"There are more than 100 million Arabic speakers and it is the fastest-growing market in the world. The demographics of the people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are among the youngest in the world because of the high local birth rate.
Mobile games are huge business in the territory of and the market shows no sign of slowing down. According to Strategy&, the global consultancy arm of PwC, the MENA market was $680 million last year and will climb to $2.3 billion in 2022.
The major reason for this market is the desire for localised content. Arabic is the world’s fourth-largest language, but the world’s games publishers have been slow to realise the opportunities it presents because only 1% of content available in the local app stores of Google and Apple is in Arabic.
One company founded in 2013 in Amman, Jordan is achieving phenomenal growth by localising globally published mobile games, as well as developing their own games for Arabic speakers.Tamatemis the name of the company and is achieving 40% month-on-month growth across the region."
"New data published by market research firm Nielsen suggests that console gamers are reaching for their mobile devices to play games more frequently than they have in the past.
Those gamers, however, aren't exactly spending money on those games. Nielsen found that mobile gaming occupies a third of gamers' weekly gaming time—11 percent on tablets, 22 percent on smartphones—but generates much, much less revenue in comparison. Mobile gaming brings in just 5 percent of gamers' "spend share," with console spending dominating the data."
"Within two years, a relatively unknown company called Machine Zone has exploded to become one of the largest mobile gaming companies in the world, all on the back of a couple of mobile games, Game of War: Fire Age and Mobile Strike.
Machine Zone spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to market its mobile games and is by far the largest spender on TV among gaming publishers. And it uses more than 300 'channels' for the company’s advertising campaigns, making it one of the most sophisticated buyers in the world right now. It also has a second top game out, Mobile Strike."
"China has a massive mobile gaming market, but it’s not a viable option if you’re a Western developer. That could change if Google returns to the world’s most populous country.
Smartphone and tablet gaming generated $5.5 billion in spending from Chinese players last year, according to Asia market-intelligence firm Niko Partners, but only a tiny portion of that went to foreign developers. This is for a few reasons that (such as cultural differences), but many studios don’t even attempt to deal with those because it is too difficult to navigate the market’s splintered Android market. Google left China in 2011, so the country doesn’t have Google Play. Instead, between 200 and 400 independent Android stores have popped up in its place."
ClicksMob and AppGrade are getting hitched. ClicksMob is a mobile-only performance advertising platform that delivers users to app developers and publishers. As a third-party broker, ClicksMob can access thousands of sources of traffic, making mobile advertising more efficient by matching advertisers and publishers. Now the company is merging with AppGrade to focus on monetizing video ads for mobile users.
"Google today announced a number of new services for game developers at its annualDeveloper Day at the Game Developers Conference. They include tools for managing virtual goods and currencies, the launch of the Video Recording API so developers can make it easier for players to stream and share videos to YouTube, and a new ad type that allows new players to trial a game for 10 minutes right from the mobile search results page.
Google didn’t share all that many new numbers about games on Google Play today, but the company did say that the number of games reaching more than a million installs grew by 50 percent."
"Launched in November 2013 to much derision, Shots has surprised the world with its success. It now has about 10 million registered users, with roughly ⅔ visiting monthly. Many of them are teen girls — Justin Bieber is an investor in the app and helped generate a buzz amongst his fans.
The update also includes the ability to share links within the app — anything from news articles to YouTube posts can now be posted
Unlike other social media apps, Shots does not reveal follower counts, something that Shahidi says appeals to younger users. “We want to eliminate those pressures when it comes to posting.”
Shots is headquartered in San Francisco and has raised $15.2 million in funding. In addition to Bieber, other investors include Floyd Mayweather, 500 Startups and Major League Baseball."
"Wrap Media has raised $4 million it will use to grow its business in Japan. The new funding comes from returning investor Dream Incubator, a Tokyo-based consulting and private equity firm that has also signed a strategic partnership with Wrap Media. The San Francisco-based startup lets its users create interactive media for mobile browsing that are easier to navigate than responsive mobile sites, but quicker and cheaper to build than an app.
This round brings Wrap Media’s total funding so far to $25.2 million. This includes its Series A, which was announced in April 2015 before its public launch five months later.
Features created with Wrap Media’s tools, called “wraps,” have app-like functions, but can be embedded into websites or sent as web links. Founder and chief executive officer Eric Greenberg says that they are “as simple as making a PowerPoint,” but can include video, e-commerce, geolocation, and customer support features."
Tapjoy, a leading mobile app monetization platform, is announcing partnerships with several of the mobile industry’s leading ad mediation companies, such as MoPub, Fyber, and AerServ. The integration marks the first time app developers can apply predictive analytics and user-level data to mediated ad demand, all in a single SDK.
"China’s stock market has had a bad year, but the country’s game industry remains strong and on track to grow dramatically over time.
Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder of Niko Partners, passed along the company’s 14 top predictions for the year. It expects overall revenues for the entire Chinese game market — PC online, mobile, and console games — to be $26 billion. Niko also predicts that mobile games will rise from $5.5 billion domestically (excluding export revenue of $1.3 billion) in 2015 to $11.1 billion in 2019. That’s healthy growth, but it also means that China is over the hump in terms of its peak growth rate for mobile games."
"A good rating is key to raising awareness in the store and ultimately drive user downloads. Of the top 100 free iPhone apps, 67 percent have four stars or better, and 92 percent have a rating of three stars or better. These ratings have a large impact on whether or not users decide to download a new app. And with high turnover rates in the app space, users are almost always looking for replacements.
Practically every user searching the app store thinks about downloading five star apps, and the vast majority consider four star apps. Conversely, approximately 13 percent of users consider apps with one star ratings."
"Mobile games are facing revenue limitations because of how little their developers know about their users. To solve this problem, developers are looking to the same source that allowed them to achieve their already impressive growth: smartphone technology.
Beyond being able to house sophisticated interfaces, smartphones are capable of providing tremendous insights about the people who use them. By discovering who their users really are, machine learning technology can allow mobile game developers to unlock their full market potential. In the short term, these advancements will generate immediate changes in advertising, which are then likely to transform into personalized in-game experiences that adapt to the traits, or even personas, of people who play mobile games."
"Yahoo has recently been trimming down its digital media business, with the closure of several of its online magazines, but other verticals – including eSports – are still seeing investment. To that end, the company has now launched its first eSports mobile application on Android. The new app brings eSports match coverage, including the ability to watch live or replay past games, view live stats, and more to your smartphone.
The site itself is meant to serve as a comprehensive guide to the eSports industry, featuring reporting, video commentaries, match pages, rosters, stats, schedules, scores, and more – similar to what Yahoo offers for its other sports coverage areas."
"New data from SensorTower reveals U.S. iPhone users spent an average of $35 on apps in 2015, on both premium downloads and in-app purchases.
Sensor Tower measured app installs on the estimated 110 million active iPhones in the U.S. in 2015, and found games accounted for the most downloads, at 10.5 game downloads, on average, per device. Photo and video apps came in second place, with an average of 3.4 app downloads per device."
The Facebook Marketing Partner found that advertisers’ share of clicks and application installs through advertising on Instagram in the fourth quarter of 2015 exceeded their shares of total ad spending, with clicks, installs and ad spend all demonstrating “considerable improvement” during the past two quarters."
Outsell ranked marketers’ spending preferences, and putting money into their own website came out with the highest priority, followed by TV and e-mail marketing. However, social advertising is a growing trend, the report notes:
'Non-digital methods like direct mail, custom print, print directories, and advertising in magazines and newspapers all continue to fall due to a higher reliance on digital methods to get in front of existing and potential customers, wherever they might be throughout their day. Spending on social continues to rise through the ranks. This includes buying ads on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as well as companies’ own social engagement through investment in tools and staffing to execute cross-platform campaign efforts, which now feature social brand building and lead generation as key parts of the strategy.'
Mobile marketing ad spend should grow 38 percent this year; social ad spend is expected to rise by 15 percent."
"By the end of 2015, U.S. mobile commerce sales totaled approximately $104.05 billion for the year, up nearly 40 percent from 2014. With mobile commerce growth outpacing total ecommerce growth by 2.58 times in 2015, mobile commerce sales nearly reached 30 percent of total US ecommerce sales. Most mobile commerce advances in 2015 were driven by the retail market (think Amazon, eBay and Walmart), so it’s no wonder retail-driven mobile commerce accounted for roughly 75 percent of all mobile commerce revenue in the US last year."
"Americans spent more time using smartphone and tablet applications in 2014 than they did mobile and desktop web combined. With nearly four billion smartphones projected to be in use by 2020, the platform shift to mobile is well underway.
With the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the continued improvement of the hardware layer, alongside the creation of a robust app economy, it has become possible for us to access incredibly powerful software quite literally from the palms of our hands.
Consumers have long been agreeable to paying for high-quality desktop software, and as the mobile app ecosystem continues to evolve, paying for quality software on mobile will become the norm."
Analytics firm App Annie outlines the big trends in the Android and iOS world, as Apple and Google continue to do battle.
The report claims that when it combined stats from the App Store and Google Play, the four most-downloaded apps all belonged to Facebook: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Facebook and Instagram in that order.
App Annie puts some more numbers to this trend, claiming that games accounted for 90% of all revenues from Android’s Google Play store in 2015, and 75% for Apple’s App Store. In China, which is an increasingly important market for Apple, that rose to 95%.
The big hitters in the mobile gaming world remained the same in 2015: the report’s five top-grossing games across Android and iOS were all years old: Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, Puzzle & Dragons, Game of War – Fire Age, and Candy Crush Saga.
The report does claim that the spread of mobile gaming revenues is getting slightly less concentrated among a few companies, which might be encouraging for smaller indie developers with a big idea.
At least until they read the section on how the “time to maturity” of a mobile game – how long it takes for a game to get 90% of all the downloads it’s ever going to get – has fallen from almost 50 weeks in 2014 to just over 17 in 2015."
"Apple’s lead over Google when it comes to revenue generated by the companies’ respective mobile application markets, the App Store and Google Play, has been cemented, according to a new report out today from App Annie. And this continues to be true even though Google Play is now leading when it comes to downloads, the firm found. In 2014, Google Play had a 60 percent download lead over iOS. In 2015, this widened to nearly 100 percent.
A large part of iOS’s revenue lead is due to China, a country that has already topped the U.S. in iOS downloads, and has been narrowing the gap on the revenue front as well.
In 2014, China was the second-largest country for iOS downloads, and then in Q1 2015, it overtook the U.S. to claim the top spot. From Q1 2014 to Q4 2015, iOS downloads in China grew by 20 percent – growth that has been influenced by China’s adoption of Apple’s larger screened devices, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus."
"Apple has revealed that customers spent a record amount of cash on apps over the holiday season, marking the App Store’s biggest-ever holiday period.
In the two weeks leading up to January 3, consumers spent $1.1 billion on apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV — including in-app purchases. New Year’s Day was the single biggest day in the App Store’s history, according to Apple, with $144 million passing through the online store. This broke the previous record, which was set on Christmas Day just a week earlier."
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