Comment & Opinion

Using AudioMob’s in-game audio ads for instant rewards

Audiomob outlines how developers can use their in-game audio ads in more innovative ways to create instantly rewarding player experiences

Using AudioMob’s in-game audio ads for instant rewards

Troy Atkinson, Software Engineer at AudioMob and mobile game developer, highlights one of the new design opportunities created when developers choose to use non-interupting audio ads in their products.

 

As a Unity developer, you probably have a set idea of how monetisation works for your standard free-to-play mobile game. In-app purchases (IAP), skippable and unskippable video ads, banner ads, and most recently audio ads.

You periodically deliver banner and unskippable ads while trying to prompt the player into watching a rewarded video ad by giving them in-game incentives after it’s finished – pretty standard stuff.

The challenge is delivering enough ads to be profitable without irritating the players to the point where they stop playing and leave bad reviews. Developers often find themselves locked in this state of push and pull as they try to find the sweet spot. Too far in one direction and they’re making less money from ads, too far in the other and they lose users. For advertisers, intrusive ads hurt brand safety.

The challenge is delivering enough ads to be profitable without irritating the players

Like the game and like the players

What you really need is an ad delivery flow that puts cash in your pockets and keeps the players happy. If the main title hasn’t said enough, the answer is instant rewards.

In-game audio advertising gives developers the unique opportunity to hand out a reward to the player the moment the ad begins rather than forcing the user to sit idle for 30 seconds. With instantly rewarded audio ads, players will be focusing on their prize – upgraded weapon? Score multiplier? Extra coins? – while non-interrupting audio ads play alongside gameplay.

This way, users will continue to engage with a mobile game instead of sitting and watching a possible ad for a competing game. It’s got that instant gratification loop players are seeking from mobile games while simultaneously earning the developer revenue.

With instantly rewarded audio ads, players will be focusing on their prize

Depending on the integration, developers can either go with permanent rewards given instantly or timed rewards that are active until the end of the ad playback. Regardless, both work well. This method of rewarding players is positively associated with listening to in-game advertising. A new reward or a beneficial effect to gameplay equals happier and engaged players, meaning that there’s an increase in engagement with audio ads.

Another consideration is that no matter how inviting rewarded video ads might be, there’s still a portion of the audience that will never watch them. Some people just don’t like not playing the game. However, if developers take those same people and offer them the reward without waiting, they get higher cost-per-mile (CPM) ad impressions from an otherwise unreachable segment of their audience.

This way developers won’t irritate players. Instead, they will attract people who otherwise wouldn’t provide impressions. This approach will avoid damaging retention and pushing other developers' apps in customers' faces.

What's not to love about this?

This way developers won’t irritate players. Instead, they will attract people who otherwise wouldn’t provide impressions

How this works in reality

Many developers that have worked with AudioMob never considered this approach to ad rewards until it was introduced. Don’t blame us, it’s a new ad format and there’s been a standard approach to ad rewards for years.

To help inspire developers using Unity – the Big Brother game by Tilting Point used our Unity plugin. Within the game, users play as a housemate of The Big Brother house, and within this house, they can find and interact with a radio. The radio will offer players an audio ad in exchange for coins. Accepting the offer begins playback of an audio ad and they get coins while it plays, allowing them to do other activities while the ad plays.

This is a great example of not only instant rewards but also contextual delivery (the ad itself is in the game world). There is much to say about both ‘in-play’ ads and spatial audio advertising (sound emitting from a point in 3D space) but we'll leave these topics for next time.

Chopper Strike

This one might be cheating a bit because it was developed by AudioMob, but we really wanted to put this in here as this was the game that introduced me to the concept of instant ad rewards.

In Chopper Strike, players soar across a battlefield in a Little Bird chopper shooting down enemy vehicles and rescuing stranded civilians. When players hit the big red button it will trigger a rewarded audio ad and in a puff of smoke, the Little Bird transforms into an Apache loaded to the brim with heat-seeking missiles. Players can then proceed to destroy everything and everyone while the non-interrupting ads play.

Instant rewards have been a cornerstone of modern mobile games. Previously, intrusive video and banner ads have hurt developers’ bottom line by lowering retention rates.

On the advertiser side, frustrating ads hurt brand reputation. Meanwhile, gamers simply don’t like interruptive ads that block gameplay. AudioMob’s in-game audio advertising makes all the difference in satisfying everyone.


PocketGamer.biz regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.

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