Following our Part 1 (China) and Part 2 (Japan & Korea) of our Asian seasonality blog post series is Southeast Asia (SEA), the fastest-growing mobile games market in the world (Newzoo).
Throughout the year, many countries in this region will see increased spending activity around the same time, but it’s important to understand in what ways some of the shared celebrations differ. Focusing on how these countries are growing and how they celebrate each season will aid in your app monetization and user acquisition efforts in this market, more and more relevant in the mobile apps industry.
Extract of Pangle s Lecture on PocketGamerConnects Digital
With an estimated growth rate of 10.58% until 2025, the SEA region is predicted to reach up to 5.2 billion USD in annual mobile sales (Statista). Looking at the growing GDP and populations of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, it’s reasonable to assume those predictions are accurate. This period of growth gives savvy developers an opportunity to establish themselves in a relatively untapped market. Let’s look at what has already been established.
Ramadan is celebrated largely in Indonesia and Malaysia and has a variable start date based on the lunar calendar. In 2022, it will begin on the evening of April 1 and end on the evening of April 30. Lasting one full lunar cycle, it is a period of fasting that leads many people to play mobile games to distract themselves while they are not eating. In-app purchases peak shortly after prayer sessions, which are about 6-9 am and 8 pm to midnight, especially for casual games (AppsFlyer). Annual app sales are at their highest in these countries during this period of the year. This makes the period one of the best times to invest in advertising.
In April, in the nearby country of Thailand, Songkran—Thailand’s New Year—is celebrated. Songkran falls on April 13, but celebrations often take place from around April 12 to April 16. The Thai government will sometimes extend Songkran into a 5 or 6 day national holiday so people can enjoy a break from their busy lives and celebrate the starting of a new year. Giving companies plenty of time to push in-game events and sales.
Stepping away from more traditional holidays, we come to e-commerce’s self-made holidays of the region with 9/9, 10/10, 11/11, and 12/12. Starting with 9/9 in September, e-commerce has taken to the trend of offering sales on repeat digit days. Noticeably, the rates for ad spend coming from this industry increase significantly around these shopping festivals.
For your user acquisition efforts, this might be a good time to avoid competition and reduce your ad budget. For your app monetization, however, it is a great moment to engage in live-ops and launch key updates to take advantage of the inflated eCPM coming from the e-commerce investments.
Over the past few articles we’ve seen how seasonality impacts mobile gaming trends in the Asia Pacific area. A quick recap on the year, we have holidays like New Year celebrations taking place in February and April, additional major holidays captured in events like Golden Week or Labor day during the spring and fall months, school breaks and Obon for the hot summer months, and various ways to celebrate the coming of winter at the end of the year. By understanding these holidays, developers are able to adjust and localize their event calendar to a region’s celebrations and ensure a more consistent flow of users and revenue throughout the year. While marketing professionals can prioritize the types of advertising campaigns to create and where to run them.
As you can see, there are more than a few special holidays spread throughout the year in APAC, and Pangle can help you navigate through them all.
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