Random Rewards In Products

November 21, 2020

An rising trend in the last few years is the rise of random prizes. Many products have integrated random rewards in a way that wasn't common 10 years ago. The most obvious example is freemium mobile games. Almost all of them drive engagement through variable rewards. Other games like Ultimate Team have seen huge benefits from integrating random rewards into their products. EA reportedly earns 28% of it's revenue (2019) from it's Ultimate Team games, a product with very prominent random rewards.

You also see random rewards in social media. It's deeply built into the product. Refreshing your facebook feed might lead to a photo of someone you used to know, or a funny cat video, or just a boring news article. The variability is part of what makes these products so addicting.

However, this trend is exhibited in other products you might not expect. Prize-linked savings, for example, is a conflation of random rewards with banking. This has never been done in the US before (the regulation was only recently passed). Recently, prize-linked savings products have gained a lot of traction.

Humans love variable rewards. This is evident in things like slot machines and gambling. However, Sports is an example of a quasi-random reward activity. Goals, homeruns, and 3-pointers are dopamine hits. And the misses just make the shots better.

We believe more companies are going to integrate random rewards into their products in the future. That's why we're building products that improve our customers lives, and use random rewards to do so.