Get your app ready for iOS9

With the upcoming release of iOS 9 on September 16th, a new security feature called App Transport Security will be automatically added to apps compiled with XCode7. The good news is that the PlayHaven iOS SDK has been compatible with this protocol since version 2.0.0. To ensure proper display of PlayHaven ads, please make sure all new apps and app updates compiled with XCode7 are using the latest PlayHaven SDK available here

If you are using an older SDK (The Upsight SDK) and need to continue using it, or if you are using the Unity plugin, there is a workaround for you. You will have to add a parameter when building your app with XCode7. This should only take a minute and you can find instructions on the Google Developer Blog

You can also find more information about how to handle this new feature on Apple’s documentation.

If you have questions, please contact us.

Thank you,
PlayHaven Team

Head of Product
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Wishbone & Our Alpha Roll-Out of JS TAGS

A typical SDK deployment can take two months to get live. That’s two months before a network like Playhaven can bring its ad dollars to work for a new developer, and that can be problematic.

Why? Because in our fast-paced digital world of fierce competition, games can get hot, balloon, and die within a few month months. In the time between the game popping and ads making landfall, that solid bedrock of users may have completely washed away.

That’s why we’re weaving Javascript Tags into our business here at Playhaven–they whittle that typical two months down to five minutes. Your app is exploding? You can integrate us to get the best eCPM, without any hangups.

We’ve rolled out our first iteration of JS Tags into a clever app called Wishbone, and it’s working wonderfully. Wishbone presents users with two options and a question of which they like better–a picture on either side of the screen, comparing entities in any category.

Compare anything.

Wishbone

Friday’s “Daily Dozen,” for instance, featured Red Bull Vs. Monster, being stranded in the desert vs. being stranded in the Antarctic, and which of two hair-dos is Miley’s worst yet. Once you pick, you get to see what percentage of people agreed with you. It’s simple, interesting, and fun, sparking your creativity with continual surprise. A community section allows you to post your own comparisons and see how they do in a forum where the most voted-on items rise to the top.

But this app’s intrigue doesn’t stop at the consumer. As if comparisons of brands and products didn’t provide enough room for advertising, Wishbone finds unobtrusive ways to take consumers right to the store.

One of today’s “Daily Dozen” features a female model in a stylish outfit, posing the question, “Do you think this outfit is cute? Yes or No.” For those who tap “Yes,” a box suddenly slides up, asking if you’d like to shop the outfit at 70% off. Clicking “Yes” brings you right to the Asos ShopStyle store, where you can buy an $86 outfit for $26 without ever leaving the app. Wishbone allows the target audience to identify itself before floating in an effortless ad that doesn’t quite feel like an ad, and seems to say, “You like it? Ok, well, do you want to have it? We can make that happen for you, and cheap, right now.”

To take advantage of a spike in new user acquisition, the Wishbone team has added our JS Tags through their set-up on MoPub to begin driving heightened eCPM from a new interstitial placement that appears when the user has finished your “Daily Dozen”. For us its been a great learning experience as we’ve gotten the chance to test out a new piece of our technology, while also venturing a little outside of the games world that we usually focus on.

And games are exactly where we’re taking JS Tags next. The precision and efficiency of five-minute ad integrations is as effective in surfing a wave of consumers as it is necessary for our industry, and enables any game developer using a mediation or ad serving solution to be live with Playhaven’s high yield demand for their interstitial placements in record time.

So if you like Wishbone, and you want to compare anything, try five minutes vs. two months, and see how you like the newest thing we’re doing here at Playhaven.

For more info, email us at pubteam@playhaven.com. We’d be thrilled to answer any questions you have about JS Tags, and set something up for you.

 

 

REVIEW – Glu’s “Blood & Glory: Immortals”

With the recent release of Glu’s newest title “Blood & Glory: Immortals,” you will find yourself waging wars throughout Ancient Rome, while this highly enjoyable and highly addictive game wages war on your time.

While the vast and somewhat complex array of weapons, levels, challenges, upgrades, and options in the main menu may initially seem complicated, the breadth of this game’s world yields the power to bring players in time and time again, hungry to complete their quest.

The game remains engaging for long periods of time, without getting repetitive—part of the enjoyable user experience involves the way players encounter advertisements within this free game. We’re happy to say we’ve been getting some great feedback when it comes to the ads we place for Blood & Glory.

We nestle them within the game’s upgrade store, for a seamless experience. Ads never interrupt gameplay, but arrive when you’ve already suspended gameplay to look for more gaming options, presenting themselves as other good options, only they’re different games. In fact, the games advertised offer a free alternative when you’re looking for a change, in juxtaposition to upgrades you would need to buy.

We’ve found this model to breed success, not just in user experience, but in the quality of the people actually downloading and playing the games advertised, since it’s a user initiated action. It’s no surprise that the ads keeping the user the happiest are the ones attracting the most new business and generating extremely high eCPM’s for the publisher. We’ll keep striving to work with clients in finding the most seamless yet alluring ways to place ads.

Account Manager, UA
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Watch out Tinseltown, Cupertino is taking over!

There’s no doubt the entertainment industry has been shaken up by the mobile movement. More and more apps are pulling user’s time and hard earned cash from the likes of musical entertainers and box offices than ever before. Users are looking for a more customized experience and are finding it on their mobile devices.

In 2014, developers earned about $25 billion[2] from iOS far surpassing Hollywood’s US box office earnings of $10.2 billion[1], and the momentum is building. This is a pretty incredible feat and I am very curious to see how this will affect the consumer’s view on the mobile space within the entertainment industry.

We are so used to having the Billboard charts and box office earnings presented to us, but outside of the industry, apps top charts/earnings are overlooked. As the nightly news rolls through its list of charts, it’s only a matter of time for top apps and developer’s earnings to be listed as well. I don’t think the general consumer really knows how big the mobile space is, but as its piece of the pie increases, so does that realization.

This also raises questions of how will Hollywood react? 2014 already presented some incredible data of what an app can accomplish when a celebrity gets involved. It is inevitable that with each movie release there will be an app to coincide, but are we moving into a fully integrated app-movie experience? Are we going to have to check in on our Apple Watches in order to receive the final clues of the plot twist? Let’s just hope it doesn’t go as far as the final scene of next summer’s blockbuster can only be viewed within its app…

All I know is Apple needs to make the obvious move. The next time I drive down 85, I better see A-P-P-L-E in big box letters on the Cupertino hills.

 

Cited:
1. “2014 DOMESTIC GROSSES.” Box Office Mojo.
2. Dediu, Horace. “Bigger than Hollywood.” Asymco.

Account Manager, UA
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iOS-Specific Apps, Take Note!

If you are developing an iOS app and plan to submit to Apple for review soon, please take note of a recent development in their review process.

Last week we learned that Apple has begun rejecting newly submitted apps that access IDFA for purposes other than displaying advertising. Since our most recent SDKs (iOS SDK v1.21.1+) had IDFA collection set as the default for iOS apps, we have put together a quick update to help you understand requirements, if any, for your next app submission to Apple.

Q. Will my next app submission to Apple be rejected?
A. We’ve heard reports from a couple of our developers that Apple rejected their apps that are not showing ads but collecting IDFA.

Q. I’m displaying PlayHaven Interstitial Ads and/or the More Games widget. What should I do?
A. If you are displaying PlayHaven Ads and/or the More Games widget, make sure that you have either content unit already scheduled before you submit to Apple. This will ensure Apple is aware that you plan on showing ads in your game. Remember, you can always use the PlayHaven dashboard to edit who sees these ads and how frequently at any point, even after submission.

Q. I’m not showing PlayHaven Interstitial Ads or the More Games widget, but do use your other tools. What should I do?
A. If you do not plan on showing ads or the More Games widget, simply turn off all IDFA collection by the PlayHaven SDK for your next app submission to Apple. Learn how to do that here. To ensure that the rest of your PlayHaven content units continue to function normally when you turn off IDFA, you’ll need to use iOS SDK v1.21.1. If you want to show ads in the future, you’ll need to turn IDFA back on in the SDK and resubmit to Apple.

Q: Will I still be able to send Push Notifications if I don’t send IDFA anymore?
A: Yes. You will be able to send Push Notifications and target using the 11 PlayHaven user segments via “A Segment of Players” or target all your users. However, our CSV upload functionality for “Specific Players” will not work. We are diligently working on an update to allow IDFV uploads thereby alleviating this constraint.

Q. I’m using a plugin like Unity. What should I do?
A. If you are using any of our plugins for iOS, we’re in the final stages of testing the proposed fix and will have an update next week on next steps.

Please reach out to your customer success manager or support@playhaven.com with any questions.

Push is out of Beta!

Today is an exciting day at Kontagent + PlayHaven as we removed the “beta” label from our Push solution! We are confident that our Push is a competitive solution that is also more flexible and easier to use than other products on the market. And it’s only going to get better as future iterations will bring forth better analytics, targeting dimensions and automation.

During beta, we gathered feedback from developers of all sizes to better understand and address their messaging needs. Given what we heard, it was clear that we needed to provide a better push solution tailored for re-engagement, that closes the gap between out-of and in-game relationship management.

Our solution allows developers to target push messages to in-game engagement content units like Rewards, Virtual Good Promotions or Announcements — improving engagement, loyalty and revenue.

If you participated in the beta, Thank you! You have been invaluable in getting our product to where it is today. With over 65 partners sending over millions of push messages every day, we’ve been able to test and verify best-in-class reliability. We’ve also uncovered the benefits of combining push notifications with in-app marketing messages, precise segmentation, audience estimation and user time zone support. Today, Push becomes an integral part of our platform.

What does this mean for you?
First, you can take ease in knowing that our system has been extensively tested with a large amount of concurrent messages and has been very stable. In addition, you can now direct your users to a specific location in your app but also to in-app messages like Virtual Good Promotions.

Finally, you can continue still send free push notifications – up to 250,000 free per month and send unlimited in-app messages. If you would like to increase this limit, simply contact your Customer Success Manager.

If you haven’t given Push a try, get started by downloading our latest iOS, Android or Unity SDK and read our Push Dashboard Getting Started Guide.

As always, I would love to hear what you think about the current solution and any iterations you’d like to see. Just email me at boris@playhaven.com with the subject: “Push Feedback”.

Head of Product
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What We’re Playing: Holiday Edition

It’s no surprise that the PlayHaven team loves games. And, we were so happy to hear our new family at Kontagent loves them too!

So, we decided to pool our collective favorites and pull together a list of games we know you’ll love this holiday season.

What’s on your list? We’d love to hear more recommendations.

Happy downloading!

Holiday-blog-post-image

QuizUp! by Plain Vanilla Corp

I can’t stop playing this game. It’s way more addictive than standard trivia games because the categories are super specific and varied. If your friend keeps beating you at Chemistry Trivia, beat them into the ground in the Miley Cyrus category. Everyone wins!  – Katherine H.

This game is addictive! I love crushing my opponents with my supreme knowledge of food, clothes and animals… Ok, I’m still a Novice but I really like the idea of pretending to have supreme knowledge in topics I choose. – Kasey G.

It is the most addictive and innovative quiz game I’ve ever played.The content of the questions is very creative and the app play is highly social in nature. – Paul M.
Download: iTunes

Extreme Bike Trip by Roofdog Games

If you loved Extreme Road Trip 2, you’ll be very familiar with the daredevil antics and mechanics of Extreme Bike Trip. The one key difference is a great multiplayer feature which lets you battle your friends. It even syncs cross platform via Facebook, so you can play your friends from the opposing camp. Don’t worry about if they are a higher level than you because EBT gives the same cool bikes to each player so its an even match. Nothing beats watching how much farther you can launch your rider from the bike after the run is done. Great fun for the holidays with sweet upgraded bikes. My favorite is the TRON inspired bike. – Frank M.

I love the new multiplayer races and the ability to customize your rider. Extremely fun and addictive! – Max B.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Snake Next by Marco Sgrignuoli

Stylish remake of the classic Snake game. Simple and fun!
Download: iTunes

Lumosity by Lumos Labs

Lumosity provides games for your brain and it boost my ego knowing that I’m smarter than 97% of people playing the game. Lastly, I like to see myself improve. – Ryan B.
Download: iTunes

Pet Rescue Saga by King.com

Pet Rescue Saga is just a beautifully done game- the furry friends are too cute! – Victoria
Download: iTunes

Candy Crush by King.com

In addition to being really cute and seemingly endless, Candy Crush provides a good challenge to players by virtue of its many modes of play, and their constraints. – Max G.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Clash of Clans by Supercell

They have Xmas version, set the gift bomb trap and earn 25K Elixir, chop Xmas trees and earn 50K Gold. Also 1X Gem Xmas Special: you can boost all barracks and Elixia collectors for only one gem each! Time to boost trophies and steal resources! – Junyu
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Spelltower by Zach Gage

Finally out for Android, this great word game is a perfect mix of play modes and depth to eat up 5 minutes or 50.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Rayman Fiesta Run by Ubisoft

A challenging, fast-paced 2D level-based platformer… The closest thing to a mobile Super Meat Boy! – Scott B.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Badland by FrogMind

Side-scrolling, character-shrinking, sawblade-avoiding, brain-puzzling gameplay that will get you in the level-completion spirit. – Dylan S.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

First Wood War by United Apps Limited

A fantastic twist on tower defense and/or strategy games, blended with player versus player. Combining genres is a risky challenge on mobile but it is the reason why it lends itself to be a successful platform. – Filippo
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Fanta King from Ekkor and OMG:TD from Red Rocket Games

Both titles mentioned has good balance and high level of craftsmanship.  They’re also quite addicting! – Han Joo
Download Fanta King: Only available on Kakao for Korean market
Download OMG:TD: iTunes

Fashion Eye by Fashioholic

High tech meets high fashion! You can challenge other fashionistas in a game of steal-versus-splurg. You win points for picking the more expensive item, and guessing the prices. – Cat M.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Dungelot by Red Winter Software Limited

The best on-the-go Roguelike for mobile.  Dungelot is a simple game to get into that takes you through the depths of random dungeons battling blood sucking bats, ghastly ghouls, might orcs, and exploding hellfire pigs (yeah you read that right).  Level up and equip your character as you battle through as many dungeon levels as possible.  The best part? You can never win!  Mwahahaha!
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Outwitters by One Man Left Studios

It is a great turn-by-turn strategy game which allows you to create cute creatures and go attack the opponent’s castle. The game mechanics are very easy to get but the strategy can vary a lot from one game to another. – Boris
Download: iTunes

Heads Up! by Impending Inc.

I’m not much of a “hard core gamer”, so I like games that are simple, interactive, and social. Heads Up! definitely fits the mold. It is a game that can ONLY be played in a social setting, combining online technology with offline social interaction. In addition to being entertaining during the game play itself, by recording the guessing of other participants, it also allows for post-play entertainment as you watch the video of your friends wildly gesticulating to get you to guess the right answer. – Kevin K.
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Clumsy Ninja by NaturalMotion

My ninja is learning to be stealth so fast! I can only attribute this rapid progression to my stellar skills as Ninja Trainer! Not to mention, my ninja is so cute! – Shannon L.
Download: iTunes

Did You Know? – Week 3

We’ve had fun sharing fun facts from the PlayHaven network about mobile app acquisition and engagement. We will be capping off our series of “Did You Knows” this week since next week we’ll be catching up with families and heads down playing our favorite mobile games! This week’s focus is: user monetization.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get these valuable bits of knowledge!

Here we go…

Friday, December 20th

Did you know that ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) is 34% higher among users on iPads than  users on iPods? And when comparing iPad vs iPhone users, ARPPU is 8% higher among iPad users.

This concludes our three week series of fun facts from the PlayHaven network. We look forward to continuing the tradition after the New Year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 19th

Did you know that the level “Fail” placement has an eCPM that is 114% higher than the “complete” placement?

Wednesday, December 18th

Did you know that when compared to interstitial ads, the More Games unit has a CTR that’s between 43% – 64% higher and an eCPM that’s between 233% to 260% higher?

More Games is an intent-based content unit. This means that users are already looking for More Games to play and therefore the interaction with these revenue-generating units is going to be higher.

Tuesday, December 17th

Did you know that all of your freemium IAP game revenue is generally generated by 5-10% of users?

It’s important to know who your paying users are to encourage purchasing behavior with special IAPs or Rewards. You can monetize the remaining, non-paying users with ads – just be sure to cap the frequency of impressions so they don’t get overwhelmed with distractions. And definitely refrain from sending ads to paying users!

Monday, December 16th

Did you know that 47 of the top 50 grossing games are Free-To-Play?

We’re seeing a lot of mobile games moving from paid to freemium. In many instances, optimizing IAPs (in-app purchases) and Interstitial Ads in freemium games results in stronger revenue opportunities than their paid versions. If you’re interested in finding out more, our team of experts can help consult you on how to use our platform to further optimize monetization in your game.

PlayHaven + Kontagent

The mobile industry and PlayHaven have come a long way in a very short time. In the past three years, we’ve seen mobile transform the relationship businesses have with their users and users with each other, our partners disrupt the gaming industry, and our platform become the leading solution for mobile developers to engage with their users. PlayHaven started three years ago as a team of 6 people trying to find a product that would resonate with the industry and help mobile developers build a relationship with their users at every point in their lifecycle. With the support of our partners, we have become the standard business engine for mobile developers.

Today, I’m excited to tell you about the next chapter in PlayHaven’s future. We have entered into an agreement to merge with Kontagent, the leading mobile analytics solutions provider, to build a combined company with the mission to transform the world’s data into valuable action.

Joining forces with Kontagent just makes sense. We have long admired their passion for empowering mobile businesses with rich and meaningful data. We share a vision to help mobile businesses bridge the gap between gaining insight and taking immediate and valuable action. By combining solutions, we’ll be able deliver on this vision and our mission far more quickly.  Our number one customer request is being able to tie their disparate sets of data together into one place and use our platform to take action, and we have now fulfilled that requirement in a major way.

This week, the Kontagent and PlayHaven teams will join forces to begin work on the game-changing platform that will be our new company. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the products we’ll bring to market and we’ll share more details as they come. In the meantime, PlayHaven and Kontagent products continue to be available as always with an amazing pipeline of features and will begin to come together as a unified platform throughout the course of 2014.

If you’re looking for more information, you can read our press release, the Kontagent+PlayHaven FAQ, and check out thoughts from Kontagent. Of course, you’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me directly at ceo@playhaven.com .

I am so excited to be taking this next step in what has been an incredible journey and continuing to work with an awesome team of people.  This is an early Christmas present.  Here is to an amazing 2014!

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