How to make money using ads in Mobile Games

The mobile games industry is dealing with a growing pain as app stores are becoming more and more crowded with new apps and games every week.

Costs are rising faster than the growth, meaning that game publishers are investing more in getting users that will generate less revenue.

If this current trend continues, the small players will suffer. The strong companies will only get stronger and smaller players will either get acquired or go bust.

Another sign of maturity for the mobile game industry is an increase in barriers to entry. Small developers need to start thinking in budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even more if they want to play in the big league and reach new players via paid acquisition.

Companies that cannot afford these budgets will have to be more creative in finding new ways to reach gamers.

Mobile gaming is here to stay. We can be rest assured that in 2018 the mobile gaming industry will boom.

Game Advertising

Mobile in-game advertising refers to the placement of advertisements, brands and associated messages within mobile games.

The ads can be found anywhere within the game making sure that it is visible to the user during game play or any app play.

Banners and interstitial ads are examples of the types of ad spaces found in mobile games. Mobile in-game advertising can be static or dynamic.

The forefather of mobile and games ads, are ads that are deliberately placed within the game that do not change during game play.

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This is in contrast to the rising trend of dynamic advertising, where, during game play – the game connects to a service provider network and the ads can change.

The ads shown in app are determined as relevant to the target audience or the audience a publisher intends to reach through the ad network.

This is based upon the user demographic metrics collected by the network.

Types Of Applications

  • Paid Download/Pay to Play : Players pay to download your game.
  • Free : Users play your game completely free, and you make money solely through ads.
  • App Purchases : Users pay for content or upgrades inside your game.

Besides the obvious Paid Download and IAP, how else could your game make money? The majority of the time, by showing ads.

Free games that show ads appearing in a smart way can often make more money than the paid games.

Every time an ad is shown inside your game you’ll make money – essentially you’re paid for number of impressions count.

You’ve probably seen the term, and this is just means Effective Cost Per Milles (thousand views).

Basically, it describes how much you’ll get paid for every 100 count or views the (impressions) ad gets inside your game.

The first thing you’ll have to do is to look for a great ad network to partner with. Ad networks serve up the ads that you show inside your game and pay you – just integrate their SDK into your game and you’re set.

After integrating the ad network, you should always look closely at its fill rate – the percentage of times an ad network successfully provides your player with an ad when one is requested for that.

The higher the networks fill rate, the less money you’re leaving on the table, because an ad will always be shown when one is requested by your players.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your CTR (Click Through Rate).

This is the percentage of all your players who clicked on an ad versus all of your players who saw the ads. The more people click on it, the more money you end up making.

Types of Ads Which Are Seen in the Game

Banner Ads:

These are the ads which can be seen at the bottom or top of any game board, in part because they are the most unobtrusive options but placed in a way that they appear to be part of the overall flow of the game, so they don’t interrupt the experience.

Interstitial Ads:

Interstitial ads perform best on games that are broken in different levels.

This is because interstitials between levels take advantage of natural pauses in game play and don’t interrupt the overall user experience.

Prestitial Ad :

These are the ads which can be seen while launching the game or creating a new game.

A prestitial ad is the advertisement, displayed to site’s visitors before the Home page is opened.

Most prestitial ads are large and cover the whole site’s page space. That’s why such ads aren’t really beneficial for publishers.

Rewarded ads :

These are the ads which give users extra life, extra moves etc. Rewarded video ads are a full screen experience where users opt-in to view a video.

The ads appear for min 15 second to 30 seconds and are even non-skippable and contains an end card with a call to action.

In the completion of the full video, users will receive the call back to grant the suggested reward to the user.

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The growing use of smartphones have paved way for increased use of mobile games. Mobile games are here to stay.

Advertisers have been creative and aggressive in their efforts to integrate ads organically into mobile games.

Taking advantage of apps as a marketing source is one of the best way when it comes to marketing. For the developers, this is best time to leverage this growth in mobile games.