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Meta owns all four of the top ad networks for mobile games in Q2 2023

Google Play hosted the most ad creatives, with Facebook leading the way
Meta owns all four of the top ad networks for mobile games in Q2 2023

Advertising is a crucial component of user acquisition and monetisation, and is arguably one of the key factors setting mobile apart from other platforms, allowing games to generate revenue without charging the user. Now, MobileAction has released its Mobile Ad Trends report for the second quarter of 2023.

Facebook Native is identified as the most popular ad network on the App Store, with a total of 163,000 different creatives. This is followed by Instagram (161,000), Facebook (160,000) and Facebook Messenger (159,000). As such, all four of the most successful ad networks of the quarter are owned by one parent company, Meta.

AdMob is the most successful non-Meta ad network, with 49,000 ad creatives, while Unity came in close behind at 48,000.

On Google Play, there was little difference between the top four ad networks, however there were more creatives published on each. Facebook proved to be the most popular with 453,000 creatives published, followed closely by Facebook Native with 452,000.

Instagram came in third place with 439,000, while Messenger rounded out the top four with 432,000. Highlighting the success of Meta’s ad networks on Google Play is the fact that the fifth most popular ad network for creatives, Unity, had just 58,000.

Gaming the system

Block Blast Adventure Master and 1945 - Airplane shooting game led the way in terms of ad creatives on the App Store, publishing 2,300 each. Evony was close behind with 2,200. After this there was a significant drop, with fourth placer Stormshot having 1,600.

Three of the apps in the top ten list in terms of ad creatives, Solitaire - Card Solitaire, Coloring Book! Paint by Number, and Block Puzzle - Brain Test Game, were created by Doodle Mobile Limited, suggesting that the company has found significant success in its advertising strategy on iOS devices.

Royal Match, which published 1,100 ad creatives on the App Store, led the way in terms of ad impressions, with more than two million more impressions than the second-place title, Evony.

On the Google Play store, Mighty Party ran an exceptionally aggressive campaign, with over 7,500 creatives. Evony came in second place, with 4,300, with Lost Fortress: Underground rounding out the top three with 4,100.

Notably, all ten of the games which published the most creatives on Google Play published more than the App Store’s number one title, which suggests that developers and publishers alike are investing more resources into user acquisition on Google Play.

Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars was identified as the title which garnered the most impressions on Google Play, followed by Evony came in third place, being the only game to chart within the top five in terms of ad impressions. This suggests that the game has run a particularly aggressive ad campaign focusing on both platforms.

Earlier this month, it emerged that Meta may offer an ad-dodging subscription service in the EU in order to circumvent new data collection policies.