Video ads are quickly becoming the advertising industry’s new mainstay. Gone are the days of static placements and banner ads. At Casual Connect USA 2016, MoPub’s group product manager, Boris Logvinskiy, explained why video has become such an important advertising format during his lecture Rewarded Video: Optimize Your Strategy.
“According to eMarketer, thirty minutes is the amount of time spent looking at videos by the average user,” Boris noted. “That makes up 10 percent of the total time spent on mobile devices. This year it’s expected that $4.2 billion will be spent on mobile video advertising – and that’s expected to grow to $6 billion in 2018.”
But how can game developers get a piece of the revenue pie? MoPub believes that rewarded video may be one answer. Essentially, rewarded videos give the user something in return for watching a video ad – often in-game currency such as gold, coins and power-ups.
Boris explained that users enjoy it because they get something they need or want from the game while advertisers get successful video completions and the developer gets competitive eCPMs – making rewarded video a win-win-win for everyone involved.
Given the fact that rewarded video often gives players in-app currency for watching video ads, there have understandably been questions from some about the effectiveness of rewarded video overall and if it could be detrimental to overall earnings for developers.
Boris noted rewarded video can actually be a great way to introduce users to to a game’s in-app economy and give them a first taste of in-game rewards which they may continue to decide to purchase. Twitter Senior Product Marketing Manager Elain Szu noted that popular gaming publisher Ubisoft doubled their user lifetime values (LTVs) within two months across several titles using MoPub’s rewarded video capabilities.
Elain also noted that MoPub client Magmic has even received direct user feedback from players about rewarded video, quoting Magmic Marketing Director Jonathan Simon as saying “Since adding MoPub’s rewarded video product to Scattergories we have seen a pretty significant increase in the retention of users who are watching rewarded video. Overall, our users are more engaged and have even reached out to us to tell us how much they like watching rewarded videos to earn coins.”
Options for gamedev
Elain notes that, in addition to rewarded video, MoPub offers a variety of advertising options for game developers to help them find the best fit for their game – including, but not limited to interstitials, native ads, and playables.
They also allow developers to work with any demand source, from direct advertisers to ad networks. Additionally, MoPub Marketplace (the company’s real-time bidding exchange) can be set to compete against any ad networks that a client is working with, ensuring they get the highest value for every impression.
But when should developers begin thinking about adding rewarded video or other ad options? Elain suggests developers incorporate ads as early in a game’s development as possible, saying “apps can go viral overnight, and developers who wait to add monetization solutions like MoPub can miss out on a lot of revenue. It’s also a good idea to have ads in your app from day one so that they are expected by users, rather than a sudden addition to the experience.”
However, Elain notes, for those whose games are already in circulation, it’s not too late – and clients who did not originally have rewarded video ads in their games have seen success after adding them.
MoPub started out in 2010 with the mission of providing app publishers with the most effective monetization platform for mobile ads – and they were one of the first to launch a programmatic bidding exchange for mobile.
Twitter saw MoPub’s vast potential in 2013 and bought it. In the nearly three years since, both have benefitted tremendously from each other. MoPub has benefitted from Twitter’s brand recognition, resources, and being a part of Fabric – a suite of mobile development products that help developers build mobile apps and has helped attract the best publishers to Mopub Marketplace. Twitter has benefitted by having MoPub as a key component of the Twitter Audience Platform, which provides a simple and effective way for Twitter advertisers to reach audiences on both Twitter and the thousands of apps that work with MoPub.
Currently MoPub connects more than 45,000 mobile app publishers with over 175 demand sources through MoPub Marketplace, in addition to offering direct ad serving and network mediation capabilities.
But where does MoPub see things heading for mobile advertising – and what are they doing to prepare for it? Elain says there are three key things that MoPub is anticipating. The first is that mobile spend and supply will go increasingly global – with Asia-Pacific being an area where they see a lot of growth. The second thing they see is an increase in brand spend on mobile programmatic. Elain notes that Q4 2015 was the first time MoPub saw more than half of the spend on their exchange coming from F1000 brands.
The third and final thing MoPub anticipates is the industry coming together to address supply quality challenges such as viewability and ad fraud. Elain notes that MoPub recently partnered with Forensiq to fight fraud in mobile in-app advertising. “We look forward to seeing the industry tackle supply quality issues, which will bring more ad dollars into the programmatic ecosystem.”