What is Carry1st?
Carry1st is Africa’s leading publisher of games and digital content. Its mission is to scale awesome content in frontier markets by solving hard problems. Carry1st develops, licenses, and publishes games and monetizes them effectively with Pay1st, a proprietary payments and online marketplace, the Carry1st Shop, to better monetize content in the region. The company has scaled games such as Call of Duty®: Mobile, Mine Rescue, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. Founded in 2018, the company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BITKRAFT, Google, and Riot Games.
Carry1st’s SKAN Focus
Carry1st’s key goal is to be a world-leading gaming publisher. For this reason, following the IDFA depreciation, while many smaller companies have chosen to put most of their efforts into Android, for Carry1st this was never an option. Claire Rozain, Senior Manager, Ad Monetisation and User Acquisition at Carry1st explains, “iOS has always been something we heavily invested in. We have a lot of new games, and we need to be able to develop and publish these games with all the best practices on the market – across iOS and Android.” This left Carry1st to dive head-first into Apple’s privacy framework and learn all they could about running SKAdNetwork campaigns.
The Singular Solution
Knowing that they needed the leading SKAdNetwork solution to ensure that they could optimize their iOS strategy, Claire says that Singular was naturally the partner for the job.
The Singular team is up to date on best practices and very proactive in working with their clients to level up and find the right plan for them.”
As a fast-growing, agile team, everyone at Carry1st is ready to try, test, and change things quickly. “Thanks to the Singular tools and capabilities, we were already at an advantage. We could test a lot of different schemas and approaches to develop our user acquisition. But honestly,
Carry1st’s SKAN Journey
One of the key components of an effective SKAN strategy is setting up the right conversion models for your business. The transition to app event optimization set Carry1st up for success with SKAN as they already were thinking of events that happened earlier in the funnel that could be predictive indicators of revenue that would happen later in the user journey, outside of their conversion model measurement window.
“We challenged ourselves to look less at the end of the funnel to focus on getting earlier postbacks. We compared the difference between our tracker install data and our SKAN install data to understand if we were moving in the right direction.”
Linda Levy, Carry1st’s CSM at Singular, notes that “technically it was hard to determine an accurate model. This is exactly where the partnership was important and interesting because we decided what needed to be analyzed together and then set off – in partnership – to determine the most optimized revenue buckets allocation for their conversion model so that the results were as accurate as possible. It was an interesting and effective cycle.”
Claire reiterates that along with working with Singular’s team and utilizing the industry-leading technology, the fact that Carry1st is small and agile and was able to test, change, test, optimize, etc, with reasonable speed, led to the company’s initial SKAN success.
All the while, while working with Singular, the Carry1st team also used the opportunity to build their reporting using the Singular data and their schema optimization tool in Tableau. “Now in any game, we can predict what the good conversion buckets are going to be way faster.”
Claire says, “It is a beautiful story. It all started with me and Linda (Singular CSM) having a call to figure out the right buckets. We multi-threaded the process by bringing in additional stakeholders from product and BI. And the result is that we have a proper working solution to build our schema on any game and get the best out of it.”
Transitioning from SKAN 3 to SKAN 4
Giving some important tips for other teams, Claire says that multi-threading stakeholders into your strategy is crucial, but the timing of that is just as crucial.
Once they had their SKAN 3 model up and running and in a good state, she moved on to educating herself about SKAN 4 before bringing the wider Carry1st team on board. “I focused on becoming an expert, I read every piece of documentation and tapped into the Singular team a lot, and only then began looping in the wider team.”
Discussing why it was so important for them to push for SKAN 4 adoption, Claire says, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we want to be best in class, in Africa, and the world. Our team is smart, savvy, and agile and we are on top of everything every day with a shared mindset and vision toward this goal.”
Claire says that when embarking on this next phase, “it was easy to feel confident with Singular.” Part of the ease was that Singular provides a transition mode that allowed Carry1st to upgrade their SKAN 3 model to a SKAN 4 model that was still compatible with SKAN 3 campaigns. Meaning they were still working on SKAN 3 with the majority of their partners, while they were setting up and testing SKAN 4. “This helped us to test different things. We came in with a basis of knowledge from SKAN 3 and we didn’t need to reset campaigns. Of course, we changed the model, but at the end of the day we still had SKAN 3 postbacks, which gave us a competitive advantage with the networks that are also early SKAN 4 adopters.”
Using Singular’s SKAN Adoption Dashboard, Singular was able to share the ratio of adoption per network, which then helped Carry1st to bid much easier than before.
Carry1st + Singular = Success
Carry1st was one of Singular’s first customers to go live with a SKAN 4 conversion model and they’re already seeing 40% lower CPIs than Facebook ad benchmarks on iOS thanks to their conversion model..
For the Carry1st team, Singular’s SKAN modeled revenue is hugely beneficial, as well as the IDFA opt in/opt out tracking and ability to compare tracker install data with SKAN model install data. They also built 1 CV schema tool internally to understand the density of players per bucket.
In general, having flexible reporting capabilities changes the game, and custom dashboards “help me follow how my SKAN data is evolving on a day-to-day basis.”
This reporting has helped the Carry1st team to double their scale on iOS.
Looking forward, the Carry1st team is excited to start delving into Singular’s SKAN Advanced Analytics, data science-powered analytics that close SKAN reporting gaps and reintroduce more accurate cohorts (up to 35d with SKAN 4!), t for continued success with SKAN and growth on iOS.
Top SKAN Adoption Tips from the Carry1st Team
Be flexible and open to change – Being an expert on SKAN 4 is already outdated
Be fast – Fast testing in a fast-growing market is key!
Be cost and resource-effective – leverage solutions and resources if you want to bring value to your business