Glossary of Metrics
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The analytics industry is full of metrics and acronyms. To help clarify what some of these terms mean, we’ve started a glossary of a few basics to help get you started:
ARPDAU: Average Revenue Per Daily Active User Game developers who are focused on DAU tend to track ARPDAU as a means to estimate the amount of revenue generated by users on any given day. While a potentially interesting metric to track, other monetization metrics (e.g. ARPPU, ARPU) can share more informative trends about your game.
ARPDAU = [Total Revenue for a Given Day] / [Number of Active Users that Day] Relevant Articles: Gamesbrief (http://www.gamesbrief.com/2012/09/arpdau/)
ARPPU: Average Revenue per Paying User ARPPU is used to estimate the average amount spent by those users who spend money in your game. How much money does the average customer spend (in many games, most players never spend any money, but ARPPU only includes those who do) While this metric can help you understand the health of your in-app economy, this metric may be less useful in determining the overall monetization health of your game.
ARPPU = [Total Revenue] / [Number of Paying Users]
ARPU: Average Revenue Per User Probably the most common monetization metric, ARPU is your average earnings per user. The benchmark for ARPU varies widely depending on the type and genre of your game, although recent reports have indicated ranges of $0.18 - $11.89 for major mobile titles.
ARPU = [Total Revenue] / [Total Number of Users] Relevant Articles: Superdata Research (http://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/us-digital-games-market/)
Average Number of Sessions Per Daily Active User: Higher average sessions indicate multiple visits by each player in a single day.
Average Number of Session Per Daily Active User = Total Sessions / Daily Active Users
CPU: Cost Per User, the cost associated with acquiring new users. The marketing campaigns that your studio allocates to acquire additional customers. Relevant Articles: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_acquisition_cost)
Churn Rate: The rate at which users are leaving your game during a specified period. Your user churn rate is important in estimating the lifetime value of your users. Relevant Articles: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churn_rate)
CPA: Cost Per Action (or Acquisition, Conversion); this is the cost for the user to perform an action (e.g. download an app, purchase an item). Generally, your user acquisition goal is to maximize the difference between your user’s LTV and CPA. CPA is a measurement for ad effectiveness, and accounts for performance directly related to the ROI of the ad campaign.
CPC: Cost Per Click (or Pay Per Click); this is your average cost for each user who clicks a viewed impression or ad. This is the “amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.” Relevant Articles: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_per_click)
CPI: Cost Per Impression: This is your incurred cost per impression shown. CPI is often used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of your campaign.
CPI = [Total Campaign Advertising Cost / Total Impressions]
CPM: Cost Per 1000 Impressions The cost per thousand impressions; similar to CPI, this metric in the context of online and mobile advertising, is used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of your marketing campaign. It is expressed as Cost per Thousand Impressions to make the numbers easier to manage.
CPM = [Total Campaign Advertising Cost / Total Impressions * 1000]
Conversion: In the context of online and mobile advertising, a conversion occurs whenever the desired action is completed for the ad campaign. For user acquisition campaigns, a conversion is usually the acquisition of a new user. Conversions can also be other actions (e.g. completed purchase, click-through, etc.).
CTR: Click Through Rate; in the context of online and mobile advertising, the total number of clicks divided by the number of impressions times 100. The percentage of clicks to impressions. The percentage of people who click on a given ad. It is calculated by the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions, and then multiplied by 100 to form a percentage. CTR can vary per ad unit – an attention grabbing ad unit will have a higher CTR than an ad unit that users tend to ignore. The higher the CTR, the more effective the ad unit is.
CTR = [Total Clicks / Total Impressions * 100]
DAU: Daily Active User - the number of users who played at least one session on a given day; the count of unique users who visited your application during a defined day. DAU is used as metric to evaluate the “stickiness” of your game.
Dolphin: A term used to describe a set of users who spend a “middling” amount in your application. Relative to Whales and Minnows, Dolphins are mid-tier spenders, although the precise amount these users spend on average will vary by your app and definition (spending $10 may categorize someone as a whale in a casual game, but as a minnow in a hardcore game).
F2P: Free to Play (Also known as the Freemium Business Model); this refers to the business model that offers users free access to a fully functional game and a significant portion of app content. Monetization strategies for these titles generally include microtransactions that allow users to access premium features and virtual goods.
Funnel: a defined flow for your application that allows you to monitor the progression of your user’s activity. A funnel usually captures a series of actions a user takes to accomplish a goal. Funnel analysis is a key component of understanding conversions and dropoffs in your game, as well as identifying bottlenecks that can detrimentally affect your players’ experiences.
K-Factor: A metric used to describe the growth rate and virality of your game. A rough formula is as follows: k = [invites sent by each customer * conversion percentage of invites] a k-factor of 1 indicates a “steady” state of neither growth nor decline, while a k-factor greater than 1 indicates exponential growth.
Relevant Articles: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-factor_(marketing))
Impression: In the context of online and mobile advertising, this is the unit of measurement for the number of times an ad is seen. Each time an ad displays, it is counted as one impression, whether the ad is clicked on or not. Relevant Article: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impression_(online_media))
LTV: User Lifetime Value, generally a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with the user. Calculations of LTV will vary by prediction model, but should generally express the net present value of the projected future cash flows from the customer relationship. Relevant Article: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifetime_value)
Minnow: Relative to Whales and Dolphins, Minnows are your lowest tiered spenders. The precise amount these users spend will vary per app, but they are distinct from non-spenders, who have spent nothing at all.
MAU: Monthly Active User - the number of unique users who played at least one session in a given month. One of the metrics used to measure the growth of your game.
New User: Total number of unique users on a specific day as counted for the first time.
PLTV: Predicted Life Time Value (Long Term Value). See LTV.
Retention: the percentage of users who return over a specified period of time. Retention metrics measure the activity of users over time; industry standard retention rates are calculated based on 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day retention rates. Retention can tell you a lot about your game (ex: Are people enjoying it? Are there problems with certain devices? Are there problems with the design of the game?).
Daily Retention For New Users (as a Percentage): Retention rate is defined as what percentage of new players who played your game on Day 1 are still playing on Day 7 and Day 30.
Segment: A subset of users who have common needs and/or priorities. By categorizing users into different segments, you can target each segment with different promotions (for example, for the non-monetizing user segment, you can show them an ad unit, but for the high monetizing user segment, you can give them a special promotion on an item in the game). Market segmentation is a strategy aimed at strategically identifying and targeting users of similar backgrounds with relevant promotions. Relevant Article: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_segment)
Sticky Factor: This is a measure of engagement. Of the users who have played the game in a calendar month, how many of those like it enough to return on a daily basis? If you have 100 MAU and 30 DAU, your sticky factor is 30%, meaning you have a 30% chance of getting someone who had downloaded your game to visit on a daily basis. The more entertaining your game is, the higher your sticky factor will be.
Sticky Factor = DAU/MAU
Total Daily Play Time: The total time in seconds that your players invest in your game.
Total Sessions: The total number of sessions played on a given day.
Verified Revenue: Total revenue from in-app purchases that have been verified with a receipt from Apple iTunes or Google Play.
Number of Verified Transactions: The total number of transactions that are verified with a receipt from the app store on a given day.
Whale: A term used to describe a set of users who spend the largest amount in your application. Relative to Dolphins and Minnows, Whales are your highest spenders. The precise amount these users actually spend will vary per app. Although there is no universal standard, some studios define Whales as their top 5% spenders. Relevant Article: Gamesbrief (http://www.gamesbrief.com/2011/11/whales-dolphins-and-minnows-the-beating-heart-of-a-free-to-play-game/)