MoPub is celebrating 10 years, and as part of our anniversary festivities, we honored 10 clients and partners on our Next 10 list. The Next 10 celebrates companies driving forward the future of mobile apps and mobile advertising for the next 10 years (and beyond). In this interview series, we’ll hear from some of our “Next 10” honorees. Today we have Lee Ki-sup, Founder and CEO of Seoul-based gaming app publisher BitMango.
MoPub: Let’s start with some background on our partnership. What led you to the decision to work with MoPub? What’s important to you in a monetization partner?
Lee Ki-sup: Having managed all of BitMango's 40 or so ad monetization ties with few staff at the time, there was a need for work automation. MoPub provided us with the solution for work automation through an API (waterfall setting) just in time, and we thought it was a good opportunity to try using mediation, which is widely used around the world, so we started the first partnership with MoPub. We look at two main aspects when deciding on a new monetization partner. First, is the service "stable" on the basis of significant volume in global markets? Second, is the service transparent and "fair" for achieving optimum performance? MoPub is a key partner who has satisfied these aspects not only at the time we formed the partnership but through to today.
MoPub: BitMango is well known for smartly leveraging data. Could you briefly share with us what role the focus on data plays in the strategy and success of BitMango?
Lee Ki-sup: The strategy of making decisions based on data allows for fast and reasonable decision-making. Because a mutually-agreed principle of “deciding after seeing the data” existed regarding numerous matters requiring decision-making within the company, we were able to make more effective judgments for which better performance could be expected, as well as avoiding unnecessary disputes. Even in conducting several tests, we were able to respond flexibly to changing market conditions by analyzing results and moving quickly to the next steps based on clear results.
MoPub: How do you determine which monetization model (IAP or ad monetization) is more appropriate for a specific game?
Lee Ki-sup: Although monetization models previously were divided by genre, such as ad revenue for casual games and the IAP (in-app purchase) revenue model for RPG games, boundaries between these monetization models by genre became blurred with the passage of time and as games where IAP sales had been the main business model added reward advertising space. Despite this, however, what must be considered in deciding the monetization model for each game is the key target audience for the game. We think that it is more important than anything else to fully analyze and respond to the orientations of the users who enjoy our games.
MoPub: What’s top of mind for you as we look towards 2021? Is there something that you are particularly hopeful or concerned about?
Lee Ki-sup: In 2021, all iOS apps will require obtaining user consent before using IDFA. We view this as the first year in which major changes for advertisers will really be felt in the major trend of strengthening personal information with GDPR, CCPA, etc. We think that efficiently managing in-app ad placements while protecting user information will be a challenging task for companies like BitMango that have relied greatly on IAA-based revenue. However, we expect that BitMango will deal with this challenging task well with a partner like MoPub, which leads the advertising industry.
MoPub: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Lee Ki-sup: We think it is a great honor that BitMango was chosen for MoPub’s "The Next 10." There is a saying, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." BitMango will do its utmost to become a company that creates the mobile ad market by closely collaborating with excellent partners like MoPub.
About BitMango: BitMango, creator of chart-topping puzzle gaming apps like Word Cookies!® and Block! Hexa Puzzle™, was one of the first gaming studios in Korea to focus on app monetization via in-app advertising. Today they’re one of the biggest gaming publishers in Korea, with apps that are hits in the US, UK, France, and around the world.
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