Tracking the fastest growing apps across different download ranges, ironSource’s Fastest Growing Apps platform is a great indicator for changes, trends or disruptions deeper down in the mobile ecosystem.

Looking at the list of April’s Fastest Growing Apps, a few game sequels made it onto the list of Fastest Growing Apps, with lots of them – such as Bubble Witch 3 Saga and Cookie Crush 3 – seeing fast growth over the last month.

We’ve picked three of the month’s movers and shakers and asked: what lessons can other developers take from the success of these games?

Roll the Ball by BitMango

Release date

May 1st, 2015

Where can you play?

Google Play and iOS App Store

Rolling to the top

Roll the Ball puzzle game works by sliding blocks to create a path for the ball to roll from start to finish.

All the levels follow the same format and the difficulty slowly increases as users progress. There is no time limit on levels so users can play at their own pace. The developers have also allowed the game to be played offline – useful for areas with patchy or costly mobile internet. When in offline mode, no ads are served to users. Hints, level restarts and an “undo” button all encourage the user to stay in the game, and go some way to explain this game’s popularity.

How do they meet users and monetize them?

Roll the Ball, made by BitMango, is utilising playable ads as part of their user acquisition strategy. This will help them to achieve higher install rates followed by higher retention rates from engaged users who tried the mini-game in the ad and wanted to continue playing. Once playing the game, there are both inter-level banner, interstitial, and video ads shown to users. IAPs offered are: the chance for users to go ‘ad-free’, hints for game play, and packages of new levels. This combination between IAPs and ad-based monetization is a strong strategy, since just 5% of app users make IAPs, and it’s risky to make it the dominant plank in a monetization strategy. Game apps generate the most Google Play revenue, so it still makes sense for BitMango to have an array of IAPs of differing prices in their Android game – a boost to their main revenue from monetization through ads. This is a good lesson, especially if your users are from traditionally not high-IAP spending geos like India.

 

Recommended Reading
Supercell Talks Unique Company Culture and Winning Game Design Strategies 
Weighing the Benefits of Reward-Focused UA
What the Hell Are Playable Ads and Why Should You Care?

 

Bubble Witch 3 Saga by King

Release date

December 3rd, 2016

Where can you play?

Google Play, Amazon App Store and iOS App Store

bubble

 

Bewitching strategy

Bubble Witch 3 Saga is a casual match-3 game from King, with some special boosters to complete levels. The game also offers the option to play against friends, or alone. Similar to King’s other match-3 success stories, Bubble Witch 3 Saga levels are move-capped, so users will need to keep trying to complete each one. In addition, power ups, unlimited lives and other goodies make for a winner move from King.

How do they meet users and monetize them?

Once in the Bubble Witch 2 Saga game, there are no ads, but instead a wide range of IAPs – a strategy that has clearly worked for King before in other games. Levels have a capped amount of moves, and the ability to compete with friends encourages users to keep trying to win, and in some cases they might need extra moves, e.g. IAPs, to do so. Because of their monetization model, King may be focusing on UA campaigns with iOS users, who spend more on IAPs than their Android counterparts – $1.08 compared to $0.43. Developers who rely on IAPs to drive their monetization strategy should keep this in mind.

 

Cookie Crush Match 3 by Ilyon

Release date

November 26th, 2016

Where can you play?

Google Play, Amazon App Store and iOS App Store

Sweet tips 

Cookie Crush 3 is a match-3 game with prizes and special points to be won through gameplay. Power ups are awarded to users as they move through the thousands of levels. The game can be played with friends and is also able to be played offline – a great win for users with weak or expensive mobile internet, or of course for those times where mobile data isn’t available – like on a plane. During this offline mode play, no ads are served to users.

How do they meet users and monetize them?

There’s a range of IAPs available, for example users can spend money to buy gold coins to be used for extra moves to complete a level, or to skip to the next level. In addition, there are inter-level ads shown to users. The game is described by reviewers as ‘addictive’ – by just running out of moves or being challenged by a friend, users are encouraged to continue playing to the next level which might be necessitated by IAPs. 

 

Want to see more of the month’s Fastest Growing Apps? Check out the movers and shakers on our platform

ironSource Blog

The Source

AdChat
ironsource-why-outsource-production-playable-ads

3 Reasons You Should Outsource Production of Your Playable Ad

Daniel Herman is the product manager for playable ads at ironSource. This article originally appeared on PocketGamer.  You might think that producing a playable ad is no different than putting together an app trailer. It’s just an interactive version of the same thing, right? If only it were that easy. It takes a huge amount of..

IndustryChat

3 Hot Topics To Watch Out For At Dmexco 2017

Dmexco 2017 is just around the corner and with over 250 hours of events across two days, we've picked the three hottest topics and talks at this year's conference. Come and say hello to the ironSource team if you're in Cologne. We'll be at booth E58 in Hall 6.1. You can book your meeting with..

AppChat
ironsource-what-is-ecpm-how-to-increase

What the Hell is eCPM and How Can You Increase It?

eCPM is a term that’s thrown around quite often in the mobile advertising world. But it can be quite confusing, especially for new developers looking to monetize their app through in-app advertising. Let’s take a look at what it means and why it matters for app developers. What is eCPM? eCPM is a metric used..

AppChat
zeptolab-ironsource-double-revenue-ad-mediation-platform

ZeptoLab More than Doubles Revenue with ironSource Auto-Optimization Algorithm

Since integrating ironSource’s mediation platform, ZeptoLab saw immediate increases in overall revenue and average revenue per engaged user (ARPDEU) in both Cut the Rope (1B+ installs) and King of Thieves (50M installs). Recognizing the success, ZeptoLab soon started running ironSource’s mediation platform in their newly-launched game, C.A.T.S.: Crash Arena Turbo Stars (50M installs). “With the..

AppChat

45 Twitter Accounts Every Mobile App Developer Should Follow

You want to find information to help with your mobile app but don’t know where to look. You want to follow important people on Twitter, but you find yourself lost in the vortex of links, tweets, videos, GIFs, and a lot of useless information. Twitter can be a confusing place, so we decided to help..

AdChat
ironsource-3-myths-playable-ads

3 Myths About Playable Ads

Daniel Herman is the product manager for playable ads at ironSource. This article originally appeared on PocketGamer.  While playable ads are the hottest ad unit out there, there are are still a few myths around the format which persist on both the app monetization and marketing sides. Below we go through some of those myths,..

CompanyChat
ironsource-active-protect-program-mobile-ad-fraud

ironSource Launches Active Protect Program to Minimize Mobile Ad Fraud

ironSource today announced the launch of the Active Protect program, a program for mobile advertisers which aims to prevent the most frequent types of fraud on non-SDK traffic - primarily attribution and device manipulation - by blocking fraudulent or manipulated traffic in real-time and automatically re-crediting advertisers for any spend on fraudulent traffic. Fighting mobile..

AdChat
ironsource-non-gaming-apps-playable-ad

Should Non-Gaming Apps Use Playable Ads?

This article originally appeared on iMedia Connection.  Advertising technology is evolving, and as developers continue to become more creative with their ad formats, the industry is revealing there is much more to digital advertising in 2017 than simple banner or interstitial ads. The time is right for new, exciting ad formats. 91 percent of users..

AdChat
ironsource-what-are-playable-ads-bitmango-word-cookies

The What, How, and Why of Playable Ads

Oren Cohen is the VP Media at ironSource. This article originally appeared on VentureBeat.  In 2013, the global ad blocking craze pushed the ad industry to rethink its strategies — users were fed up with intrusive, irrelevant, and boring ads. In response, we slowly saw mobile ads shift towards ad formats and creatives that both..

Interested in becoming an ironSource partner?

We’d love to hear from you.