Which KPI's should I focus on after a mobile app launch ?

These are some additional "quick&dirty" ideas around the question: What are the KPI's that I should take a look at after launching a mobile app (free-to-play in particular. btw, see article below on "Key Metrics for App Monetization." and "Healthy Retention Rates".

(free pic under CC)

1. Rolling Retention

In my short article on "Healthy Retention Rates", I primarily focused on rolling retention. This is: Take a look at a cohort and track their life time. Averaging this figure gives you the average life time.

2. DAU Frequency Retention
By that I mean a methodology which takes a snapshot from one specific day and takes a look at that daily cohort by measuring how many of those that have been active today have been active on a daily basis over the past 7 days. This also gives you an indication of recency. I have seen top mobile games achieve a 70% DAU Frequency retention. In other words, of that daily logged in users, 70% had logged each day for the past 5 out of 7 days! Of course, the DAU basis should be reduced by the number of new daily logins, so that you really have only loyal DAU.

3. Predictive LTV and Milestone Tracking

Define Milestones which could give you an indication as to whether your mobile game will succeed or not.
These two findings are from Tapjoys research on "predicting the future LTV of your your users."
  • "Reaching a critical point of 1,000 users who make > 3 purchases is a good indication that an app will ultimately top $1MM in revenue. 84% of the apps with 1,000 or more users who completed three or more in-app purchases within the first 90 days broke that $1MM threshold.
  • 35% conversion rate from 1st to 3rd purchase was the critical number for breaking the $1MM revenue threshold."
4. Recalibrate your own benchmarks constantly. 

I previously mentioned that D1 (40%), D7 (20%) and D30 (10%) is a good Western benchmark for midcore games. In my experience, East-Asians take a a different approach, which is  slightly more short term on this. I remember one Japanese executive mention the following retention rates as successful.

D1 > 50%
D3 25-30% !
D7 ~ 20%

In his talk, he stressed D3 which seems to empirically work for him to predict if a game is successful or not.

Anyway, these are just preliminary thoughts. Please comment below for further exchange.


How to compute a doubling with percentages

What does it mean when someone says: We are going to grow revenues

14% every year ? 

10% every year ?

5% every year ?

There is a very simple trick that allows you to quickly translate it in terms of doubling.

(free pic under CC)

Just take 70 and divide by the percentage number:

70/14 = 5 yrs

70/10 = 7 yrs

70/ 5 = 14 yrs

So when someone says:

We are going to grow 14% every year, this person is saying that revenues will double in 5 yrs.

 in short:

14% every year ? --> 2x in 5 yrs

10% every year ? --> 2x in 7 yrs

5% every year ? --> 2x in 14 yrs