From a high level the task of creating a successful game app seems simple: develop a beautiful design and a tremendous player experience and growing it will be a breeze. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of mobile app success today. With 5.7 million apps available for download, game apps need much more than a pristine UE (user experience) to compete in today’s crowded mobile marketplace. This is why working with an agile demand-side platform (DSP) can help your game app stand out in a world in which the average user has 80 apps on their mobile device but only opens 9 of them per day.

Below, learn why working with a DSP can help your game app stand out in today’s dense mobile marketplace.

How iOS 14.5+ has changed the game

With iOS 14.5+ and new data privacy restrictions, the business of app growth and retention has gotten more complicated.

Until iOS 14.5, Apple’s unique device identifier — the IDFA — was available to advertisers. This powered the ability to create rich audience profiles and serve hyper-targeted advertising — both to new users and users that had previously downloaded their app. Furthermore, app marketers could deterministically tie impressions to conversions and use this data to better optimize their ad spend.

Thankfully, since Apple deprecated the IDFA in 2021, it’s not been all bad news. In fact, in contrast to the dire predictions of IDFA opt-in rates being as low as 0-20%, the average opt-in rate for users worldwide is 46%. That means that almost half of all iOS users trust apps enough to share their IDFA for a more personalized experience.

So, while the deprecation of the IDFA in 2021 brought limitations to game app marketers’ ability to serve hyper-targeted mobile ads, there are still ways to unlock performance and scale in programmatic campaigns on iOS.

How economic trends are changing the game

The economy is shifting, and it’s changing the way users engage with apps. Spending in mobile games faltered in 2022, but growth surged. According to, mobile games drove just under $110 billion in 2022. This represents a 5% drop in consumer spending growth year-over-year. On the other hand, mobile game downloads ose to 90 billion — a more than 6.67 billion increase from 2021.

The takeaway?

People aren’t slowing their engagement with mobile games; but they are spending more time playing free games and making fewer in-app purchases (IAP) in game apps.

For more information about the economic trends and player behaviors your game app should know about to succeed in 2023, download our 2023 Mobile Retargeting Guide for free here.

Why your game app should be working with a DSP in 2023

The business of app growth and retention has changed in the last few years and so have the strategies needed to be successful. Working with an agile DSP that can build custom solutions to meet your game app’s goals is key to competing in today’s mobile marketplace.

Creative support

Since the restriction of user-level data on iOS ad creatives have become a key lever of control advertisers can use to improve their campaign performance. Many DSP offer in-house ad design services, creative support and creative testing.

At YouAppi, we offer custom mobile creative design solutions to our clients in our Appi Studio. This is available to all our partners free of additional charge with their mobile marketing campaign set-up regardless of their overall budget. Along with providing overall design services, Appi Studios also offers simple editing support and reformatting — in the case, for example, an advertiser is looking for assistance adapting their UA creatives for their retargeting campaigns.

Machine learning 

Working with a DSP that has the machine learning capabilities to build bidding models with contextual signals is key in today’s marketplace. Why? Deterministic or user-level data is no longer readily available (unless a user opts in to provide it under Apple’s ATT framework). With that said, in the post-IDFA age, probabilistic models built on contextual signals are the foundation of bidding strategies that win. Working with an agile DSP will help your game app weight contextual signals to drive ROI-position conversion models optimized to your game app’s specific audience.

YouAppi's app retargeting product, ReAppi, has been built with machine learning models that have been iterated with years of historical first party player data. These models were built to be non-reliant on the user-level data provided by device IDs. They are also continuously tested and enhanced with privacy-compliant signals to ensure our platform is always using the best configuration to serve the right ad to the right player at the right time.

Bidding transparency

A good DSP can give you insight into the programmatic bidding strategies that work for your game app. This includes the ad formats, channels and contextual signals that drive performance and unlock scale.

At YouAppi, we give partners access to a dashboard that gives a comprehensive look at campaign performance and the bidding details that are impacting performance. This dashboard is updated in real time. Additionally, we provide partners with a dedicated account team who regularly make recommendations on how to improve campaign performance and unlock scale.

We believe providing our advertisers with a transparent understanding of their campaigns helps them better understand what works for their growth and retention. This understanding can further help them allocate their ad spend more effectively and efficiently.


In today’s mobile marketplace in which 5.7 billion apps are available for download, working with a DSP can help your game app stand out from the crowd.

  • Although IDFA opt-in rates are as high as 46%, with iOS 14.5+, the business of app growth and retention has gotten more complicated.
  • The slowdown in discretionary spending and economic headwinds has affected game IAP. In 2022, IAP fell 5% while downloads increased year-over-year.
  • To help game apps compete in today’s crowded and competitive mobile marketplace, DSPs can provide game app marketers with:
    • Creative support: Many DSP offer in-house ad design services, creative support and creative testing.
    • Machine learning: Working with an agile DSP can give your game app access to ROI-position conversion models optimized to win your game app’s desired audience.
    • Bidding transparency: Working with a DSP that provides a transparent understanding of the bidding strategies that drive performance can help your game app allocate your ad budget more efficiently.

Drive long-term revenue with an agile DSP

Meet your growth goals and turn first-time users into long-time players with YouAppi. Schedule a meeting with our team of longtime growth and retargeting experts to meet your marketing goals in 2023.