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Common Myths About Mobile Ads Debunked

by Claire Tak on Feb 17, 2021

Mobile ad spend is expected to top $290 billion in 2021, with consumers willing to pay top dollar for mobile games. A recent report from App Annie showed the average weekly downloads for games worldwide have increased 15 percent and predicts consumer spending on just mobile games will go beyond $120 billion this year. 

So with all of this spending, the need to understand your mobile advertising is important because it’s an investment that may drive profitable results. Brands are improving the way they engage and interact with customers through ads and making the experience with rewarded videos, for example, more valuable for players. 

Your mobile ad strategy

Today’s consumers want transparency, authenticity, and a way to engage that makes sense for them. Therefore, creating an ad strategy that aligns with these goals is an important consideration.

Mobile ads deserve a bigger piece of the budget—so understanding some common myths are worthy of your time and attention. Here are the most common misconceptions, debunked:

Myth #1: Mobile ads are distracting

When done with a thoughtful and engaging approach, in-game advertising benefits all sides involved including advertisers, game developers, and players. 

A survey revealed that 79 percent of players were happy with games on an ad-supported model, and more specifically, found that rewarded video ads were most useful and least disruptive. 

When ads enhance the user experience, rather than distract, the player may be more engaged and view or click on the ad, as intended. 

One great example of this is rewarded video. Rewarded videos can serve many purposes, including extending a player’s life, providing bonuses, coins, or some reward in exchange for the player’s attention in watching the video. 

AppLovin’s Director of Business Development, EMEA, Daniel Tchernahovsky, AppLovin’s VP International Business Development, notes, “Rewarded videos are optional ads, which give players the opportunity to choose to watch. It allows developers to create ad experiences that enrich the users’ interaction with the app rather than forcing ads onto them.” 

One study revealed that rewarded video ads have 86 percent lower eCPMs than the overall video format, which means a more optimized investment for ROI. 

Myth #2: Mobile gamers dislike ads

Games or free apps from the app stores use ads to make money and users understand it’s a part of the ad experience. 

A recent study revealed that 73 percent of gamers were satisfied with the ads in-app games. More than 75 percent prefer watching ads in a free mobile gaming app rather than upgrading to an ad-free version. 

Myth #3: Ads aren’t effective

The goal is to adopt a player-first mentality and think about how to creatively integrate the ad into the game. 

The more relevant the ad is to the app or game, the more likely the user will engage. 

Recent trends show game developers thinking outside of the box when it comes to ads and brand partnerships.

One example was an ad in the form of a live, in-game concert from electronic music producer Marshmello within the popular game Fortnite. A Mashmello player skin was also added to the game, which added another level of engagement. The event was attended by over 10 million people and was a standout example of how an ad can be engaging and effective.

What will the future of mobile ads look like?

Even if your studio doesn’t have the budget or resources to put on a collaborative effort that engages millions of fans, there are changes you can make to ensure a player-first experience. 

Choose quality over quantity and create a positive experience that rewards them or further engages them into the app. We are already seeing great examples of how this can be achieved in a way that is fun and provides value for the user and the overall gameplay experience. 

Over 1.5 billion people will play mobile games globally this year. A diverse and engaged audience that is receptive to ads, along with continued advancements in technology and software means it’s a great time to think more deeply about how your mobile ads are serving your users.

Claire Tak is Marketing Manager, Content at AppLovin.