by Sofia Leonova | January 30, 2017

The recently released Liftoff 2017 Mobile Gaming Apps report highlights the most prominent user acquisition trends and benchmarks from 2016. It’s full of compelling data that any mobile app marketer of gaming apps will find of value.

The report tracks the cost of gaming app installs, registrations, and in-app purchases (IAP), breaking down data by OS platform, demographics, and region, as well as comparing data across a range of gaming categories (action-adventure, card, casino, casual, puzzle and strategy).

In this post we focus on the monthly CPI and IAP trends from last year in the gaming apps category.

Seasonality is a huge factor that impacts acquisition costs and cost-per-action. While the average CPI throughout the year was $3.51, data shows that CPIs reaches a low of $2.88 in December, but starts to climb back up mid-month, reaching the yearly high of $4.26 in January. This trend is linked to increased ad spend during the holiday period with eager users installing gaming apps on the new devices they received as holiday gifts.

Gaming App CPI by Month

The cost-per-IAP falls in December, spikes in January, then proceeds to steadily decline throughout the year, reaching a low of $43.44 in August. This shows that summer is a hot time for mobile games as more players are spending on additional features, such as acquiring virtual currency, unlocking levels and removing advertising.

Gaming App IAP by Month

In-app purchase conversion rates show a fairly steady rise during the 12 months following October 2015. As people go on vacation and enjoy more free time to explore and engage with games, in-app purchase conversion rates reach a high in the summer and peaks at 8.35% in June. This also means it costs less to acquire players during this time and tends to be a successful season for gaming app marketers.

Gaming App IAP Rate by Month

Download the whole report for more information on monthly trends for gaming apps, as well as data by platform, gender, region, and key gaming categories.