67% of VR app installs are mobile, 90 percent of top performing (retention) apps are games, and VR consumption pattens vary widely across geographies and experience levels. These were a few takeaways from a Unity Analytics release.

Here’s the highlight reel, including ARtillry takeaways for each one:

Mobile VR (GearVR, Daydream View) represents 67 percent of global VR installs.
Takeaway: Developers should adopt free-to-play monetization structures (i.e. in-game-purchases). It’s a proven model that users have gotten used to, and distribution channels have been built around (i.e. app stores).

Nine of the top ten VR experiences in terms of retention rates are games.
Takeaway: You don’t have to build games, but one key component driving retention is game mechanics. Game mechanics like leaderboards can be incorporated into non-game VR experiences to drive stickiness.

There are different install and engagement behaviors in different geographic regions, such as downloads versus retention.
Takeaway: These regions require a certain amount of customization in how apps are packaged, delivered and priced.

There are behavioral differences between new VR users and early adopters. The latter spend more time in a greater number of apps. 
Takeaway: Developers should segment users and optimize experiences accordingly. Early adopters should receive frequently-refreshed experiences (as they run out of content). New users should get education and smoother on-boarding processes.

Why are these data important? In the current stage of VR app development, usage analytics are gold. We’ve covered this a few times, including Google’s user data releases. Unity reminds us that perpetual attention to usage data is critical to optimize any game or app.

“Data matters within your own circumstances and application,” said Unity Analytics GM John Cheng at OC4. “It matters that you are tracking and understanding on a day to day, minute by minute and user by user basis, so you can take advantage of these insights.”

Much of the above also aligns with ARtillry Intelligence’s 2017 Lessons; 2018 Predictions report. Monetization was explored in that report, with similar findings about in-app purchase models and tactics to drive stickiness. This will continue to be a moving target… data is your friend.

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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header Image Credit: Unity