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Ad revenue has "seen better years" on iOS, but some ad formats still pack a punch

A new ad monetisation report reveals that Android now leads in mobile game ad revenue, with rewarded ads out on top
Ad revenue has
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Jun 4, 2024 report Clever Ads Solutions Tenjin
  • Tenjin and Clever Ads Solutions' Ad Monetisation in Mobile Games – Benchmark Report 2024 has revealed Android's lead over iOS mobile game ad revenue in Q1
  • iOS had only 41% of revenue in Q1 2024, compared to 63% in 2019

Mobile app analytics suite Tenjin has found Android held a 59% share of mobile game ad revenue in Q1 2024, turning the tide substantially since Apple’s ATT introduction.

iOS had only 41% of revenue in Q1 2024, compared to 63% in 2019.

Tenjin and Clever Ads Solutions (CAS) gathered these findings and reported them in their Ad Monetisation in Mobile Games - Benchmark Report 2024, surmising that earnings from ads in mobile games "have seen better years" but that "opportunities remain strong".

Regional differences

While more and more mobile game devs and publishers are utilising a combination of in-app advertising and in-app purchases, an understanding of costs, earning potential, and regional differences has become more and more important too.

Though of course there are still outliers. By deciding not to use ads Supercell is potentially missing out on $1.2 million per month in Squad Busters.

In the report, Tenjin concludes that ad revenue represents "a significant portion" of total revenue earned by the majority of mobile publishers, and that US audiences represent the lion’s share of those ad revenues. This is especially true on iOS, with 55% of global Q1 ad revenue coming from the US - far ahead of the next-placed contributor, Japan, at 11%.

On Android, meanwhile, the US is still on top at 33% of global revenue, but there’s a wider spread overall. Japan represents 7% of ad revenue, ranking third.

Notably, on iOS only 10% of ad revenue comes from countries below the top 10, versus 29% on Android. Ad revenue on iOS relies much more heavily on a small selection of countries, therefore, including the UK - ranking third and contributing 6% of total ad revenue in Q1. On Android, the UK only accounted for half of that: 3%.

Into the data

Tenjin has found that the top five ad networks on iOS hold an 88% ad revenue share, with AppLovin accounting for 37%. Unity Ads and Google AdMob come second and third, at 16% and 15% respectively.

"This suggests that while Applovin is the dominant player, the market still has a moderate level of fragmentation among the various ad monetisation channels," the report reads.

Google AdMob has the lead on Android at 28%, followed by AppLovin’s 24%. There, the top five have an 81% revenue share.

Lastly, CAS’s data reveals insight into eCPM benchmarks, indicating the revenue a publisher earns for every 1,000 times an ad appears. Banners proved the least lucrative in the quarter while rewarded ads could be the most rewarding. Interstitial full-screen ads - including images, videos and interactives - came in the middle.

Banner ads on iOS are demonstrably at their most beneficial in Japan, and by a wide margin. They have an average eCPM of $1.25, compared to only $0.70 in the US. On Android, meanwhile, they have an average eCPM of $1.09 in Japan and $1.22 in the US.

When it comes to interstitials and rewarded ads, the US comes out on top for both iOS and Android. Interstitial ads make an average $19.62 in the US and rewarded ads make $27.88, based on the latest figures.

The full Ad Monetisation in Mobile Games – Benchmark Report 2024 includes further insight into the top regions for revenue, the winners on iOS vs Android, and more.

The report's findings regarding AppLovin certainly reflect the ad tech company's Q1 financials too, as AppLovin's revenue increased by 48% year-over-year to $1.06 billion earlier this year.