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Top publishers are relying on video ads for mobile monetisation: report

Tyrone Stewart - Member Content


Publishers are constantly looking for the best ways to monetise their apps and engage their users in a time when it continues to become increasingly difficult to capture the attention of consumers. So, just how are publishers choosing to go about mobile monetisation? Well, it seems that video advertising is the most common answer to that question.

AdColony surveyed more than 100 mobile publishers from around the world about monetisation and user experience. These publishers consisted of both gaming and non-gaming apps and had an average of 3m monthly average users.

“The Mobile Publishing Survey is a valuable insight into how publishers are making their money and which monetization methods work best for them,” said Liz Waldeck-Pinckert, director, client partnerships North America, at AdColony. “Knowing revenue from ads continues to rise, app developers can optimize their own monetization strategies to generate higher earnings. Advertisers can also use these survey results to optimize ad campaigns strategy to take advantage of the most popular and effective types like rewarded and interstitial video, and display.”

There are a number of different ways by which publishers can monetise their apps but by far the most popular are video ads and in-app purchases. 89 per cent of respondents said they use video ads, while 68 per cent utilise in-app purchases (IAPs). Display advertising came a distant third at almost half of those using IAPs (35 per cent).

The most effective monetisation methods are seen to be rewarded video ads, interstitial video ads, and interstitial display ads – the first two showing just why publishers opt for using video ads so heavily.

The true effectiveness of the methods used can, of course, only be highlighted by the amount of money each brings in. Overall, mobile app publishers estimate that advertising accounts for 63 per cent of total revenue on average – breaking down into 35 per cent coming from video, 21 per cent from display, and seven per cent from native. IAPs, despite being the second most popular way to monetise apps, sit behind display on 18 per cent.

However, when the publishers are separated into gaming and non-gaming, there are clear differences between the revenue splits.

Gaming apps see 63 per cent of their revenue, on average, come from advertising – with 44 per cent from video, 16 per cent from display, and three per cent from native. On the other hand, non-gaming apps make 66 per cent of their revenue from advertising – broken down into 27 per cent from video, 29 per cent from display, and 10 per cent from native.

Away from advertising, 29 per cent of gaming and 16 per cent of non-gaming revenue, respectively, is gained through IAPs and eCommerce. Interestingly, non-gaming apps also see 16 per cent of their revenue coming from installs and subscriptions, though just 19 per cent of all the mobile publishers surveyed use paid app downloads (17 per cent) and subscriptions (two per cent) to monetise their apps.

Nonetheless, it’s clear to see why 51 per cent of publishers are most excited by video ads – with the formats they are most excited about being interstitial video, interstitial display, and playable ads.

Meanwhile, rewarded video ads were found to have the biggest impact on user experience, followed by interstitial video, and interstitial display. 

The report also explores what publishers believe to be the key indicators of user quality, the avenues used to monetise through advertising, their use of programmatic, and more.

AdColony’s Mobile Publishing Survey 2020 can be viewed in full here.

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