SDK consolidation and data-led actionable insights are two key trends for 2014

Vungle's Andrea Sharfin considers the future

SDK consolidation and data-led actionable insights are two key trends for 2014

As VP of marketing at Vungle, Andrea Sharfin is an expert on mobile gaming monetization.

She has previously held positions at Playdom, Facebook, and Flixster.

PlayHaven and Kontagent recently announced a merger.

This means the two companies are bringing together PlayHaven's app monetization platform and Kontagent's mobile data analytics teams in the hopes of creating a one-stop-shop that produces actionable insights based on concrete data for their customers.

Of course, PlayHaven and Kontagent are not the first to try to provide a solution like this - Playnomics, for example has been working on actionable analytics for games since 2009.

But the merger does highlight a couple of interesting mobile-gaming industry trends: demand for actionable insights founded on data analytics, and SDK consolidation.

Commoditizing smarts

Game design and monetization teams are usually really lean. They need tools that help them understand how to get the most out of their users and then they need more tools to help them take advantage of those insights.

Both options are sorely lacking in the gaming industry today - and that's a systemic problem that will limit the growth of the entire industry if it continues to go unsolved.

While larger, more successful gaming companies have built internal tools to help them understand their users and take advantage of user insights, there are not many viable options for the rest of the gaming industry.

Having a standardized set of tools that could be used across the industry would enable more developers to become successful and help the entire mobile gaming industry grow.

No bloat

At the same time, developers are also increasingly seeking to limit the number of SDKs they implement, which means that SDK consolidation is a huge opportunity for mobile gaming vendors in 2014.

Fewer SDKs means easier management and fewer integration problems for developers, because having fewer SDKS reduces the weight of an app, simplifies the QA process and increases app stability.

There's always room for your SDK if you can make your developers a lot of money, but vendors that can't offer significant revenue benefits will either be pushed out or will need to reduce their SDK footprints to stay viable.

The need for actionable analytics and SDK consolidation is only going to increase as the market for mobile games matures and competition for users and revenue climbs.

We can expect to see a lot of consolidation across mobile gaming vendors in 2014. The PlayHaven-Kontagent merger may only be the tip of the iceberg.

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