App Teardown: Slotomania™ Knows How to Monetize Every Single Download

Ariel Michaeli Ariel Michaeli
October 13, 2020, 12:00 AM ET #games
App Teardown: Slotomania™ Knows How to Monetize Every Single Download

Welcome to App Teardowns, a series where we analyze the strategies apps and games use to gain visibility and downloads on the App Store and Google Play, their performance, and competition.

Slot machines have a certain charm that enchants many both in real life and on mobile devices. But while casino games don't seem to lead in downloads, unlike most other games, what they get out of each download is much higher, making them a very lucrative business.

In this Teardown, we're going to look at Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots, the #1 casino game in the U.S. App Store.

Overall, Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots gets a B+. There are some issues...

Slotomania™ by the Numbers

When you look at the numbers, casino games look a lot more like money printers, and as the leader of its category, Slotomania™ is definitely doing something right. Here's how it's performing in the U.S. App Store, based on our Competitor Intelligence:

  • 📈 63.4K estimated downloads in the last 30 days.
  • 💰 $3.4M estimated revenue in the last 30 days.
  • #️⃣ 1st in the Casino Games category.
  • ⭐️ 89% of new ratings were positive in the last 30 days.
  • 👋 Audience is slightly older and split fairly evenly between men and women.
  • 🏅 Lots of competition...

Slotomania™ Faces Stiff Competition

As with every attractive business, competition comes quickly, and that's the case for Slotomania™. There are more than 1,500 casino games in the App Store right now, according to Explorer. Although not all are popular, having so many games that do pretty much the same thing can make discovery hard.

Slotomania™ is the category leader. Let's compare it to the casino games that are right below it:

Competitor intelligence for Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots in the U.S. App Store by Appfigures

Notice how all five games have pretty similar vitals? Their downloads are very close, and so is their revenue. Looking over their audience demographics, that also makes sense.

A few interesting highlights:

  • The top casino games get a similar number of downloads and bring in a similar amount of revenue according to our estimates.
  • Unlike most games, few downloads = lots of revenue.
  • Playtika, the company behind Slotomania™, has two apps in the top 5.
  • Slotomania™ is the leader in revenue, as well as revenue per download rate.


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Slotomania™ Fights COVID-19

2020 has been a strange year for games. Some have seen all-time highs, other all-time lows. Slotomania™ seems to be somewhere in the middle.

Downloads have remained pretty flat throughout the spring and summer. Considering the number of people who have more free time on their hands, this is a bit unexpected. But it's better than what happened to revenue.

More free time, for some, means less disposable income. While revenue initially rose early into lockdowns, it has since dropped significantly as the economic situation hasn't improved for many. This trend isn't unique to Slotomania™, but it has seen the sharpest fall so far this year of all competitors.

Keyword Analysis - The Obvious Parts

Let's kick off the analysis with the keywords Slotomania™ is using in its name and subtitle. Those send the strongest signals to the App Store's algorithm.

  • Name: Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots
  • Subtitle: Jackpot Slots Machine Games

Strictly based on these, here are the popular keywords the algorithm sees:

  • slotomania
  • games
  • slots
  • slots games
  • casino
  • casino games
  • vegas slots
  • casino slots
  • vegas
  • jackpot
  • slots casino
  • vegas casino

This name and subtitle combo yields 49 keywords! Some are popular, but most aren't, making what started as a pretty broad set seem a lot more focused now.

Let's take a look at where Slotomania™ is ranked for these keywords:

Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots ASO Keyword Performance by Appfigures

There's good and there's bad here. The name and subtitle aren't really optimized, with duplication and mention of a stop word. In addition, it seems like the algorithm hasn't associated too many of these keywords with the game, so even though it has many downloads, it isn't ranking all that well in most of these keywords.

I promised a good - "Slotomania" as a keyword has a very high popularity. Branded keywords are a hit or miss for ASO and depend a lot on how much the app is investing in paid ads. In this case, that seems to be how Slotomania™ gets enough downloads to be the #1 casino game, and we can see it's advertising across a variety of ad networks, including Google Ads, Unity Ads, and several others.

Takeaways:

  • Rank isn't all about downloads. Your app needs to prove it's relevant for the keyword.
  • Duplication is bad.
  • There's no need to mention the name of the category (games). The algorithm removes it and adds it if needed later.
  • "Slots Machine" sounds wrong to me. Don't forget people read the app's name and subtitle, not just algorithms.
  • When it comes to ASO, quality trumps quantity.
  • Don't throw your paid traffic away by neglecting your keywords.

Going Under the Hood — The Keyword List

Now, let's reverse-engineer the keyword list. The list isn't public, but we can attempt to uncover it by looking at all other keywords the app is ranked in. We believe it looks something like the following:

classic,double,win,big,fish,777,party,hot

This was a hard one to crack, primarily because there just isn't a lot to go off of. Slotomania™ doesn't seem to be ranking in all that many keywords that they aren't targeting.

Except for competitor names, which is a common (but lazy) strategy we see all too often, which may work for Apple Search Ads campaigns but much less so organic ASO.

Takeaways:

  • Don't use the keyword list to stuff competitor names, unless your game (or app) has lots of very similar competitors and users might be confused enough when downloading one thinking it's another.
  • The keyword list is a great place for long-tail keywords. They may not have a lot of traffic on their own, but a lot of them can add up.

Where Else is Slotomania™ Ranking?

This combo of name, subtitle, and keyword list gives Slotomania™ a bit more than just the name and subtitle alone. Here are some of the highlights:

Keywords where Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots is ranked on the App Store by Appfigures

This list isn't very long but fits with what we believe the keyword list is—focused on competitors instead of long-tail. Why? One possibility is that the long-tail doesn't have enough popular keywords Slotomania can leverage. Another is that Slotomania's focus isn't on organic growth, so the keyword list took a back seat.

Whether organic ASO has enough traffic or not, I prefer to have it all before saying there isn't enough. Wouldn't you?

Screenshot Analysis

Slotomania™ Vegas Casino Slots for iOS Screenshot Analysis by Appfigures

It's really great to see an app that takes advantage of all ten screenshots!

While this screenshot set isn't something to write home about, it's also not terrible. The game is landscape and so are the screenshots. They're vibrant and colorful, focused on gameplay (aka. what you'll get), and do a fair job showing that there's never a dull moment in this game.

I have a good feeling these screenshots were carefully A/B tested. I do wonder if captions were AB tested and lost, or never tried at all. If not, that seems like a missed opportunity given most casino games look very similar these days.

Takeaways:

  • Show off as much of your game as you can in 10 screenshots.
  • The more colorful and attractive, the better.
  • If you're A/B testing, don't be afraid to test what's expected to fail.

Video Analysis

Yes! The folks at Playtika took the time to create an App Preview. I hope this trend will catch on.

The video, like the screenshots, is landscape and shows off gameplay. No captions, no non-game content, just gameplay (and game audio).

Although any video is likely better than no video, showing the game in action without at least explaining what's going on feels like a wasted opportunity. Sure, some players may know what a casino game should be like, but what about the rest of us?

Takeaways:

  • Any video is better than no video. Trust but verify (with an A/B test).
  • Gameplay that relies on people knowing how to play could alienate some players (meaning, lower conversion rate).
  • If your game (or app) has catchy audio, make sure to include it in the App Preview. If it doesn't, use an audio track. Don't upload an audio-less App Preview, please.

The Verdict: Low Hanging Fruit

Slotomania™ gets downloads and does a great job turning those downloads into revenue, but those downloads don't come cheap. Paid user acquisition (aka. paid ads) work well for casino games because they're very efficient at extracting revenue, but given that equation, ASO starts to look extremely lucrative.

To that end, Slotomania™ can be doing more to improve its keyword optimization and get an immediate boost from those paid ads. A little bit of research can go a long way here.

If they don't capitalize on ASO, they'll have very little breathing room for organic growth and will have to rely on paid ads while the competition earns organic traffic.

Your Turn

Do you know how your downloads compare to your competitors? Which keywords they're using? Appfigures gives you the tools to answer those questions and many more. Outsmart your competitors and get ahead! Get started →

The download and revenue figures used in this teardown are based on our estimates.


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