ironSource blog

Why Your App’s DAU and Impressions Decrease After the Summer

Chen Mizrahi is a BI analyst at ironSource.

Along with bathing suits, tanning, and BBQs, summer is known for an increase in metrics like DAU and ad impressions. Why? Children are out of school, adults are on holiday, and overall users have more free time on their hands.

When we looked back at metrics from summer 2017, we noticed a very clear pattern pertaining to DAU, impressions, and revenue metrics.

These trends seem to be repeating themselves this year. ironSource’s Business Intelligence team put together 4 insights that will explain the changes.

1. DAU isn’t dropping in August, it’s just re-stabilizing

Don’t be alarmed if you see a drop in DAU and impressions this month. There is a simple explanation for this: summer has ended and children are heading back to school.

During summer vacation, developers typically see a large increase in DAU and impressions, likely because users have more time on their hands, and are spending that time in-app.

At the end of August and beginning of September – as you can see from the graphs below, and similar to the metrics we saw last summer – DAU, and therefore impressions, return to their pre-summer numbers, once kids head back to the classroom and users begin to settle back into their everyday routines. This is why at first glance it seems that DAU and impressions are decreasing this time of year – when in fact they are just re-stabilizing.

On weekdays in the US, there might be a noticeable drop in metrics of ±10% according to our data. In China, this decrease may be more drastic, anywhere between 30-40%. However, DAU typically spikes on the weekends – ultimately evening out weekly DAU.

For this reason, our analysts recommend reviewing DAU and impressions from Sunday to Sunday – the weekend begins at different times across the world but Sunday is universal.

2. Changes in app metrics vary across geos, according to summer vacation dates

Drops in DAU and impressions depend on when summer vacations start and end.

For example, in the US, schools start as early as mid-August and as late as the end of September. However, in China, all students go back to class on September 3rd.

This is why performance metrics in China may experience a drastic drop after September 3rd. But don’t be alarmed, the trend is similar to patterns we observed at this time last summer, as shown below.

On the other hand, because students in the US return to the classroom at different points throughout the month, any drops in DAU at the end of the summer will happen far more gradually.

3. Engagement rates (ER) and usage rates (UR) remain steady

Engagement rate is the percentage of users who actively engage with ads on your app, and usage rate is the number of impressions per engaged user.

These rates should remain constant year-round. Why? While DAU may decrease since students are returning to school, the users who do stick around should still be watching, playing, and enjoying ads at the same rates. See below.

That being said, it is possible to observe a slight decrease in ER and UR, mainly on specific genres.

4. Changes in app metrics vary across genres

Metrics like DAU, impressions, engagement rate, and usage rate vary across game genres. For example, metrics in hyper-casual games might behave differently than they would in mid-core games.

Specifically, hyper-casual titles might experience a sharp decrease in metrics, as users are less tied to the game – in other words, they aren’t coming back to complete actions as they would in other genres. This unstable retention ultimately affects DAU and impressions.

The fluctuation of in DAU and impressions across hyper-casual titles ultimately impacts install rates for advertisers, as well, since install rates mimic DAU trends. That said, while there may be less installs, IPM for advertisers remains stable.

As the year goes by, different events and factors will affect in-app metrics. Don’t fret, ironSource is always here to provide you with useful insights and help with any issues you may experiencing.

Looking for more insights geared towards app developers? Subscribe to LevelUp today

ironSource Blog

The Source


How to localize your creative ads for the Chinese market

Daniel Herman is the product manager of ironSource’s Playworks Studio. Playworks is ironSource’s in-house creative studio made up of designers, animators, video producers, and programmers that tailor-make high-impact interactive advertisements. Recently, we have been receiving many questions about how to localize creatives for the Chinese market. The Chinese mobile gaming landscape is its own ecosystem...


The Case for In-Game Advertising

Jarkko Rajamaki, VP Advertising at Rovio, discussed the impact of in-game advertising at Gamefest 2018. Here’s what he had to say. Jarkko noted that developers might limit ads because they’re afraid of hurting retention and cannibalizing in-app purchase revenue. However, these myths, as Jarkko pointed out, are solely based on intuition. That’s why Rovio decided..


Idle and Incremental Games

Idle games are an exciting genre that is quickly rising to fame. What makes idle games so great - from both a player and developer perspective - is that their mechanics create optimal mobile sessions while simultaneously driving long-term retention. ironSource spoke with Nate Barker, Director of Business Development at Kolibri Games, and discussed all..


2018 명절 트렌드 리포트

명절 기분 느끼기 연말 그리고 겨울- 추수감사절, 블랙 프라이데이, 크리스마스, 그리고 새해 등등 - 수백만 명의 사람들이 새로운 핸드폰을 사기 때문에 모바일 기기를 사용하는 행동에 대한 뚜렷한 변화가 생깁니다. 뿐만 아니라, 일반적으로 게임을 즐길수 있을만한 여유가 생기기 마련이지요. 그렇기 때문에 명절은 수익화 및 UA 매니저들에게 제일 좋은 기회의 시기입니다. 수익화의 경우, DAU의 증가로 인해 수익이..


Mishka Katkoff Shares 2019 Predictions in Mobile Gaming

The Mobile Gaming Industry Report At ironSource Gamefest 2018, Mishka Katkoff, who is the Head of Studio at Rovio and Founder of the popular Deconstructor of Fun blog, discussed 2019 predictions and trends for the mobile gaming industry. Here’s what he had to say. What's next for casual games? Mishka breaks casual games into five..


Getting in the Holiday Spirit: What to Expect from DAU and IPM

Chen Mizrahi is a BI analyst at ironSource. During the winter holidays - from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas, to New Year’s Day - there is a marked shift in mobile user behavior, as millions of people are buying new phones, and generally have more free time to play games. That’s why the holidays are..


Gaming Growth in China

One of the most interesting topics in the gaming industry this year has been China’s place in the market. From the incredibly lucrative nature of the Chinese market, to government intervention in gaming content, there is always something to be said when it comes to mobile gaming in the far east. This year, China will..


The Next Generation of Interactive Mobile Ads

In episode 10 of LevelUp, Dan Greenberg, Chief Design Officer at ironSource, gives us the lowdown on what goes into designing hit playable ads, discusses where we can expect to see AR pop up in mobile gaming, and spills the beans on the game studio he admires most (spoiler - they build games for toddlers)...


10 Things You Didn’t Know About ironSource

What do you really know about ironSource? While many people have heard our name, most people don’t actually know what we do. ironSource is the leading in-app video advertising platform. We make free-to-play and free-to-use possible for over 1.5B people around the world - meaning, we build the technologies that help app developers take their..

Interested in becoming an ironSource partner?

We’d love to hear from you.