GameNexa Studios uses Firebase to double in-app purchase revenue and diversify monetization strategy
GameNexa Studios is an app developer and consultancy based in India. They have released over 40 apps and games across three brands — Star Play Creations, AppStar Studios, and GameNexa — serving nearly five million total monthly users. In addition to launching their own products, they also help other developers make the most of their apps and games.
GameNexa's most popular app offers GPS and voice navigation, driving directions, nearby place alerts, and more, all without an internet connection. "Users love it because the app will give you localized voice navigation instructions that you can download and use offline," said Srinivas Reddy Kamireddy, Director and CEO of GameNexa.
Like many of their peers, GameNexa's revenue stream was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the company earned most of its income from ads in their free-to-download apps and games. However, when many of their advertisers slashed their budgets due to COVID-19, GameNexa's ad revenue declined. Looking at their in-app ad earnings on AdMob, "we noticed a significant drop in eCPM [estimated cost per thousand impressions]," Kamireddy said. They also noticed a decrease in in-app purchases.
The team needed a data-driven way to diversify their revenue stream and offset their COVID-related losses in ad revenue, so they turned to Firebase.
GameNexa needed to pivot from a one-size-fits-all strategy to a diversified revenue model that was tailored to their users. To do that, they needed to know more about their users and how they behave. So using Google Analytics, GameNexa grouped users into segments by language, session duration, country, and more. Then they used Firebase Remote Config and A/B Testing to test variables like ad frequency, placement, and in-app purchase offers on each group to find the most effective offer for each segment.
As a result of these efforts, GameNexa saw a 2.5x increase in revenue from in-app purchases (IAPs) and was able to bring their ad revenue back up to pre-COVID levels by doubling ad impressions. In addition, by "creating customized IAP packs with different prices for selected audiences, our conversions increased by 6x," Kamireddy said.
"Using Firebase, we increased ad revenue without any negative effects on user retention or user experiences," he added.
In addition, GameNexa also invested in improving their app quality for a better user experience. They used Crashlytics and Performance Monitoring to get actionable insights that would help them improve their app experience across the board. In fact, by reducing crashes by 5x and ANRs (Application Not Responding error) by 2x, GameNexa's user retention and session duration have further increased.
Inspired by their success, GameNexa plans to continue using Firebase for their future projects, including testing localized UIs for their global audiences. Through their consulting practice, they also plan to share what they've learned about the power of data, personalization, and agility in the face of adversity with other app developers.
6x - increase in in-app purchase conversions
2.5x - increase in in-app purchase revenue
5x - decrease in crashes
"Firebase has been a complete game-changer for our business. It helped us adapt to a difficult situation with the data we needed to improve our revenue stream while keeping users happy."
- Srinivas Reddy Kamireddy, Director & CEO, GameNexa Studios PVT LTD