From trivia night at the local pub to Trivial Pursuit with the family, quizzes are a time honored tradition for many. In fact, since its inception in 1981 Trivial Pursuit has been released in 17 languages, across 26 countries, with total estimated sales in the billions. As recently as 2008, The game was worth $80 million to the Hasbro Inc.
Those are some pretty substantial numbers right? Even with moderate to high production costs, that’s not walking around money. However, this was before the age of the app. Apps are an entrepreneur’s dream. Low development costs and high potential returns is exactly what one wants in a business venture, right?
The app QuizUp has taken the world by storm since its iOS debut in 2013. Since then, Plain Vanilla (the app development company) has released an Android version of the app and has an average Monthly Active User (MAU) base of 18 million people.
Remember Candy Crush, the gaming app that made its owners millions? At its peak, less than 3% of its 46 million users were considered active (about 1.38 million). Again, QuizUp has 18 million. And, as Trivial Pursuit has demonstrated, the world’s most popular quiz app has sustainability (unlike Candy Crush).
QuizUp occupied the number 1 spot on the App Store within 3 weeks of its launch, with nearly 140,000 organic downloads every day and over 1 million downloads a week. Within the month, QuizUp had well over 3 million downloads. Think about it – in one week, QuizUp achieved download numbers that took Twitter a year to reach. Even Instagram took nearly 3 months to reach the 1 million mark!
So clearly, the market potential here is staggering. When you consider that to this day, users spend an average of 30-40 minutes in the app, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to see the money making opportunity here. With over 1 billion games played in the 2 years since its launch, QuizUp doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.
So how did QuizUp do it? How is it different from every other trivia app out there? Well, Plain Vanilla (who’s based about 30 mins from this Silicon Valley App developers!) made some pretty ingenious moves, from marketing to UI/UX. Let’s take a look at what he’s done to retain users and his rather brilliant monetization scheme.
How QuizUp is Different
QuizUp has a number of key features that make it distinct from their competitors and gives them a significant advantage in the market. But before we talk about those, we’ll go over the basic premise of the app, such as how it works and what the UI/UX is like, and from there we will discuss the differences.
• QuizUp is a trivia app (obviously) with which users can play against other users – both friends and strangers – from around the world. It has over 300 topics or users can create their own content;
This is the first big difference from other competitors. Think about the aforementioned board game Trivial Pursuit with its 6 categories. What Plain Vanilla has done here is to not only provide hundreds of potential quizzes, but to provide a space to create unique content.
Internet marketers generally agree that the average consumer today is seeking a targeted, unique or customized experience. QuizUp taps directly into that. Allowing users to contribute to a topic, or even to create a topic wholly their own was a clever step.
• QuizUp is already preparing to take advantage of the other side of trivia apps – education. Quiz apps for teachers are really taking off as excellent tools for educators. QuizUp’s interactive system already makes it a great vehicle for teachers; Plain Vanilla is going a step further by creating material for SATs and other major academic tests.
In other words, they diversify. Just as diversification is a key strategy in the stock market, so it is in a the world of app development. App technology moves quickly, and the market moves even quicker. Having multiple growth paths is a good idea.
• QuizUp also takes advantage of the social media craze by providing a space for discussions and chats on various topics. Niche social media is where it’s at these days, and this just provides another avenue for growth.
How Does QuizUp Make Money
With apps that have such massive growth statistics, it is often difficult to see the trees for the forest. What I mean by this is yes, the numbers discussed above are impressive, but plenty of apps with impressive numbers don’t make a dime.
There are some standard monetization steps that many app development companies make:
• Ad Banners provide revenue in two ways: Click-thrus and Ad space.
Some are click-thrus; app owners get money every time a user clicks on an ad. While not a substantial amount of money, it’s usually more than app owners get from just renting space.
• Selling data to retailers and market analyzers is another common tactic and tends to be especially lucrative for apps with a lot of downloads;
• Push notifications based upon locations are also popular, this includes sending users information about local stores and using an app to push deals, discounts, or sales.
• Subscription based is a highly profitable method for apps that are highly desired or needed. Unfortunately, only a few apps meet those requirements.
• In-App purchases are all the rage these days. Of all the monetization methods mentioned in this list, this is the only one QuizUp currently utilizes. Users can purchase XP or bonuses to proceed quicker through the various levels.
If you’re thinking this doesn’t sound like enough money to be sustainable, you’re right. QuizUp’s true innovation comes from their final monetization tactic: Sponsored quizzes. Essentially, Plain Vanilla approaches (or is approached) by companies to create unique content in the guise of quizzes. Both Google and Coke have taken advantage of this service by-the-by!
Plain Vanilla’s CEO Thor Fridriksson has stated that he chose this method because it was a way to non-invasively approach advertising. While it is still clear that it is sponsored content, the quizzes are designed to fit in with the other quiz content so that the UX remains the same throughout the app. If you want to develop a quiz app contact us today and get a free app quote.
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