How age impacts social-gaming monetization

According to new data from Gambit, older players may bring in more revenue per user, but the younger ones spend more money.

New data released by Gambit, a micro-transaction platform provider, illustrates the complexity of both customer targeting and analyzing micro-transaction buying patterns. The major takeaway: older players seem like a good target market until you dig in to find out that they don't spend a whole lot.

But, it takes a minute to understand the data, as Gambit's Susan Su points out in a blog post on how age impacts social-gaming monetization. While it would appear that older users are a good target market thanks to their high revenue-per-user statistic, they are actually pretty meaningless in terms of revenue.


Age Group Key Avg ARPPU by Group % Total Rev by Group % Total Transactions by Group


50+: $5.2 0.58% 0.32%


40-49 $4.39 0.62% 0.40%


30-39: $4.11 5.52% 3.85%


20-29: $3.07 23.24% 22.48%


18-19 $2.66 19.68% 20.94%


16-17 $2.58 24.73% 27.27%


14-15: $2.7 19.90% 21.00%


12-13: $3.85 5.72% 4.29%

So what does this mean for game developers looking to monetize users?

First, the older demographic shouldn't be ignored as it offers a very high revenue-per-user ratio. Second, it shows that younger gamers are figuring out ways to pay for things, leading me to believe that alternative noncash payment platforms such as game cards and in-game currency have a strong future.

The other important factor in this data is that game developers (and really any marketers) need reliable data to target the best customer. Even customers with low annual revenue figures can be very meaningful provided you can find enough of them. Think of Paypal or Visa in terms of low-margin high-volume transactional systems that bring in high-quality revenue streams.

(Thanks to Susan Su (@susanfsu)of Gambit Payments for use of the data.)

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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