What does Google Play's increase in game sessions mean for iOS?

Insights & Best Practices

March 17, 2015


min read

According to our latest Power-Up report, Google Play has surpassed iOS in mobile game sessions in North, South and Central America. While the Apple and Android operating systems were tied in a dead heat in December, Google Play inched ahead in January ? accounting for 51 percent of game sessions vs. 49 percent for iOS. By February, Google Play extended its share by 3 percentage points to 54 percent.That?s big news for mobile game developers, because while iOS still claims a large portion of the money made (simply put, iOS players continue to spend more), the sheer volume of players gravitating towards Android is enough to make any mobile developer or marketer pause when establishing a mobile game monetization strategy for the future of their game.Could 2015 be the year where Android claims the top spot globally? Our team suspects we?ll only see the trend continue.

Google Play surpasses iOS by mobile game sessions in the Americas in January

In parallel with Android?s game session growth, CPIs (Cost Per Install) ? which can be used an approximation for lifetime value (LTV) ? have surged by 41 percent from February 2014 to February 2015.As we all know, app installs have become a major business. And as mobile gaming continues to be the leading driver of mobile revenues, a shift of gaming sessions in Tier 1 markets could be an early indicator of Google Play approaching parity with the iOS App Store.It?s not a huge surprise to our CEO and co-founder Maria Alegre who says that over the past year she?s noticed developers have been thinking about more than one platform when launching campaigns. ?While iOS has typically been where game developers start with user acquisition, we see the window of exclusive focus on iOS shrinking,? she says.Alegre believes 2015 will indeed be the year where Android becomes more relevant than iOS. Though iOS will continue to have higher unit economics, the differences between iOS ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and Android ARPU are shrinking -- while Android?s mobile game sessions are growing month over month. ?That combination of higher traffic and smaller difference between ARPU will make Android overall a more attractive business opportunity,? she predicts.