“Mobile Users Cost More Than They’re Worth” is the slightly pithy interpretation of this piece on Venturebeat titled “Developers, brace for a bloodbath: The cost of getting a new mobile gamer exceeds revenue that user generates“, which is a summary on mobile user acquisition costs versus spend published by Superdata Research.
The short version: the average user costs $2.73 to acquire through paid installs, but the average revenue per user is $1.96 – giving leaving a net loss of $0.77 per user. Obviously the average figures don’t really mean much as revenue per user will vary so much from app to app, but still the figures highlight just how cut-throat the industry is becoming in the race to acquire users and grow. This graph shows the growth rate:
Will this stop the mass of new games being released and new companies entering the market? Probably not, but it certainly looks like there’ll be a lot of disappointed bank balances in a few months time. The growth rate certainly seems unsustainable and, once the crash and the trough of disillusionment has been reached on the other side of the crash, there’ll be some great opportunities out there.