Why Mobile Advertising is Moving Towards Rewarded Video Ads on Gaming apps

The author is Founder & CEO at POKKT 

Numbers, it is said, do not lie; one look at the statistics often reveals the truth. Consider the growing influence of mobile phones on the global business landscape. With smartphone users accounting for almost half of the world’s population and 75% of its total internet consumption at present, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have already usurped desktops and laptops as the go-to consumption medium. Mobile gaming, in particular, has witnessed an exponential growth in the last decade. Recent industry reports estimate that nearly 43% of the time spent by mobile users on their phones is dedicated to gaming – the highest in any category!

With 62% of new smartphone users downloading a gaming app on their devices within the first week, it is no surprise that popular apps like Candy Crush Saga from King, Clash of Clans from Supercell, and the Angry Birds franchise from Rovio continue to dominate mobile app revenues and usage statistics. Candy Crush Saga generated $216 million in revenues in Q2 2017, with an average user playing time of 35 minutes, while Supercell has more than 100 million daily active users for its four gaming apps.

A rewarding experience: Why rewarded video ads on gaming apps generate better traction

Mobile’s growing dominance in the advertising domain is now undisputed; the medium accounted for nearly half of the global digital ad spending in 2016. With advertisers looking for high-impact, mobile-led strategies, rewarded video ads within mobile games have emerged as the perfect format to drive the maximum ROI.

The reason behind this paradigm shift is rather straightforward: in-app video ads offer much higher user engagement than any other format. A recent research found that video ads within gaming apps generated significantly higher emotional response and involvement as well as recall value amongst the target audience, compared to other media. This was attributed to the heightened user attentiveness during game play. Falling attention spans also require advertisers to condense their content and capture the target user’s immediate attention while retaining key brand messaging. Gaming app-based video ads fit this bill perfectly with their inherently engaging formats.

More importantly, however, in-game video ads are addressing the most prominent concern that advertisers have with mobile advertisements – that of negative ad response. The inefficacy of static mobile ad formats such as banners and popups is well known. Other ad formats, such as rich media banners and interstitials, are also increasingly seen by consumers as necessary evils which need to be tolerated to access their choice of content. Rewarded video ads, on the other hand, incentivise gamers to watch them to earn in-game currencies or goodies, leading to better brand engagement. Moreover, since these ads are usually presented during periods of ‘natural’ breaks during game-play, such as at the completion of a level, they avoid game-play disruption that other ad formats suffer from.

How in-app ads enhance the trackability, measurability, and visibility of ad campaigns

In-app mobile video ads, in particular, can help in addressing this challenge by providing better measurability for ad campaigns and user attribution. They also enable accurately tracking user acquisition and offer significantly higher visibility over post-acquisition behaviour, thus helping in cutting down on frauds made through adbot networks. SDK integrations that in-app video ads leverage also help brands in acquiring better quality user data, enabling them to break the preferences of their target demographics down to individual consumers. This helps in creating ad campaigns which are personalised for a user’s specific tastes and requirements, driving greater RoI and improving the efficacy of the campaign.

With smartphone usage and online video consumption through mobile growing rapidly, the impact that an in-game video-led mobile advertising strategy can make to brand campaigns cannot be discounted. This holds particularly true in a country like India, where almost 75% of internet usage is through mobile devices and is mostly dedicated to online video consumption. Advertisers across the globe have woken up to the huge potential that this space has and have already started investing heavily into the medium. With mobile gaming apps expected to generate $49 billion in ad revenues globally by 2018, rewarded in-game video ads are well-poised to become the primary advertising medium in the future. The only question that remains to be answered, then, is this – when are you, as an advertiser, becoming a part of this evolution?

Image Credit: App Samurai

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