Designing rewarded video ads that interest mobile gamers

June 16, 2020

Tags: Publishers

Sara Penchina

@sarapenchina

Rewarded video ads are a fantastic tool for mobile publishers that not only often provide immediate returns and positive impact for players, but they can also be an excellent source of ad revenue. Recently, rewarded video has become more popular amongst mobile publishers as they’ve been proven to increase time spent within mobile games with the majority of players preferring them over in-app purchases or premium pricing, according to findings in a report from a survey conducted by Unity Technologies. The negative perception around some ads is starting to change as more innovative, less disruptive formats like rewarded videos are becoming more common and widely available as tools to enhance gameplay rather than distract from playing. In order to reach positive engagement with rewarded video ads, it’s important to design the video ads in ways that are interesting and appealing to players, to enhance gameplay rather than distract from it.

Incentive for players

Let’s start with the basics. What do rewarded videos offer players? Rewarded video ads gift  players something of value in the game in exchange for the completion of short video ads. Often, the reward is something that furthers or enhances gameplay, such as extra lives, in-app purchase currency, or unlocked premium features. Since players can choose whether they want to watch the ad or not, it may feel less intrusive. These ads are often appealing because they offer a fairly organic extension of what the players already desire in the game and would naturally be interested in.

Rewarded video is complementary to in-app purchases

For players who don’t want to spend their own money on in-app rewards, in-app advertising is an alternative approach to monetizing these users. Rewarded videos present an opportunity to balance in-app purchases or even fully replace them depending on your monetization strategy. They afford the user something of value in the game without the need to spend “real” money. In that sense, there’s a perception of added value on the player’s end. For publishers, rewarded video ads typically have a solid return on investment. In fact, over half of all mobile game developers identify video ads as having the highest revenue per user compared to other forms of in-app ads, according to Unity’s survey. 

Rewarded video ads can help with in-app retention

Another perk of rewarded video is that it helps retain players in the app because it contributes to the “just one more try” mentality, where a player wants to continue gameplay in an effort to score the reward offered behind the video ad. Over 60% of developers see user retention increase or stabilize when using rewarded video ads compared to full-screen ads, according to Unity’s survey. In this way, they view the ads as an extension of —rather than a disruption to — gameplay, and an opportunity to continue playing as the ads help rather than hinder their experience. 

Completion rate is typically higher

When it comes to rewarded videos, players typically view the ad to full completion, without closing out of the app, because they want to stay for the reward, according to Unity’s survey. It’s also commonly understood that mobile gamers prefer rewarded video ads compared to traditional interstitials

Rewarded video ads have quickly become a preferred ad format not only for mobile app publishers, but also for users. This format strikes a strong balance for both app publishers and users, making it a great addition to existing monetization models.

Interested in discussing ad formats and monetization strategy tailored to your app and your business goals? Get in touch with our team today.

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