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UA cost for core games are rising, especially on iOS

But casual games are getting cheaper to advertise
UA cost for core games are rising, especially on iOS
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Moloco has released a report on mobile game advertising costs called Post-IDFA Mobile Game Advertising Costs: Casual vs Core.

It found that whilst casual game advertising has decreased in cost-per-install (CPI) by 38 per cent, core game CPI has increased by 78 per cent.

This is since the release of iOS 14.6.

The report traces changing ad spending trends with predictions as to how advertisers should adapt in order to stay profitable in the post-IDFA landscape.

Coming from Moloco, the report analyses programmatic advertising data to better understand the effect of Apple’s latest privacy restrictions.

To understand the way in which advertising costs will change post-IDFA, Moloco analysed 13.5 billion ad impressions from across the iOS and Android programmatic advertising ecosystems.

All data in the report was gathered via the Moloco Cloud automated mobile ad buying platform between January and September 2021.

“The release of iOS 14.6 has changed the game for mobile marketers,” said Ikkjin Ahn, Moloco's CEO.

“While iOS installs of casual games used to average more than twice the cost of Android installs, they’re now only slightly more expensive. And as more and more users opt-out of tracking, install costs for core games are rising as advertisers compete to attract high-value users.”

Android vs iOS

Whilst the average CPI for games in arcade, card, puzzle and other casual genres has declined by 38 per cent overall since the aforementioned iOS 14.6 release, there is a noticeable difference between iOS and Android costs.

CPI on iOS has declined by 45 per cent, whereas the decline is 30 per cent on Android.

Conversely, advertising costs initially saw a spike on both platforms after iOS 14.5, rising by 20 per cent on iOS and a huge 97 per cent on Android.

In the core games category, including genres like action, sports, and card games, after iOS 14.5 there was a 10 per cent increase in CPI on iOS and 67 per cent  on Android.

Yet, following iOS 14.6, Android saw an 8 percent decrease. iOS advertising costs on the other hand increased by an additional 64 per cent.

Core games are typically considered to be more valuable than casual games, and traffic on iOS is more valuable than on Android (due to the higher IAP conversion rate, Moloco notes).

This is partly because core audiences tend to have a higher average lifetime value that makes the potential returns much greater, driving up demand.

To find out more from Moloco’s analysis, find their downloadable report here.