The world of casual games operates on advertising revenue. Of the three ad formats (award-winning video, interstitial ads, banners, and native banners), it appears that the reward form is the most preferred. Featured as a sign-up feature, Reward Ads provide users the option to watch a video or interact with a playable ad in exchange for a reward such as lives, coins, tokens within the application. According to Vaibhav Odhekar, COO and co-founder of POKKT, reward-based ads are a lucrative option simply because they are presented as an option to users rather than pushing them. “With the reward ads, the user is happy and because she is in a relatively positive frame of mind then she is open to looking at the messages displayed through the ads,” Odhekar told BrandWagon Online.
According to industry estimates, video ads account for 60% of all advertising on gaming platforms, while the remaining 40% is for banner ads. Of that 60%, over 90% of video ads are award video ads. Additionally, due to the matching model of an award video ad, the format has experienced higher click-through rates and retention rates than any other format. A recent global survey by Unity Ads, a monetization platform for Unity, iOS and Android developers, shows that 54% of gamers specifically opted for reward ads as their preferred way to ‘pay’ for games while on the go. “Pay in advance” and app purchases represent 18% and 11% respectively.
To give perspective, there are two things a brand aims for when advertising on gaming platforms: branding and conversion. Brands use banners and interstitial ads for branding purposes, while reward ads are used for conversion. Categories such as consumer goods, quick service restaurants (QSRs), and electronics advertise on gaming platforms to create brand awareness and brand recall. Meanwhile, top digital categories such as edtech, fintech, and ecommerce are using gaming platforms to boost conversion rates. Interestingly, game companies indulge in multiplatform advertising. By virtue of this, these players advertise on competing gaming platforms. For example, Gameberry Labs, which runs Ludo STAR, advertises other gaming apps through programmatic Google ads, claims to have achieved higher conversion rates with award-winning ads. “From our experience as an advertiser, we mainly look at high value-added players, those who will buy the most. Banners and interstitial ads do not work for conversion. When we just need to create a reminder and let users know about a new feature, we use banners or interstitial ads, ”said Pradeep Gupta, head of marketing and growth at Gameberry Labs. Running purely on the backs of reward ads, Gameberry Labs experimented with banners and interstitial ads six to eight months ago on their own platform, but ultimately ditched alternative ad formats due to the low impact on their bottom line. business.
Some platforms also run an alternative of reward ads – incentive ads. Based on the same structure, incentive ads are displayed in an opt-in format and offer users rewards, but only after downloading or signing up for a sponsored app. While reward ads simply present users with brands, incentive ads drive direct conversion for advertisers. “The key value for a brand is that by using our performance campaign, it is able to reach its key users in a much more direct way rather than launching its inventory on different platforms. For a platform, they are able to monetize their user base in a very interesting way and charge a premium for primary users. As for users, they are encouraged to download certain applications and services, which gives them access to more time and currency on our platform. We offer rewards to our users for downloading certain applications, or registering for certain services, keeping on certain services and for making deposits or purchases on various services, ”said Piyush Kumar, Founder and CEO of Root. Rooter claims to have 65 ad brands on the platform. Of these, 40 to 50 brands are opting for performance marketing.
Reward ads increase app revenue by 20-40%, according to a global advertising mediation network Ironsource. In India, the cost of a reward video ad on a gaming platform ranges between Rs 20-60 per view completed, with 75-80% of users completing the ad. As for incentive ads, the cost differs from Rs 40-90, depending on the advertisers’ key performance indicators (KPIs) and the platform is only paid if these KPIs are met. On the other hand, the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of a small banner ad would be between Rs 40-50 CPM, while the CPM of normal video ads would be between Rs 120-150.
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