Acquisition & Engagement

Hunting whales in India (for mobile apps and games)

John Koetsier

You can’t actually hunt whales in India, because whales don’t live in India. And while they do live all around India in the waters of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, we don’t actually want to hunt whales at all. We love whales.

What we do want is to attract high-value users into our mobile games and apps.

And for that purpose, here’s some good news for Indian app developers:

In a recent study of smartphone owners in India — who just hit 300 million, by the way — we found that 34% say they’ve spent money in a mobile game. That’s an astonishing 102 million people.

Of course, not all of them are whales.

In fact, just 2.5% of them contribute a massive 52% of all Indian game revenue. Which means, of course, that Indian app developers and marketers, just like their global colleagues, have to work extra-hard to find them, target them, acquire them, and engage them in their games.

india games mobile IAP purchases

Most Indian gamers — 66 % — don’t buy anything in mobile games. But 2% spend more than 200 INR every month, and another 7% spend between 50-200 INR monthly. 24% spend just 1-50 INR.

The full report on which these numbers and this video is based is available for free: India & Mobile Gaming: Poised for massive growth.

John Koetsier

Before acting as a mobile economist for TUNE, John built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, he led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, he was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers." John lives in British Columbia, Canada with his family, where he coaches baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.

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