Comment & Opinion

Rewarded videos: Not only a games’ game

Rewarded videos: Not only a games’ game

Jonathan Raveh is the Director of Partnerships & Community at Appnext. He specialises in Mobile Content and Mobile advertising.

It’s no secret that rewarded videos are mobile games' hottest monetisation trend. Rewarded videos generate not only high eCPM’s and payouts for developers, but high quality users for advertisers.

Furthermore, the best feature rewarded videos posses is the ability to increase user engagement, as they are entwined in the game’s scenario, helping users advance in the game, as opposed to ads that interrupt the game flow.

In all aspects, rewarded videos seem like a win-win situation for all. However, one question still remains unanswered – is it strictly a games’ game, or can non-game campaigns be as effective?

This question was the basis for our research. Appnext partnered with AMR, a leading mediation platform, and analysed Masomo’s Online Head Ball game to examine rewarded video performance data across various advertiser categories, represented on the Appnext platform.

About Online Head Ball

Online Head Ball is a football game played by over 10 million players worldwide. The game enables both friends and strangers to play one-on-one matches against each other. Players are able to participate in community events and enjoy in-game rewards.

Additional information about this game:

  • 350m monthly ad impressions, supporting native, banner, interstitial and rewarded video ad formats
  • Android: 500k DAU
  • iOS: 380k DAU
  • Main GEOs: TR, UK, EU, MENA

Monetisation Strategy

Online Head Ball allows players to choose opponents and different missions in accordance with their rank.

In order to opt-in a tournament or personalise the avatar, a player needs to have the required amount of coins, acquired during the gameplay, purchased, or gained by watching rewarded video ads.

Monetisation tactics

  • IAP - Coins, extra time, characters, props, skills
  • Interstitial ads - Frequency: at the end of each match
  • Rewarded Video - Opt-in only, limited to one reward per 15 min

Rewarded video optimisation

Working with a distilled list of trusted ad partners, Online Head Ball leveraged Appnext to serve rewarded video and interstitial ads.

The waterfall for rewarded video monetisation primarily consists of gaming demand, which traditionally, is considered to generate higher conversion rates/revenues. In addition to games, Appnext’s offered non-gaming apps including: brand-apps, utilities, mCommerce, social, and others.

Below is the campaign split for Online Head Ball’s rewarded video placement.

Results

The Appnext platform served the highest eCPM yielding offers for every impression request. When comparing games to apps in non-gaming categories it was found that utility and brands’ apps delivered up to 200% higher conversion rates than games.

  • Revenue - Due to demand diversity, average eCPM and conversion rates for rewarded videos were 200% higher
  • User engagement - With 75% of demand coming from non-gaming categories, Online Head Ball serves its players hyper-targeted video commercials for non-competing apps, securing engagement and time spent with their game

Conclusion

There’s still much to be said about game promotions running in rewarded videos.

The notion that rewarded videos only work well for game advertisers is false. As shown in Appnext’s case study, non-gaming rewarded video campaigns perform just as well, and at times better than gaming campaigns.

The ad performance for non-competing app advertisers is another reason these ads should become a default choice for game publishers. Like rewarded videos themselves, non-gaming demand has the potential to generate high revenues and become a significant game monetisation strategy.

Appnext Director of Game Monetisation Ari Last will be hosting a session at Pocket Gamer Connects on January 16th entitled 'App Monetisation - Laying Out The Common Publisher Concerns'. You can find out more about the event and register here.

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