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Ads Monetization in Mobile Games for Beginners

by Caner Özdemir
Farm Frenzy

You will hear a lot of complaints about advertisements on mobile games. So why the developers put many ads in their game? Why would they risk having negative reviews because of the number of advertisements? Well, there are some apps that can be purchased. Some apps follow a subscription plan instead. However, this is not the case with some games because those games are not suitable for that kind of monetizing. Therefore, game developers are left with only one option: advertisements.

AdMob Is One Of The Most Popular Ad Services

Advertisements can be a good choice for earning money from your work. They can help you monetize your work. Free to play mobile games can use that strategy to monetize their work. There are multiple services for that purpose. Some services provide more revenue than others because they are specifically optimized for special apps. For example, some mobile games are using Unity Ads to monetize their work. For non-gaming apps, AdMob becomes the first choice in general.

Ad Revenue Of Some Mobile Apps

HeroCraft Ltd created a popular game which is called Farm Frenzy. They have over 10 million downloads. They were earning $20.000 in their first four months. After they started to use AdMob, their earnings increased to $58,900 in the following four months. They also cross-promoted their games with AdMob. They earned great benefits like promotion and payments from AdMob.

Farm Frenzy

Farm Frenzy

An app creator named Rich Woods made a free slot machine game in his spare time. He made the Cherry Chaser Slot Machine game and released it on Google Play.  The game has over 1 million downloads now. Rich also used AdMob and after he reached 300k downloads, Rich earned $100 per day.

Gram Games, a Turkish game company, also benefited from AdMob. They configured AdMob and optimized the ads for users. They used banner ads during the levels and video ads between rounds. That resulted in earning $5k dollars per day. AdMob also affected their business in a good way. Their monthly retention reach to %14 and their user base reach to 20 million players.

There is also another example, coming from a non-gaming app. Szymon Klimaszewski created an app which is called Blood Pressure and it has over 5 million downloads, today. He earned $700 to $850 in a month, in 2013. He used AdMob again to put advertisements on his apps.

Gram Games Also Uses AdMob

Gram Games Also Uses AdMob

Ad Types

There are numerous types of ads in mobile games:

  1. Display Ads: Those ads are the most common ads in mobile games. There are multiple types of these ads like banner and video ads. Banner ads are small boxes in either at the above of the screen or at the bottom of the screen. Those ads can be in the form of videos or pop-ups, as well. There are banner ads in Fish Master and they appear at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Interstitial Ads: Those ads are common in level based games. They are usually shown when a level ends and the user is about to start the next level. Since they appear during a break from the game, they are  not actually interrupting any gameplay. Therefore, they are harmless.
  3. Incentivized Ads / Rewarded Ads: Those ads are becoming more common. They offer a reward in exchange for interaction with an ad. For example, you can earn golds or gems in Knighthood if you watch a video ad. In Candy Crush Saga, you can earn a bonus if you watch an ad before beginning a level.
  4. Contextual Ads: Those ads can appear as a part of the gameplay. In Pokemon Go, there are branded Pokestops. There were Starbucks advertisements in Pokemon Go and they appeared as contextual ads.
Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads

Be Careful while Putting Ads

Ads are a great way of promoting and earning from mobile games. However, too much of them can cause frustration for players. This can lead to a decrease in Daily Active User. Negative reviews are also another risk that can affect mobile games. Putting too many ads in one game is literally asking for a negative review. So, the developers should be careful with putting advertisements on mobile games is highly recommended.

Using the right advertisement at the right time is essential for a mobile game. For example, putting a video advertisement in the middle of the gameplay is a terrible idea. However, putting a banner ad that stays at the bottom of the screen is a much better choice. It will not interrupt the gameplay and will not bother the player at all. Just like that, putting interstitial ads between level breaks is another good choice. When the player finishes a level, the player is also having a break from the game. It is like putting an ad when a TV show ends and the other one hasn’t started yet. Ads are better to put when the player is not concerned with gameplay.

Games should not force the player to watch advertisements to make further progress. Ads should serve as a help, they should not be a necessity for making progress. While earning money is a priority, keeping the players in the game is also another priority on the list.

 

An Example Of Putting Advertisements

An Example Of Putting Advertisements

Some ads can lead to an apps store page. That means the player is leaving the game for a couple of seconds, voluntarily or not. In that case, they can leave the game without coming back. Putting a warning before that happens or making it optional is much better. Once again, keeping the players in the game is the priority.

Ads Can Make a Difference

We stated the importance of advertisements on mobile games. Free to play mobile games follow an ad policy for managing their business strategy while keeping the players in the game. Right ad policy can lead to an increase in the game metrics. It can increase the number of Daily Active Users which is very important.

When the DAU is at the desired spot, ad revenue will increase as well. The player will be more excited to make progress with the help of advertisements. Connecting advertisements to gameplay without causing a lot of disturbance and making them a part of gameplay is the jackpot. That’s why the game developers should also pay attention to finding the right strategy for placing advertisements in their games.

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