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Events, International

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020: In-App Bidding, the Opportunity and Challenges Ahead

by Daniel Tchernahovsky on Jan 30, 2020

Last week I had the opportunity to attend and take part in Pocket Gamer Connects London. It’s always beneficial to get out of our day-to-day mindset, and discuss the larger issues and trends impacting our industry right now. Whether it’s addressing the shifting perception of hyper-casual games, the need for stronger creatives for user acquisition, or even how Brexit is set to impact the gaming industry — a lot of important ground was covered.  

One key development in the mobile gaming industry right now is in-app bidding. In an evolving mobile landscape, developers need to not only sustain, but increase growth for their games. I was thrilled to be joined by peers from Facebook Audience Network, Homa Games, and Kwalee to discuss the benefits of in-app bidding, what this means for the industry, and any challenges that lie ahead.

It was great to hear my fellow panelists universally agree that in-app bidding will eliminate inefficiencies with monetization. After all, it will ultimately simplify the way in-game ads work, all the while allowing developers and publishers to maintain control. 

As our conversation shifted to the day-to-day challenges game developers face, the panelists both mentioned one of the most important ways technology can help them is revenue increase, but also reducing the time needed to manage their monetization. With limited manpower available to complete everyday operations, studios with multiple games to manage often find it necessary to delegate a significant amount of employee legwork to oversee monetization. 

In-app bidding is going to level the playing field, and my fellow panelists were in agreement that an industry-wide transition is at least a couple of years away. The speakers offered different insight on why this transition will take time, noting the complexities of managing a hybrid platform and the difficulties that arise given not all ad providers are adopting in-app bidding yet. It’s a revolutionary way to approach monetization, but as with every major shift it doesn’t happen overnight. 

Even though we are not going to see mass adoption immediately, in-app bidding is no longer an idea of the future. It’s here now. We were all in agreement that it’s delivering results — and those that adopt now, will reap the biggest rewards. Looking ahead, we know that in-app bidding is going to revolutionize mobile game monetization. In-app bidding will level the playing field, giving equal opportunity to developers of all sizes; we’re already seeing real-world examples where in-app bidding creates a substantially higher return for publishers

Alongside the panel, AppLovin was in other places at the conference. We had the opportunity to meet some up-and-coming talent from across the globe at the Very Big Indie Pitch, and participated as a judge and reviewed their games.  Of course, as part of our tradition, we always aim to provide a way for conference attendees to take breath at the end of the show by hosting a party with pints and bites! We had more than 80 attendees at our exclusive networking happy hour, “Social Club,” which we co-hosted with our friends from Adjust. Follow us on Twitter to see where we’ll be next! 

Find out more about how MAX in-app bidding can help increase your revenue.

Daniel Tchernahovsky is a Senior Director, Europe at AppLovin.