AppLovin: The games industry still incorrectly believes nobody wants ads

Meet the mobile games and Web3 experts at Pocket Gamer Connects Toronto on July 6-7 2022

AppLovin: The games industry still incorrectly believes nobody wants ads

Pocket Gamer Connects – Europe's leading mobile games industry conference – returns to North America as we bring the conference series to Toronto, Canada! We're bringing an array of incredible speakers, industry experts, and unparalled networking opportunities to the Sheraton Centre on July 6-7 2022.

You can check out our speaker lineup, but to give you a teaser for what you can look forward to, we spoke with our speakers to share a little of what they'll be speaking on, and their thoughts of the mobile games industry.

Saloni Gangal, ad monetisation manager at AppLovin, will be discussing why creating seamless ads in games is essential to user retention, and challenging the misconception that 'everyone hates ads' – as recent research reveals 73% of 18- to 34-year-old gamers in the US would welcome more advertising if done right, signaling to publishers that there’s a massive opportunity to diversify their revenue streams and increase user retention with effective in-game ads. What is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?

Saloni Gangal: Competition. There are more apps than ever before, making it harder for developers to gain and retain users.

The good news is, there are also more mobile gamers than ever before, and the audience for mobile games is becoming increasingly diverse. For publishers, this presents an opportunity to capture new audiences and build loyal player bases, and it’s also why it’s critical to ensure that the in-game experience is top-notch.

What key trend should we be paying attention to in the next 12 months?

While not a “new” trend for many, I think the rise of video advertising will continue to climb, especially in games. A big part of this is due to recent privacy changes, which make it more difficult to effectively acquire high-spending users and, therefore, more difficult to optimise towards IAP targets. When IAP drops, publishers will need to look towards ad monetisation to make up the revenue.

Specifically, rewarded video continues to present a huge opportunity for publishers looking to create in-game ad experiences that delight the player and don’t interrupt or hinder the experience. Recent studies from eMarketer show some 41 per cent of US gamers ages 18 to 34 would like rewards for devoting time and attention to in-game ads.

Because rewarded video ads are user-driven and incentivised, meaning the user can actively choose to view the ad for a reward, they have proven to be highly popular and effective, and are likely to continue to be a strong monetisation method for publishers over the next year.

Can people get in touch with you at the event? What sort of people would you like to connect with?

Always! Whether you’re a publisher already leveraging in-app advertising and looking for strategies to make it more effective, or an IAP-heavy developer who has never implemented in-game ads but are curious to learn more, I’d love to invite you to the panel I’m speaking on and connect with you at the show.

If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?

I’m admittedly biased here, but I’d have to say my biggest piece of advice for mobile games publishers is not to underestimate the power of in-game ads as a way to boost revenues. While IAP spending has nearly doubled since 2019 according to eMarketer, mobile advertising will increase by 18.1 per cet in 2022 to $168.88 billion, with 81.5 per cent of mobile ad spending done in apps.

For publishers, hybrid monetisation – combining in-app purchases with in-app ads – is the easiest way to diversify revenue streams and maximise profits, and shouldn’t be ignored as a key business strategy. To tack on another piece of advice: design your app with in-game ads in mind. It’s a lot easier to design a UI with ads in mind from the start than it is to integrate ads into a live game.


There is still time to secure your place at Pocket Gamer Connects Toronto to connect with the mobile games industry's


Former editor of, Khai can also be found on Vice, Star Trek, and in numerous scientific journals and publications.