Mobile Games Blog

Advertisers, Developers

Twice as Nice: How Some Publishers and Advertisers Play Both Sides of the Table. And Win.

by Pete Schlaefer on Jun 18, 2015

If you’re a publisher and an AppLovin customer, you might be so focused on leveraging AppLovin to monetize your apps by showing ads to your users that you haven’t paid much attention to the other side of our business. Or maybe you’re an advertiser, who leverages the AppLovin platform to acquire and re-engage your users with highly relevant ads that generate conversions. But lately we’ve noticed an interesting crossover between these two distinct sets of clients: developers are becoming advertisers to drive the best results, and advertisers are becoming developers, placing ads within their apps.

This trend is so interesting that we recently spent some time looking at how it benefits our customers. . It was immediately apparent that it works best when we focus on achieving the customer’s goals independently of each other (meaning their goals of acquiring and retaining as an advertiser, and on the other, monetizing as a developer ). We ensure that our customers hit their targets on each side of the business first:

    • Developers and publishers see higher returns with our platform because the advertisers see strong results. Since the results are so profitable, we can pay our developers/publishers more than other platforms. And our experienced team of specialists work with each developer to optimize placement for each app to continue to grow revenue.
    • Advertisers see strong ROI because we are so focused on helping them meet their goals, offering a dedicated team of account reps who create campaigns that meet and exceed their goals; they reach ROAS faster.

Many of our customers have begun to see benefits by working with us for both user acquisition and/or re-engagement and monetization, we can synchronize the efforts in highly effective ways, often by rolling some monetization dollars toward acquisition, based on the customer’s goals. It’s simply a more flexible, or you could even say holistic, approach to have our accounts team (those that focus on advertising campaigns) and our pub teams (those that focus on monetization) collaborate on optimizing both sides of the business and making the results even stronger.

Here are a few great examples of how crossover approach has driven great results for customers:

One publisher of a casual game app came to us to help monetize through ads because its revenues from IAPs were low. Adding ads to the game increased ARPDAU by 50%! Once this publisher started seeing high ad revenue, it started using that revenue to buy ads that retain players. With this strategy, it was able to increase retention achieving 15.5% greater retention than its goal. This made money on both fronts because the publisher had created a perfect cycle/feedback loop: what they made on re-engagement ads was fueling retention of players (keeping them in the game and monetizing).

Another great example — only in the other direction — lies with a social casino game maker that started with AppLovin as an advertiser. This company spends a lot to acquire ROI positive users and it makes most of its money on IAP (in app purchases) , so it wasn’t initially interested in running ads in its game. But when we pointed out that some strategically placed ads would increase their revenue, the acquisition manager was willing to experiment. By optimizing ad placement within the game, ARPDAU got a 10% lift and ROAS increased at over 7% higher than the company’s goal. Now the company can spend even more acquiring the right kind of players for its game, monetizing those users through IAP and ads, and then funneling some of those earnings back into surfacing new players.

It is worth your time to think creatively about how you can take advantage of both sides of the your app business to increase your revenues, again keeping in mind that you can channel revenues you make on one side toward bolstering your strategy on the other. If you’re interested in exploring this strategy, contact your account rep or hit us up on email at [email protected].

Pete Schlaefer is AppLovin’s Vice President of Growth Partnerships.