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Casual Connect Asia: Takeaways for making the most of mobile video ads

by Nori Hayashi on May 23, 2017

Last week, AppLovin participated in Casual Connect Asia in Singapore. As we noted  previously, the Southeast Asian mobile market is rapidly growing (according to Newzoo, mobile games revenues are growing with a CAGR of +45.3%, three times more than the global rate), and we saw many exciting casual game developers from this region at this event.

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel called “Mobile Video Ads – Your Best Bet for Acquiring Valuable New Users” with Elena Vinokurova (Marketing Manager, Mytona), Tony Teo (General Manager, Gamevil Southeast Asia), and Josh Jang (Head of Sales Korea & SEA, adjust).

Casual Connect Asia AppLovin video ads blog post image

We discussed a wide range of topics pertaining to video ads, such as their growth and tracking their performance. Here a few key takeaways from our discussion:

Video is growing because it’s effective

It’s no surprise that video ads are growing and have now become the go-to format for many app marketers. In fact, in a study conducted with AppsFlyer, we found that in Q4 2016, video ads accounted for 77 percent of mobile ad spend. In the gaming vertical, the number is even higher, with video ad spend at a commanding 93 percent. MyTona, a casual game developer, allocates 90 percent of their ad spend to video ads, with AppLovin as one of their biggest partners. When asked why they spend so much on video, Vinokurova stated that the numbers clearly show them that video brings them better results compared to banners and static ads. And while Gamevil’s allocation to video ads is currently less than that of Mytona, they have plans to increase their use of video ads this year. Teo commented that since most of Gamevil’s games are RPGs with complex story lines and characters, video will allow them to explain a lot more about their game than other ad formats. This educational aspect also leads to acquiring players with better retention, because they know what to expect before downloading the game.

When using video, prep ahead, localize and track for the best results

It was clear from our discussions that both MyTona and Gamevil place a lot of effort into creating the best possible video ad to gain and retain the highest quality users. Both companies have dedicated in-house teams to create videos and noted the importance of planning ahead. For example, Gamevil always plans a few videos ahead so they can release new video ads right when there is an update in their game, such as a new character. Both companies localize based on the needs of the regions they’re advertising in. Gamevil, for example, will mostly localize the text on their videos, but content-wise, they may run a special video campaign for a certain country when there is a need, such as a campaign during the Songkran festival in Thailand. Finally, both companies prefer to track performance by ROI over CPI. Elena noted that it’s especially important how you measure ROI though—for example, Mytona measures ROI using cohort analyses.

It’s clear that video ads are growing because they are the best bet for acquiring valuable new users. However, as our panel highlighted, in order to make the most of them, it’s highly important to prep ahead, localize, track performance, and filter fraud.

We hope to see our partners again at Casual Connect Asia again next year!

Nori Hayashi is AppLovin’s Country Manager in Japan.

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