Time flows like a river… (and history repeats…)

It is time for another blogpost. Bloo Kid 2 has been out in the wild for quite some time now (it has already received an update by now!). And its revenue is finally starting to increase towards something that I would call successful. Time to share some numbers with you!

To my greatest surprise (and satisfaction equally), Bloo Kid part one is still making a lot of ad-revenue up to this day. Have a look at the charts below to see the correlation between installs, daily active users, video-impressions, eCPM and revenue for Bloo Kid 1 + 2 iOS (Android revenue is just a fraction of the iOS revenue, hence I’ll go without it).

Bloo Kid

bloo kid installs
~2.000-3.000 installs per day

bloo kid DAU
~10.000-12.000 daily active users. That “anomaly” between May and June is a tracking problem at Vungle I assume.

bloo kid views
Those DAUs create about 8.000-16.000 video views a day

bloo kid ecpm
eCPM is $7.00 to $12.00, which I would regard as “pretty high”

bloo kid revenue
And finally, these 8k-16k views generate about $75.00 to $175.00 revenue a day

The following is a combinated chart showing all the above curves in one diagram. It looks a bit confusing at first, but you should get the point once you have a closer look at it.

bloo kid combined

Judging from the above chart, you can see two things:

  • Somehow, everything depends on everything. The days where downloads and DAUs are high, views and revenue are high as well. Even though this is no big surprise, it is good to know that, “having twice the users” roughly translates to “having about twice the revenue“.
  • Towards the end of the chart, you can see that even though the DAUs and views keep roughly the same, the eCPM and accordingly the revenue are exceptionally high. I will try to give an explanation later on.

To sum it all up for the month of July, Bloo Kid 1 generated:

  • 59.000 installs
  • 442.000 views
  • $4,034 revenue

Bloo Kid 2

The whole story gets even more interesting when we have a look at the same charts for Bloo Kid 2. For those new to my blog, I would like to give a short introduction to what its all about.

Bloo Kid 2 is the followup game to Bloo Kid (No Shit!). It is a free-with-ads mobile platforming retro game that lets users remove the ads via in-app-purchase. You can check out the game here.
The game is not yet “content-complete”, meaning that world 5 (out of 5) is not released yet. It will soon be released via a content-update. Some readers might remember that Bloo Kid 1 saw a huge increase in downloads after the full, content-complete version was released for free. (Check out this blogpost in particular.) I am still hoping that the same will happen to Bloo Kid 2 once the content is complete. But until that point, Bloo Kid 1 still seems to be the more “profitable” game at the moment.

So here come the charts…

bloo kid 2 installs
Bloo Kid part two only generates 300-500 installs per day, which is about 15% of the Bloo Kid 1 downloads. Downloads are increasing at the end of the chart though…

bloo kid 2 DAU
It still manages to make 2.500 to 3.500 people play the game every day, which is 25%-30% of the Bloo Kid 1 DAUs. Seems like the people that DID download the game like it better than the people who download part 1. DAUs increase towards the end, too.

bloo kid 2 views
It roughly creates 5.000 to 6.000 views a day. So the “views per user” ratio is higher than for Bloo Kid 1. Another indicator that people like the game more. As expected, the views are increasing towards the end. An explanation will come soon…

bloo kid 2 ecpm
eCPM is $2.50 to $7.00, getting higher towards the end. Compared to Bloo Kid 1, this is rather low.

bloo kid 2 revenue
Bloo Kid 2 ad revenue is about $20.00 to $30.00 a day, also going up at the end… You want to know why, right?

And now, as before, the combined chart:
bloo kid 2 combined

To sum it all up for July, Bloo Kid 2 generated:

  • 9.500 installs (16% of the BK1 downloads)
  • 251.000 views (56% of the BK1 views!!!)
  • $1,389 revenue (34% of the BK1 revenue)

So while the game has only a fraction of the downloads compared to part 1, it generates a third of its revenue! This is one of those moments where I think “man, why does part two not have as much downloads as part one???”. Guess you can’t have everything 🙂

I will explain the fact why all charts are going up towards the end shortly, but first I want to point out some other interesting fact:
On the left side of the chart, the revenue curve (green) is always about half of the views curve (red). Towards the end, this changes. The reason is that the eCPM is getting higher, and thus the views suddenly become “more valuable”, making the green curve go up. I can think of two reasons for the increased eCPM (and thus revenue):

  • The 4th of July, aka “Independence Day”, is THE National Day in the U.S. I could imagine that “advertising” around this day is way more expensive, and thus advertisers spend more for their ads, which benefits you as a developer. If ads are more expensive, then your revenue is bigger.
  • Once your app gets more views, advertisers will see it as a “more promising advertising space”. Since the advertising networks function with some sort of “bidding” for ads, meaning that the highest bidder will get the most promising “ad-space”, it seems natural that your eCPM raises once your app has more views and thus more advertising space to offer. Indicative for this theory is also the fact that the eCPM for Bloo Kid one is significantly higher than eCPM for Bloo Kid two, since it has twice the amount of views a day.

Keywords

You are still waiting for the answer how I managed to increase downloads, DAUs, views etc. as seen in the Bloo Kid 2 chart? The answer is simple: Keywords. Or Keyword in my case.
If you, dear reader, are part of the Apple staff (especially app-review-staff), then you should stop reading here. Or promise to remain silent…

Bloo Kid 2 is a platforming game very much in the vein of Super Mario, Sonic, Wonderboy or Giana Sisters. It was obvious from the start that I would pick those names as keywords, alongside with “platformer”, “retro”, “arcade” and so on. Everyone who wants to play “a game like Mario” on iOS will enter “Mario” as a search-term.

So far, so good. But Apple seems to be a bit restrictive regarding keywords lately. While entering “Mario” into the description text brings up a popup telling you that your app might be rejected because of the use of the word “Mario”, using Mario as a keyword does NOT bring up such a popup. So I felt perfectly comfortable when releasing the first version of Bloo Kid 2. After the release, I noticed that “Mario” and “Sonic” have been removed from the keyword list by apple without even telling me. So I had wasted 10% of the already short keyword-string and did not even know.

First I thought that there is some sort of blacklist, and “Mario” gets removed automatically. Then I thought it might as well depend on the “arbitrariness” of the reviewer.
So when submitting the first update, I added “Mario” again to the list of keywords. The update was rejected due to some leaderboard misconfiguration, and Mario was removed again.
I corrected the leaderboards, added Mario for the last time, and the update passed the review. To my great surprise and relief, Mario as a keyword was still there!

There are of course some cool new features in the update, like a complete new world or iOS gamepad support. But I think it is safe to say that the keyword “Mario” is the main reason why the daily downloads are higher than before the update.

This now teaches us two things:

  • Keywords are crucial to your download numbers. Be sure to make wise use of the 100 characters apple offers you to fill. Think of what people would enter into the search field when searching for an app like yours.
  • Apple’s review-process is kind of “arbitrary”. While one reviewer might be bothered about something, be it the keywords, the description text or even game-content, another reviewer might not care and wave your app through.

Phew, that’s all for now. I hope the rather lengthy post makes up for the long delay.

Ah, and by the way… Bloo Kid 2 has finally come to the WindowsPhone Store (official news will come the next days)! So expect some numbers from the underdog of the mobile operating systems soon!

Tell me what you think in the comments section!