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The Complete Guide of Rewarded Video Ads for Mobile Games

Sep 2 2021

Rewarded Video Ads for Mobile Games


Rewarded video ads are a fantastic tool for mobile publishers that not only often provide immediate returns and positive impact for players, but they can also be an excellent source of ad revenue.

Recently, rewarded video has become more popular amongst mobile publishers as they’ve been proven to increase time spent within mobile games with the majority of players preferring them over in-app purchases or premium pricing, according to findings in a report from a survey conducted by Unity Technologies.

The negative perception around some ads is starting to change as more innovative, less disruptive formats like rewarded videos are becoming more common and widely available as tools to enhance gameplay rather than distract from playing. 

In order to reach positive engagement with rewarded video ads, it’s important to design the video ads in ways that are interesting and appealing to players, to enhance gameplay rather than distract from it.

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What are rewarded video ads?

Rewarded video ads effectively increase user engagement and retention while providing a positive user experience. Monetization platform Unity Ads found that 62% of mobile gamers regularly view rewarded video ads in exchange for a quality gaming experience and 71% find this advertising preferable to other methods.

Moreover, rewarded video ads can be two times more effective than interstitial videos. This guide covers everything you need to know about rewarded video ads and shares best practices to integrate this advertising format effectively.

Are rewarded video ads exclusive to mobile gaming?

Although this advertising format is commonly associated with mobile games, any kind of app can implement rewarded video ads as long as there is a way to reward users. For example, music streaming app Spotify uses rewarded ads as part of the company’s monetization model. Users can download and stream music on Spotify for free with ads.

After free and unlimited access to this service, users can decide whether they prefer to be exposed to ads intermittently throughout their sessions or upgrade to Spotify Premium.

Mobile apps that have incorporated gamification, such as language education app Duolingo, have also included rewarded video ads. Users can gain additional “hearts” by watching an ad. 

Hearts are used in Duolingo “as a way of pacing Duolingo lessons to balance practice and new material.” These in-app items can be lost as a result of answering questions incorrectly. Therefore users can use rewarded video ads to progress through the app’s courses more quickly.

Advantages of rewarded video Ads in mobile games

Rewarded Video Ads in mobile games are not just a fancy trend anymore. They are the dream ad format for everyone.

The premise behind rewarded videos is simple. As the name implies, the popular mobile ad format rewards users with in-app currency or another high-value feature in exchange for viewing a video ad.

It’s the easiest way to attract and retain users eager to stay in the game. They are an essential part of short and long-term user retention.

Rewarded video Ads in non-gaming apps

Since it’s an integral part of the app’s success, the first tip for developers is to think through where rewarded videos would naturally fit at an early stage of designing the game.

Rewarded videos shouldn’t feel like an interruption or an obstacle in the game. If you incorporate rewarded videos to look like a logical sequence in the game, you will receive a positive response from your users.

The reward offered for watching the video should be firmly connected to the user’s goals in the game and be valuable to them.

Integrate rewarded video ads in your apps & games

Provide real value for the user

Make sure your rewarded videos provide real value to the user. In exchange for watching a rewarded video, the user should get enough of a reward to keep using an app.

Standalone rewarded video ads

Consider offering several rewarded videos outside of gameplay or the core game. Let your users watch your rewarded ads voluntarily, and don’t always attach them to your game’s core features. It will likely help increase your user retention. Some apps place a tv icon in the app menu or map for additional rewards.

Add other ad formats to avoid fatigue

Despite its allure, rewarded videos can be repetitive. Adding other ad formats like banners or interstitials helps create diversity. eCPMs on banners are stable, and users are used to them and don’t find them disruptive anymore.

Optimize & iterate your ad placements

You can place banners on app pages that deal with settings, volume, app shop, etc. Those are the spaces where users do not feel agitated to decide or get frustrated because they are interrupted while taking important actions.

Deliver relevant & quality ads

Reduce the frequency of your other non-rewarded ads and work with ad networks or DSPs that choose to work with trustworthy brands. Banners definitely should not be abundant. They work better when are simple and can be quickly closed.

Make your ads accessible

Clear, attractive ad buttons that are well-positioned in the game interface can make an outstanding first impression. The goal rewarded video ads is to provide players an easy-to-recognize Constance means of accessing them. Ideas to consider include emotionalism effects, contrasting colors, and smart text displays that can help make ad buttons stand out for enhanced accessibility.

Calibrate your ad frequency

A well-calculated ad frequency can help ensure the health of your gaming economy, a better user experience, and more stable ad revenues. In casual games, for instance, set a 5-8 time frequency cap for an average of every 20 to 50 minutes that players spend in-game, with intervals between ads to keep them fresh.

Effective strategies for rewarded video ads in mobile games

When figuring out what kind of strategy you want to implement for improving engagement and in-app purchases with users, make sure to test different videos at various entry points in the app so you can see what is resonating.

Daniel recommends A/B testing rewarded videos and review the data. Don’t close the project just because the first iterations yield low returns. Analyze the ad viewer rate, which means the percentage of users who watch the ads, and the impressions per user in each placement.

In addition to A/B/ testing, you can segment users into different categories. For example, one could be for highly engaged users and the other could be for those who use your app once in a while. See if you can get the latter group to come back more frequently by offering high-value rewards while showing lower value rewards to the more engaged segment.

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