Huber started by discussing in-play ads, which are a hot topic surrounding in-game monetisation at the moment.
In-play ads can bring integrate branded content within the gameplay itself and does not interrupt the game. Dynamically inserting brands into games provides an additional revenue stream without affecting core retention metrics.
Huber then highlighted the variety of new changes that have happened within the mobile games industry, including GDPR regulations, IDFA and privacy changes, new types of infrastructure, like NFTs, and new ways of monetisation, such as brand partnerships and subscription models.
Instead, the question that should be asked is what do the players want today and want will they want tomorrow? What is not going to change?
By identifying these fundamental behaviours that will remain true in the long term developers and advertisers can focus on a more player-centric business model.
Huber identifies three things that players will always want more of - free content, a seamless player experience, and privacy.
Who doesn't want things for free? Free mobile game content has grown in popularity over the years and can consist of in-game events, items, skins for characters and other live ops after the release of a game.
Admix has found that rapid growth in the mobile games industry has meant that on average there are 1.6 billion monthly mobile game players. Out of this only 2.2 per cent of mobile gamers are spending money on games with the other 97.8 per cent playing for free.
With more people playing games comes a new audience of users. The newer audience features more conservative and sceptic people who may have been against the idea of playing mobile games in the past and are now playing mobile games, particularly hypercasual games, much more frequently.
Mobile game enthusiasts are more likely to pay than their cohorts and for every new paying user, Admix suggests there are 50 non-paying users, causing the proportion of consumer spending to decrease. Coupled with the declining presence of paid apps, adverts are becoming more popular as a way to monetise games.
A seamless experience
Huber goes on to explain that players want a seamless, uninterrupted experience when playing games, something that traditional interstitial adverts, such as videos and banner ads, do not provide.
Traditional advertisements peak at eight impressions and beyond that do not maximise revenue. Huber suggests that in-play ads remove that peak and allow the continuation of impressions increasing the LTVs and providing more opportunities for growth.
Since the introduction of new privacy regulations, such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency, users are provided with the opportunity to opt-out of data tracking. Admix found that across July 2021, 25 per cent of users across various apps chose to opt-in. This reflects users growing concerns about privacy and how their data is going to be used.
Huber said that by rephrasing the consent pop up around GDPR, 75 per cent of users chose to opt-in and were more willing to compromise. However, more people are privacy-conscious and don’t want this data to be shared or compromised.
Huber concludes that these three key features provide a player-centric business model and by providing in-play ads for free-to-play games, it can make them infinitely scalable and increase the LTV curve without compromising personal data, keeping ads contextual to the game.
Through aligning these interests developers and advertisers can maintain higher revenues and greater player retention in the long term.
Speaking earlier today at PGC Digital #8, four industry pros discussed the IDFA effect on UA performance and how privacy is paramount.