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Digital Turbine’s Duncan Blackett talks quality installs, alternative distribution and more

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki takes place on September 12 - 13. We catch up with some of the stars from the mobile industry who'll be taking part
Digital Turbine’s Duncan Blackett talks quality installs, alternative distribution and more
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Pocket Gamer Helsinki 2023 is almost upon us.

Set in the picturesque and thriving city of Helsinki, Finland - the spiritual home of mobile games - our conference is attracting an all-star cast of speakers, panellists and attendees, all set to learn what’s hot, discover the latest tech and techniques and engage in two days of networking opportunities all through September 12 and 13. Clear your calendars - that’s just a week away!

Network with top-notch industry experts and thought leaders, and gain valuable insights into the rapidly evolving gaming landscape. Pitch your game to our experts and meet the pros that can take your business to the next level. Immerse yourself in over 200 speaker sessions, engaging talks, panel discussions, and unparalleled networking opportunities. And stay ahead of the curve with the latest trends and connect with potential partners and investors in the games industry!

Find out more about the event and get your tickets here.

One such expert making an appearance will be the EMEA director of advertising sales at Digital Turbine, Duncan Blackett. At Helsinki 2023, Blackett will eagerly discuss game economies, distribution, profits and more. He might also have a few tips for Angry Birds too… Where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

Duncan Blackett: With the global mobile games market projected to reach +$286B in 2023, growing at an annual rate of 7%, the opportunities for app developers and, most importantly, users is massive. More time spent on games means users expect to see more - and app developers can unlock more opportunities that will allow them to grow and stand out.

I believe one of the biggest opportunities for developers, mobile carriers and users will be the rise of the alternative app stores. The established app economy is being challenged and is expected to give users more variety while allowing developers to see the benefits of alternative app store placements, resulting in higher revenue.

In addition, I anticipate the ongoing mergers and acquisitions in the space to lead to mobile platform releases from AAA publishers as they look to capitalise on the platform’s increasing dominance. Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision is perhaps the clearest statement that it sees AAA publishers as having a huge opportunity to grow share within the mobile space.

And of course, AI’s power reaches all industries – and the mobile gaming world will see generative AI driving quicker and superior game production, pushing the limits on quality, speed and much more.

What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?

If I have to choose one, it’s definitely ROAS. The most important KPI - the key is over what period is a developer measuring ROAS? All distribution channels perform differently. A platform that delivers the strongest ROAS at D720 may have the slowest ROAS delivery out of the gate.

What do you think the next big disruptor in mobile games will be?

One of the opportunities I mentioned already, like other big opportunities, will create major changes in industry. Alternative app distribution opportunities, going beyond the traditional stores users are limited to today, will create changes in the way the entire ecosystem discovers and downloads apps. This change holds three key advantages: better economics for the app developer, a new distribution channel, and an enhanced customer experience for the user, offering bespoke content and superior value.

Developers and users will enjoy a curated environment where there will be less noise and more discovery opportunities. App developers will be able to leverage features like targeted game delivery to reach high-value users - boosting their ROAS goals.

What developments do you think have been undervalued by the mobile games industry?


Gaming is all around us. While some demographics are biggest on mobile gaming, there’s an exciting opportunity for those who like games on different platforms, from the PC die-hards to the committed console gamers. While multi-platform capabilities have been around for years, with some buzz early on, you can see mobile gaming now moving into this space as they identify the opportunity - Ubisoft with Rainbow Six Mobile, Microsoft with Activision…

Another undervalued avenue is alternative distribution channels. There are options out there, they are becoming better and more sophisticated - but there is still a high reliance on conventional distribution.

What game has been on your phone the longest?

Angry Birds. Have had it on every phone almost from the game’s release. It’s my all end from the last 12 months.

What key trend should we be paying attention to in the next 12 months?

Consolidation in the market will pick up pace: mega-cap tech companies snapping distribution channels and gaming studios making strategic mergers/acquisitions.

Can people get in touch with you at the event? What sort of people would you like to connect with?

Absolutely, reach out to me on LinkedIn (Duncan Blackett) or shoot us an email at! I would like to speak with UA managers and CMOs.

What is one way attendees can prepare for your discussion?

Don’t prepare too much, it’s simple: think about your game economy and distribution. How could this be improved?

If you had a method of distribution that a) increased your profitability b) delivered quality incremental installs at scale and c) improved CVR across all of your UA channels, would you be keen to learn more? If so, come to learn more…

Find out more about PGC Helsinki

Check out the event's website here to get your tickets and find out what's on, what's where, where to stay and everything you need to know.

See you at the show!