Develop 2013: Half of all repeat IAPs are made within an hour of a previous purchase

Amazon on profiting from keeping players engaged

Develop 2013: Half of all repeat IAPs are made within an hour of a previous purchase

"Game publishing used to be an art," opened Amazon's Daniel Winner during his talk at Evolve at the Develop Conference in Brighton.

"Now, there's so much data available to us all that publishing has become much more of a science."

Winner, who is Amazon's head of content acquisition and mobile initiatives contests, argued that there are many simple tricks developers can employ to ensure gamers both spend more in play, and spend more often.

Leading the line on this score was Amazon's data on just when users are most likely to part with their cash.

A matter of time

"One of the key insights for us has been 'time is money'," offered Winner.

"While there are a lots of purchases after the intial purchases, some keep purchasing the longer they have the game installed. So, the longer they have the game, the more money they'll spend."

Indeed, on Amazon's Appstore for Android, 16 percent of a customer's value is realised in the first day.

"The point here is the need to engage customers early," added Winner. "Then, try and get gamers to play in as long a session as possible."

That's because, based on Amazon's numbers, almost half – 48 percent – of repeat in-app purchases are made within an hour of a player spending on a previous purchase.

Therefore, if you can keep gamers engaged for an hour after a purchase, a good portion of them will happily spend again.

The paying game

Likewise, offering a variety of different items in your game's store rather than just a few is more likely to draw your players back for a repeat order at a later date.

Other 'common sense' strategies highlighted by Winner included the fact that, while a 99c in-app purchase may generate more in-app purchases by number, when it comes to actual revenue, a $19.99 price point often wins out.

"Customers are prepared to pay quite high price points if they see value in it," said Winner.

"Also, over time, customers will pay much much more for IAP items. Over four weeks, for instance, the amount of money players are willing to pay for an in-app purchase increases by 60 percent.

"So, the lesson here is, start low and build higher as the player gets more engaged with your game."

And, presumably, publish that game on Amazon's Appstore.

Winner claims that the monetisation rate per user on Amazon's Appstore's is 89 percent of the figure developers enjoy on iTunes, and comes in at "many multitudes higher" than Google Play, which is 23 percent of Apple's rate.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.