Mobile games are evolving right before our eyes, breaking all development stereotypes, and the use of advertising is no exception. Join Supersonic’s Head of Publisher Operations, Adam Ben-David, in his lecture entitled Turning Ad Formats Into App Features at Casual Connect USA. He gave insights on how premium publishers like EA, JellyButton Games, and Game Hive leverage rewarded video ads into their mobile advertising experience, effectively turning mobile ads into app features. One insight into advertising that he offered was, “The general idea is in thinking about your application with advertising in end-to-end design as a complete package for the user verses having a fully finished product with a bunch of ad-ons. Just sticking some ads on there is kind of a tackier experience, the quality is not as good and the outcome is obviously not as powerful”.
What makes a toolset truly valuable for a game developer? According to Adam Ben-David, who manages the development and execution of Supersonic’s Mobile Ad Mediation Platform technology, a toolset must be absolutely simple to use and must combine well with other tools to be really useful. Because mobile applications are a complex cobbling together of many disparate systems, ease of use and compatibility are key attributes for any additional tools.
Connectivity and Simplicity
Adam began his career in the games industry working for a small indie development studio, so he has plenty of firsthand experience with the difficulties developers experience. Because of that, Adam particularly values Supersonic’s core principles of connectivity and simplicity. His goal is “to arm developers with the easiest to implement and most feature robust platform to create their own advertising marketplace and to maximize revenue and engagement within their applications.”
He was inspired to pursue this career by the opportunity it offered for innovation; building products allows him to unleash his inner creativity. The rewards come when he sees people using the outcome of this creativity and collaboration, especially when they are happy with the results.
Giving Clients What They Are Looking For and More
The release of Supersonic’s first version of their Supply-Side-Platform to critical acclaim brought Adam the proudest moment of his career. To build the right tools took months of listening to clients and careful planning. He insists that, “It was awesome to see the tool we built solving a true challenge in our clients’ lives and the excitement of having a solution for it.”
He continues to get the greatest enjoyment from seeing clients excited about the products Supersonic releases. Adam says, “When I learn about our clients’ needs and then turn around and give them exactly what they are looking for plus additional benefits, their excitement makes it all worthwhile.”
An additional attraction for Adam is the speed at which the games industry progresses. He finds it great fun to share this progress intimately with colleagues in a relatively small industry. As he emphasizes, “It’s great to be able to connect with the same community of people and see everyone evolve and grow together.”
Evolution: Challenge and Opportunity
However, the speed of this evolution is also a challenge. It can cause fragmentation and confusion, but at the same time it creates opportunity. At Supersonic, they respond to the challenge by keeping a constant stream of data about the games world going to every team member. In this way they maintain a comprehensive view to use in their future planning.
One of the important developments he is seeing in the industry is app developers learning to build ‘content communities’ around their apps, for example, King’s ‘Sagas’ and Ketchapp’s model of the weekly game. He believes that building the brand in this way allows developers to move beyond the one hit wonder and create an ecosystem of content. This has a powerful effect on retention, increasing lifetime value beyond one app into the lifetime of all the users engagement across all apps the developers come out with.
In response to this trend, Supersonic is focused on enhancing developers’ ability to manage the creation of their own Ad Marketplace and leverage the power of ad mediation to attract the right advertisers. Ultimately, the goal is to find who will bring better value to their users and deliver the highest returns.
When Adam has time away from work he loves to read and travel. In fact, if he were not fully occupied in his games career, he claims he would be working as a manager of a quiet hostel in Thailand.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.