeted ads. For these reasons it’s perhaps no surprise that hyper casual games currently has the highest App Tracking Transparency (ATT) opt-in rate, according to Adjust data. With the global industry average sitting at around 26%, the broader gaming vertical at 32%, and hyper casual games at 39%, there are a few things mobile marketers from all verticals can learn from this niche—but huge—corner of the app world.
In spite of the immense challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rollout of iOS 14.5, hyper casual has continued to perform exceptionally well.
Hyper casual growth continues
The hyper casual vertical has enjoyed year-on-year growth for the better part of a decade and while some years have been more impressive than others, a decline doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. According to Adjust data, the total number of sessions taking place in hyper casual apps is on the up. If we compare H1 of 2021 to H2 of 2020 we see a huge 51% boost, and while H2 of 2021 receded 13%, H1 of 2022 has climbed back by 10%. The trendline in 2022 is continuing to point upward and we’re expecting to see more growth by the end of the year.
Notably, hyper casual session lengths also increased in the first half of 2022. The average hyper casual user was clocking 13.49 minutes a session in January 2022 and as of July, this number has increased to 14.02 minutes. Considering that hyper casuals function on very tight margins for monetization, an increase this size represents significantly increased opportunity for incentivizing users.
High opt-ins and an engaged user base
It’s understood that hyper casual users come with high churn rates, but this doesn’t mean their interest in games recedes—they just want to play something else. Publishers in the vertical have pivoted to meet this need on iOS by leveraging cross-promotion via the Identifier for Vendors IDFV, meaning they advertise other titles in their suites at perfectly mapped points in the user journey. These aren’t necessarily churn points but simply moments where users are most receptive. And these moments—along with the creatives served—will look different depending on the cohort and segment being targeted.
This high-turnover nature of the hyper casual user base means there’s a good understanding of the benefits of targeted advertising within the vertical. This receptiveness to advertising can be seen in the paid/organic ratio, where hyper casual sits at 3.59 paid installs for every organic install. Compare this to the broader gaming vertical for example, which is at 0.72, and the picture becomes clear.
Hyper casual users are accustomed to targeted advertising and even expect it to help facilitate them in finding their next title. This is largely enabled by the IDFV, a code assigned and shared across all apps by one developer/publisher installed on a single device, which, unlike the IDFA, is still accessible by default. Let’s take a look at how this has translated into ATT opt-in rates. Firstly, according to Adjust data, hyper casual has the highest opt-in rate across all verticals and subverticals tracked at 39% as of Q2 2022. At 32%, gaming overall is also significantly above average.
Hyper casual gamers' specific understanding of the mobile advertising ecosystem and the significant benefit of targeted ads is not the only thing driving consent rates up, however. Adjust data shows that cross promotion itself has a lot to do with it. Users are significantly more likely to consent when referred to another app developed by the same company. The industry-wide opt-in average for Q2 2022 is 26%, while the cross-promotion average is an impressive 45%.
The key takeaways
Hyper casual gaming is a niche category within the app space, meaning the tactics and strategies employed by its marketing teams can’t be copied 1-1 in other verticals. The most important and actionable takeaway from its success in terms of opt-ins, however, is being data driven. Its hyper casual’s granular, data-based understanding of its users that allows for optimized communication, personalized user journeys and experiences, and finely tuned monetization modeling. You might not have a selection of apps within your publishing suite that you can bounce users between but you can certainly identify the key churn-points and the perfect moments to incentivize sessions and events or to serve the opt-in prompt.
- What insights am I currently missing out on that could be solved with more strategic data? E.g. the perfect creatives to serve ahead of a known churn-point.
- Have I identified the perfect moment in the user journey to serve the opt-in prompt?
- Do I have the possibility to leverage cross-promotion? If not, you can identify the moment where you would and use this to re-engage or further incentivize your users within the existing property. Think push-notifications, in-app rewards, a loyalty program, etc.
- Am I providing users with a personalized experience tailored to their cohort or segment? If you’re monetizing with in-app ads, be transparent about it and explain the benefits of receiving personalized ads → this will also prove crucial to getting the opt-in.
- Am I vigorously checking all aspects of my product, user acquisition strategy, user journey, and messaging and using constant A/B testing to remain agile and ensure consistent peak performance?
For more information on our best practices for working on iOS and SKAdNetwork (SKAN) and leveraging data to drive results, check out our latest ebook: Mastering SKAN 4, created in partnership with TikTok.
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