Lucky Kat increases ARPDAU and saves 1 hour per game with app bidding

It was a life-changing event that inspired brothers Herdjie and Hernan to follow their dreams of starting their own gaming studio. This became Lucky Kat, which was launched in 2015 in the Netherlands and has become known for creating fun, pop-culture inspired mobile games.
Their first game, Nom Cat, launched within three months of development and reached over two million downloads in its first week. Since then, hits have included Road Crash, Nom Plant and more recently Save the Date, with the studio hitting over 40 million downloads in 2020.

Challenge

With this success, Lucky Kat have seen significant growth, expanding from two founders and an intern at the start to a team of 12 today. During this time, the team have developed an iterative process for creating games, in which ads have been used from the outset as the main revenue stream.
In-app advertising is so important to their monetisation strategy that ad formats, in particular rewarded video, now play an integral role in the design process of each game. So, having refined and optimised their production and monetisation processes, Lucky Kat wanted to find new ways to further maximise their time and resources.

Solution

Aware of the potential to increase ARPDAU with app bidding, Lucky Kat wanted to find out whether it could also save them on time that the team was dedicating to managing the waterfall.
They adopted bidding in April 2020 with Facebook Audience Network using mediation partner Ironsource. They first ran a series of A/B on Nom Plant and Road Crash with rewarded video and interstitial ads on both iOS and Android for one week. After seeing good results on those games, they expanded it to almost all of their inventory and now start each new game off with app bidding as standard.

Results

Lucky Kat has seen consistently positive results since switching to app bidding, including revenue increase and time saved on ad operations. With this, they have been able to dedicate time elsewhere to automating their processes even further as well as testing many other games.
Bente Bolland - UA & Monetization Manager at Lucky Kat noted;
"Audience Network has always been one of our best performing networks across our portfolio. An opportunity in increasing efficiency and performance is something that we had to take on and test. Bidding now takes up 1/3rd of our impressions and keeps our ARPDAU stable. This has been a constant factor across multiple games."
The main results they have seen since adopting bidding are:

1 hour per week saved per game, going up to 6 hours overall a week

ARPDAU increase

Higher average eCPMs, increasing by 50%

Over the month of October 2020, around 10% of all impressions were delivered by Facebook Audience Network bidding

Bidding has increased our efficiency, allowing us to focus on the rest of our waterfall which consists of networks that do not support bidding. It also increased our average eCPM and keeps our ARPDAU stable, requiring less changes to the waterfall.
- Bente Bolland - UA & Monetization Manager Lucky Kat

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