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User acquisition experts talk about how much it costs to make a million on the App Store

The real cost of user acquisition
User acquisition experts talk about how much it costs to make a million on the App Store

The first panel of the Monetise, Retain, Acquire track focused on what it costs to make you an App Store millionaire.

Led by Mika Levo, Head of User Acquisition at Pollen VC, the panel consisted of:

  • An Vu, User Acquisition Lead, Rovio Entertainment
  • Johan Eile, Chief Operating Officer, Cloudcade Canada
  • Mika Kuusisto, Chief Revenue Officer, Outfit7 and
  • Ville Heijari, General Manager, Two Men and a Dog

On the topic of spending on user acquisition, the feeling was that having a strong IP helped push down the CPI because people are already aware of the IP, and don't need to be told about it.

With regards to marketing channels, there was a consensus towards advertising on Facebook, although Eile talked about his targeting of what he calls "mid-level" Youtubers, the ones who have between 500,000 and 2 million followers, instead of the major players.

Vu said that "Facebook is really confusing, but that's where you're going to get a lot of your learnings", which is useful for indies who don't understand who their audience is and need a relatively cheap way to test the demographic.

When asked if being featured on app stores was still worth chasing, Eile simply replied, "it's huge", with Heijari adding "when you have a small team, it's inevitably a big factor."

Kuusisto warns that "you still need to build something cool" even if you are featured multiple times, as the stores are more concerned about quality of the game than the company who made it.

Vu, on the topic of how much to spend in soft launch to get a good feel for the game, recommended "between $5000 and $10,000", with the spend spread across the usual marketing platforms, but in a targeted way for each market.