We are well into the build-up for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki here at Pocketgamer.biz, and with an action packed convention to look forward to we are highlighting some of the guest speakers who will be connecting with over 1200 games industry professionals in the Finnish capital on September 27th and 28th.
Today we’re talking to Munib Tahir, the Head of Gaming Partnerships at Audiomob. He spends his time helping publishers across the board to understand and implement Audiomob’s new, user-centric, non-intrusive in-game audio ad format.
Prior to Audiomob, Munib worked in the Ad-tech industry in different leadership roles, such as Head of Global Publisher sales, where he helped build an international team and advised top global publishers on monetization, alongside expanding into new markets such as China & Indonesia, driving the corporate development and M&A function.
Munib will be at our Pocket Gamer Connects event in Helsinki to discuss in-game audio advertising and the future of a non-intrusive retention positive format that users, developers & advertisers love.
Tell us what makes Audiomob advertising different?
Publishers want to optimize their revenues, advertisers want to broaden their outreach and users want less intrusive ads to enjoy more of their favourite games. At Audiomob we are addressing all these issues, by having non-intrusive, high eCPM, audio ads that are becoming an incremental new source of revenue. We’re bringing in a new slate of advertisers who can reach bigger audiences at a lower cost and give players the ability to continue playing while listening to the ad in the background.
What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?
A common mistake is developers not thinking about how to strategically incorporate monetization in the design and development stage of their game. This, later on, leads to them adding too many ad placements in their game which negatively impacts retention and gaming experience for their players.
If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?
Take audio ads more seriously. Players become more engaged listening to an ad – for example new music albums or promos – rather than seeing one pop up while they play. Publishers and game developers receive a higher revenue without damaging their player's retention and none of their users are cannibalised by UA game ads. Our advertisers are loving what we do as they see higher engagement and wider outreach for their ad placements.
What’s the most important key performance indicator for you?
Listen-through rates (LTRs) are the most important KPI for me. LTRs tell us the number of ads users actually listen to. In regards to audio ads, we’ve seen very high LTRs, especially for rewarded ads.
What is your biggest goal in mobile gaming?
We’re here to allow users to play their games without intrusive ads, while at the same time help game developers to maximize revenue, so that they can focus on bringing amazing titles to their users. As developers and advertisers begin to use and see the potential that audio ads bring and how they enhance the mobile gaming experience while providing incremental reach and revenue - more game developers will use audio to monetize and more advertisers will begin to reach out to developers for audio ad space in gaming.
What is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?
Finding effective ways to monetize games without deterring the gamer's experience. At the end of the day, mobile games still need to be enjoyable and while it is important for developers to receive revenue from their games through monetization, if their games are not enjoyable to play, they will have fewer players which overall means fewer ads to serve out and less revenue.
It's crucial that developers recognize how important monetization and ads affect their gamers' experience and that if their monetization efforts deter the gamer from the overall games experience, this will negatively affect the developer and advertiser as well.
What company do you most admire in the mobile games world?
An admirable company in the gaming industry is definitely Zynga. They have an impressive lineup of games that have stayed consistent in their high quality and are overall a lot of fun.
And a huge pioneer in the mobile gaming industry is King.com, creators of Candy crush. Candy Crush has undeniably made a huge impact in the mobile gaming world and its influence is still being seen even in today's games and those coming up.
What’s your favourite ever mobile game?
Clash of Clans by Supercell. It’s a fun game to play with great graphics, but most importantly, it’s also a way to stay connected and do something fun with your friends who may be spread out globally. And Stumble Guys by Kitka Games. I found it to be a very fun game made by a small, yet impressive and talented team!
Is there a console or PC trend that you think has potential within the mobile space?
More and more studios are releasing mobile versions of their games. As technology continues to evolve and improve (especially on the AR/VR side of things), I believe this will continue to happen more frequently and we’ll see more well-known PC and console games make their way onto mobile, and the potential for different channels to merge.
What is the most overhyped trend from the last 12 months?
Interstitial ads. Simply put they’re an intrusive format of monetization that overall negatively impacts the player's retention, overall affecting the developer's revenue source.
What role do NFTs play in the future of games?
NFTs will have a major role in the future of gaming. The same way that fans purchase offline collectibles with transfer to the online realm. Soon we envision that players will begin to collect and purchase virtual collectibles for their characters on the metaverse and soon other games.
Do you think hypercasual gaming is here to stay?
Hypercasual games are here to stay indefinitely. Not all gamers get super invested into games, and some people decide to download and play a mobile game for quick gratification rather than adopting it as a daily hobby. Hypercasual games are also a big part of social media trends, some games get picked up and played by millions worldwide until a new one comes along. The fast-moving nature of hypercasual games is constant and this strength alone will keep them around forever.
What are your thoughts on the metaverse?
The metaverse is an exciting opportunity that Audiomob can’t wait to see grow in the future. The opportunity for advertisers and brands to get into the gaming industry is bigger than ever. The metaverse will immerse players into an extremely stimulating world that provides an opportunity for advertisers to strike through using audio ads to deliver music and speech and powerful ad tools. The non-intrusive format of audio ads will thrive in the metaverse due to how easily they can integrate into the virtual world.
What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?
The most gratifying part of working in the mobile games industry is being an industry where there is constant growth, innovation and talent. Not only do I get to be a part of an industry that I love and am passionate about but also get to contribute to its growth and be a part of its future. It's an exciting and invigorating place to be right now and has a lot of potential for gamers, advertisers, and publishers altogether.
Mobile devices improve and grow in their capabilities every year and it's irrefutable to say that they have an impact on the way we go about our day-to-day lives - especially in gaming. It's an exciting place to be that I can't wait to see grow even more and observe how this will not only improve the technological future but also bring people together and improve their day to day. Always great to be in an innovative industry!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you can pass on to others?
Patience & persistence goes a long way!
Expand your network with the likes of Munib Tahir and many others at this year’s Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki conference. There is no better place to connect with the biggest and most inspiring industry players and take your business to the next level. Head over to our website to buy your ticket.