Combining engagement, in-app purchase and ad mediation to maximize your game profitability
For the last few years, we, at deltaDNA, have looked at the mobile game economy and wondered why most publishers and developers will agonize about their retention rates and conversion rates but spend limited time thinking about their ad revenue.
All too often we saw a cautious approach to ads as many developers were rightly concerned about churn. This led to ad strategies where new players were commonly excluded from ads for the first 10 sessions or even up to 30 days or more.
A lack of technical confidence in the implementation, concerns about the impact on player experience and obscurity on the revenue calculations all led to developers seeing ads as a ‘necessary evil’.
A new approach
Over the last 12-18 months, we have started to see the industry embracing a new approach to ad strategies and consequently have seen ad revenues rise from about 20% of all income to 30% plus.
This trend is set to continue as new ad mediation tools become available and working with a handful of ad networks or building your own mediation cascade becomes unviable.
In the first instance mediation tools were provided by organizations who had ad content to sell. These ‘biased’ mediators would make money from their advertising clients and make sure their inventory was prioritized. This leads to a lack of transparency and trust. This type of ad partner has a conflict between maximizing your revenue stream by delivering the best ads and CPMs for your circumstances against servicing their advertiser’s requirements. Although this type of mediation is ‘free’, there are hidden charges and the results are often impossible to analyze and optimize.
Having launched smartads two years ago, deltaDNA has worked with our client base to unlock this important revenue stream using a fully transparent, unbiased approach that is independent of any ad network.
Tools like smartads deliver the power to maximize ad revenues into the hands of the publishers and developers for the first time. Combining our world-class analytics tools with our knowledge of game balancing and CRM, deltaDNA has created new best practices to maximize game profitability whilst maintaining the best player experiences.
We know that ads should reward players for their consumption as a natural game mechanic, and should be thoughtfully placed and balanced by targeting appropriate player segments.
Putting the player first
A recent study showed that the number of impressions from a basket of high performing games could be tripled without any impact on retention or IAP revenues.
Taking a player-first approach to ads ensures that the game produces high levels of revenue opportunities. In combination, smartads delivers an intelligent dynamic cascade that maximizes income and fill across over 40 ad networks in one SDK.
Removing concerns about trust, control and technical robustness is compelling enough but the revenue increases speak for themselves with at least a 50% improvement on most games compared to other biased mediation solutions.
Smart developers see the game economy as a subtle balancing act ensuring players are engaged and motivated to generate income through ad consumption as well as IAP. With the rise of unbiased mediation, another powerful set of tools become available and show a clear route to higher profits by optimizing engagement, in-app purchase, and ads, all in one place.