How has the lockdown affected CPI and CPM in mobile gaming business?

As lockdown continues and the government extends social distancing recommendations, the gaming industry has witnessed an inevitable surge in the way that video games are being consumed. Since there are ample time for users thanks to lockdown, therefore users are getting more chances to explore new content. However, the increase in time spent is not easily monetised for the app and mobile web publishers. First, much of this increased time on platforms that aren’t heavily monetised by advertising. In Italy, Facebook has seen traffic increase by 70 per cent, with a group calling increasing by 1000 per cent, Facebook Live and Instagram Live up 100 per cent and messaging up 50 per cent. None of those features can be monetised easily. More importantly, many advertisers don’t have the money now to buy additional impressions, which has depressed CPMs. Adomik, which lets publishers track their ad monetisation, released data recently that showed a 17.2 per cent drop in week-over-week ad revenues in the US between 10 March to 15 March and 17 March to 22 March. The biggest drops were in a direct deal and programmatic guaranteed, with real-time bidding dropping 15 per cent, followed by CPM dropping 14.8 per cent and mobile dropping 13.3 per cent. Likewise, the gaming apps have witnessed near about the same experience while at lockdown.
BombayPlay co-founder and CEO Oliver Jones
Taking example BombayPlay’s businesses receives 80 per cent of revenue from ads so they follow it quite closely. For now, they believe gaming is taking a step back of trends in general as they have witnessed games that have elements of human interaction those ones are winning right now which categorise to brands which are also winning. However, they believe if the game has the ability to connect people then there is a high chance of seeing a lot of organics probably growth in it. BombayPlay co-founder and CEO Oliver Jones shares that Ludo for an example is a great sort of format and people can just join the table and play with each other in a casual way and it has bond which is connecting the users for the game that’s what the consumer looking for .while people are staying indoors. With respect to CPI (cost per install)  and CPM (cost per mille) Jones shares at IGDC webinar“our games are made for America and Europe so spend a lot of acquisition over there and we have seen roughly 30 per cent decrease in the cost of install in the USA and Europe and CPM’s they also decrease the similar amount. But, if your game has an hour or two hours of sessions length right now you can definitely turn that is positive in your direction then math can work out for you, so that kind of trend we are seeing.”
Yozoo Games India CEO Anuj Tandon
Sharing the picture of the Indian Yozoo Games India CEO Anuj Tandon believes now is the best time for acquisition which includes India as well as abroad. In respect to  CPM and CPI, he shares during the webinar that “for casual games, we are seeing almost 50 per cent drop in CPI and correspondingly even eCPM (effective cost per mille) for ad dependent businesses. We are definitely seeing approximately 60 per cent drop on eCPM as well, so there is a good time to acquire may not so good time to monetise. If you just dependent on ad-based business but overall DAU (daily active users) as well as engagement time you can compensate some of the eCPM drops. However the larger challenge will be, maybe two months three months down the line, if the film rates are really dropping as well, then the challenge will start as to for monetisation of ad dependent businesses.”
Gametion founder Vikash Jaiswal
Well, exceptions are always there, for example, mobile game LUDO king has recently crossed 50mn DAU with the daily installation of 20 to 25 mn during the lockdown, however, before COVID19  their DAU was around 14 to 15 million. They have also seen a dip in CPI that is almost 30-40 per cent in India alone and eCPM as well, in initial days till 5 April it was decreasing. However, Gametion founder Vikash Jaiswal has miraculously noticed that “I don’t know-how in our game, our eCPM is now increasing, maybe because some advertisers are targeting our game so this is the states in our game.” This joins the circle if anybody wants to experiment or explore new projects now is time to acquire or plan however if somebody wants to monetise the content as well then they should add human quotient to the content like video interaction which hte Houseparty app did because that is what market is ready to consume right now.