Chartboost shows game devs the opportunities in going global

For mobile game developers, the battle is about acquiring users who hopefully pay the bills. But it’s not just about targeting the US or a couple of markets; it’s increasingly about looking around the world.

Chartboost, a mobile advertising marketplace for game developers, is helping shed some light on where the opportunities are in acquiring users by providing comparative data on cost-per-clicks versus cost-per-installs in various countries. The numbers might not be a surprise to someone paying attention to a particular country but the larger picture is helpful in understanding what the global market looks like.

At the top of the market for cost per installs is Australia and Canada, which is ahead of the US. That’s likely because many app developers test their apps in those countries before expanding to the US and other markets. But because they’ve become popular for testing, those countries have become expensive places to advertise an app and acquire users. The numbers suggest that developers may want to look at other countries, perhaps New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore or other markets to test their apps.

China brings up the rear on CPI, but other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand are also on the lower end of the spectrum. China has its own challenges because its users don’t like to buy apps but there seems to be a lot of opportunity in acquiring users in Asia if developers put some work in localizing their apps. If a country has decent ARPU but the cost of acquisition is low, that might be where you want to invest in some advertising and localization.

“Mobile gaming is a global industry at this point. I think mobile game developers have to think about how they expand to international markets,” said Chartboost chief revenue officer Clay Kellog.

Chartboost found that Android (s goog) bids are about 80 percent that of bids on iOS (s aapl) bids. But the gap has been closing recently as Android becomes better for driving revenue for developers, Kellog said.

Cost per install varies a lot between countries because of the relative return per user that developers can expect in each country. It’s a more pricey route but less risky for developers who want to gain the right kind of users. Cost per click is used more for driving overall volume, with less regard for finding lucrative users. The data was pulled from Chartboost’s network of more than 5,000 apps, which has 3 billion user sessions per month and about 105 million users in 100 countries.