Thanksgiving Traffic Surges 48% in the US

Insights & Best Practices

November 28, 2012


min read

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the US, a holiday dedicated to stuffing yourself with turkey and taking the day off of work. As you can imagine, this translates into lots of extra quality time with your favorite mobile games- personally, I spent the whole day playing Plants vs. Zombies and recovering from my food coma. Looking at data from the 8,000 games on our network, we saw traffic rise 48% in the US (compared to your average Thursday)- quite the surge! It wasn?t just the US, though. Even though Thanksgiving is a US-only holiday, traffic surged worldwide as games released holiday content packs to bring users back into the fold.

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Did Developers Capitalize?

Our advertisers tended to raise bids, so the average CPI paid outside the US jumped 8% from its Thursday average. In the US, however, the average CPI paid actually dropped just a bit. This is for two reasons: first, because we prioritize interstitials based on eCPM, marginal traffic (that extra 48%) tends to see interstitials that have lower bids after users run through the highest-eCPM inventory. Second, US-based game marketers had the day off of work and weren’t online to capitalize on the large amount of traffic. If they had known about all of the marginal, low-bid traffic, they might have been more aggressive in setting their bids to capture it.

Missed Opportunities

The holiday was still a huge success for game developers worldwide, but we think there was a missed opportunity to acquire US users. Marketers located outside the US may not have known enough about Thanksgiving to prepare for it, while marketers in the US weren’t online to take full advantage of the surge. This is a reminder to all developers to plan ahead for their holiday campaigns as we approach the Christmas season, and expect more traffic than you?ve ever seen! We even have some tips to help you along the way.

Data is from over 8,000 iOS and Android games in the Chartboost network, and compares Thanksgiving day, November 22, to Thursdays from October 4 to November 22, 2012.