April 18, 2024

MAU 2024: Learnings from the biggest mobile app industry event of the year

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MAU, which stands for “Mobile Apps Unlocked,” is the premier event in the mobile industry that aims to do just that – unlock the secrets behind mobile app growth for publishers worldwide. Held in Las vegas once a year, the event brings together professionals from the industry to network, learn, and strategize for the year ahead. 

This year’s MAU offered 70 engaging content sessions over five key tracks and attracted over 3,000 attendees from all app verticals.

Here’s what Mistplay got up to at MAU 2024 plus a few key takeaways about the year ahead for mobile gaming. 

Mistplay’s poolside cabana

The Mistplay Cabana made its second appearance at MAU this year for mobile game professionals to stay cool, enjoy some shaved ice, and chat with the Mistplay team about unlocking player loyalty to increase LTV. 

With a variety of swag on deck from misting fans to Hawaiian shirts, visitors never left empty-handed. Plus, our team rocked some awesome custom Nike kicks!

Happy Hour with data.ai at TopGolf

On Tuesday, we hit the green with our partners at data.ai (now Sensor Tower) for a happy hour at TopGolf where over 175 mobile gaming experts joined us to discuss the current industry landscape while brushing up on their golf swing.

After party at the XS Nightclub at Wynn

To cap off a productive Wednesday full of learning and networking, we invited industry night owls to unwind with us at XS Nightclub for drinks, laughs, and a great view of ARMNHMR.

Know your spender expert talk with Peggy Anne Salz

On Thursday, Peggy Anne Salz joined our team on stage to moderate a discussion on mobile game spending trends in “Know your spender: Lessons learned driving loyalty and growth in today's evolving market.” In this session, we covered everything from top-of-funnel spender acquisition to deep-funnel player engagement to help publishers gear up to drive more LTV in the year to come.

The talk featured insights from Mistplay’s 2024 Mobile Gaming Spender Report and brought different experts from the industry, including our own UA Team Lead Nick Cullen, Pavel Ignatov (CEO of Balancy), and Piyush Mishra (Director of Growth Marketing at Product Madness). 

👀 Related reading: [Report] Mobile gaming IAP spend trends for 2024: Player motivations, churn, and more

VIP dinner at Beauty & Essex

On Thursday evening, we hosted our exclusive dinner in a private room at Beauty & Essex (Cosmopolitan), where 28 guests enjoyed great conversation, delicious food, and deepened connections with others in the industry.

3 key takeaways from MAU 2024

1. Games that monetize through IAP are expanding to DTC web shops 

With the consistent (and growing) challenges around user acquisition in the mobile landscape, many games that monetize predominantly through in-app purchases (IAP) are expanding their monetization strategies to include Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) web shops. 

With Apple’s lawsuit against Europe, in which the European Union issued a nearly $2B antitrust fine against them, developers are now able to advertise within their iOS games that they have another store available – one that Apple won’t get to take a cut from. 

“Apple muzzled streaming services from telling users about payment options available through their websites, which would avoid the 30% fee charged when people pay through apps downloaded with the iOS App Store.”

the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm and top antitrust enforcer. 

This expansion is made easier by companies like Xsolla who offer advanced tools for mobile game publishers to setup their own branded web shops and grow DTC sales. 

2. With UA challenges, publishers are focusing more on retention

User acquisition continues to be a challenge for mobile publishers as it gets more expensive for less return. In response to this, many publishers are now focusing more on how they can increase LTV by encouraging retention and spend rather than fill the funnel with new users.

While our 2024 Mobile Gaming Spender Report found that 32% of mobile game IAP spenders plan to reduce their in-game spend this year, we also uncovered a few ways that publishers may be able to increase LTV as well – through avenues such as offering personalized deals and integrating more loyalty rewards within their games. 

“In this new market maturity, there will be a disproportionate skew of winners and losers over time, as sustainable user acquisition becomes even more challenging and expensive, and the competition for a more discerning consumer wallet share intensifies. Understanding the intricacies of spender behavior to drive LTV has therefore become essential as we all navigate this landscape.”

– Jason Heller, CEO of Mistplay

👀 Related reading: Loyalty is the new key to profitable growth for mobile games

3. Midcore games are going cross-platform 

With the aforementioned challenges with user acquisition on mobile, some big publishers are making the move to new platforms to expand their playerbase and access a larger part of the gaming market. This expansion is particularly being taken by publishers with midcore and hardcore titles, as these genres tend to have more overlap with the player demographics of PC games, which is where this current expansion seems to be focusing. 

One example of this is Supercell, who released Clash of Clans and Clash Royale on PC in October of last year.

As Gijsbert Pols (Adjust’s Director of CTV) and Warren Woodward (Upptic’s Chief Growth Officer) told PocketGamer earlier this year:

“The mobile gaming market is reaching a point of saturation, and with mobile-specific privacy rules and regulations - such as Apple’s app tracking transparency (ATT), which gives users the right to opt out of cross-app tracking - user acquisition and monetisation have become much more difficult. In addition, investors are shifting their focus from mobile-first to cross-device, putting a premium on new games that can sell the promise of a higher total addressable market (TAM) across platforms.”

Catch us at the next event!

With GDC and MAU officially behind us, 2024 is off to a great start, and we’re looking forward to taking loyalty insights to APAC with events like G-Star and ChinaJoy later this year. 

Didn’t get a chance to catch us this time? Contact us to learn more about unlocking the power of player loyalty and follow us on Linkedin to stay up-to-date on upcoming events so you know where to find us. 


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