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PGC Recap: Hybrid Approach Improves ARPDAU for Studios & ‘If You Want to Earn More Money with Less Work, Definitely Consider MAX!’

by Claire Tak on Sep 25, 2020

Highlights:

  • What a hybrid monetization approach is and why it works 
  • In-app-bidding saved developers time 
  • How studios can better leverage A/B testing

AppLovin recently attended the Pocket Gamer Connects Digital Helsinki and led a panel discussion about hybrid monetization and how in-app bidding provides value for IAP-focused developers. 

The talk featured Ritesh Khanna, CEO of Clipwire Games, Luke Gorman, Senior Growth Manager at Hyper Hippo Entertainment, and Ben Figueroa, Strategic Partner Manager at Facebook Audience Network. 

This session was moderated by Idil Canal, General Manager of MAX by AppLovin, who asked the panel about how they improved efficiencies and saved time by using MAX to automate their ad and bidding process. 

What is MAX?

Before we go into the recap, it’s helpful to understand what MAX does and how it helps studios. 

  • MAX is a full-stack monetization platform based on in-app bidding that helps studios grow their businesses.
  • Studios use MAX to maximize ad revenue and scale their games through user acquisition. 
  • MAX also offers exclusive developer-friendly tools that empower studios to protect and control their player experience to avoid churn.

How MAX has helped Hyper Hippo free up more time

Based in British Columbia, Luke from Hyper Hippo, said their team runs lean and was pleased with the results after implementing MAX’s in-app bidding. 

“Switching to MAX has been huge for us, in terms of dropping the manual workload. Our growth team is just myself and one other person, so getting that time back has been a big weight off of our shoulders.”

Before the implementation, the need to communicate with other teams and managing a manual waterfall was tedious. Luke, who focuses on ad monetization, recalls weekly meetings with all of their partners, who “were fighting for those top spots. MAX has been a game changer—we don’t have to manually operate waterfalls. Since we enabled bidding, the line items have been drastically reduced, which is awesome.”

Now, Hyper Hippo can focus their efforts on the UA side of the business and soft launch strategy for their new titles. 

How has A/B testing improved?  

Ritesh is CEO of Clipwire Games, which is the Toronto-based studio behind top-grossing hit game Bingo Story. Ritesh recalled the inefficient way their team used A/B testing, before implementing MAX. 

“We’d look at vendor reports, make guesses, and then try different things. We’d wait a week or two and maybe there was some event that moved us in a positive direction, but it wasn’t easy to do and there was no science behind it.”

By using MAX, Ritesh noticed big improvements and because of that, believed Clipwire wasn’t leaving as much money on the table anymore. They can now measure incremental increases in LTV and attribute each lift directly to an individual A/B test. 

Furthermore, these experiments take just a few minutes to set up and can be run multiple times per week, so the learnings for the team have been substantial over the course of months.

Luke also spoke about the ability to A/B test and why it’s been extremely helpful for Hyper Hippo and a much smoother process. 

“We’re actually at a point where we’ve been A/B testing a lot since we’ve switched to MAX. Now, we’re able to break down certain geos per placement. We’ve been able to utilize the A/B testing tool to the point where we don’t need to touch the waterfall all that much anymore.”

Results from the implementation of bidding

In favor of automating processes wherever possible, Ritesh was thrilled with such fast results  after taking advantage of bidding.

Our first set up was really exciting. We saw a 20 percent lift, right away. As we ramped up on bidding—we now have three of them—they’ve grown and are about 70 percent of total placements. It’s been a huge time saver. It saved us time from having recurring meetings.

Ritesh Khanna, CEO of Clipwire Games

Ritesh went on to say that bidding now accounts for 50 percent of Clipwire’s ad revenue. 

Where do you allocate your time now?

Seeing a performance boost, plus being able to save time has been confirming for Hyper Hippo.  Hyper Hippo’s team can now use their time to scale campaigns on the UA side. 

Luke noted, “We also have a few exciting titles in soft launch. Now I’m using my time for the soft launch strategy as well. This time that I got back would’ve been nearly impossible if I had to do A/B tests.” 

It’s really been a win win all around, Hyper Hippo just had its highest-ever  earning month in August for ad revenue. We’ve also seen our ARPDAU increase month over month. If you want to earn more money, definitely consider MAX.

Luke Gorman, Senior Growth Manager at Hyper Hippo Entertainment

Claire Tak is Marketing Manager, Content at AppLovin.