Last summer we wrote a post comparing the benefits of banner and video advertising. No offense to banner ads, but video has been dominating the market in the mobile ecosystem for some time now. So, we decided to take a deeper look into the world of mobile video ads.

Back in the day video advertising would just be the funny little skits you saw on TV. But then computers and smartphones happened. Consumers are constantly online and the number of internet users watching online video keeps growing. By 2020, online videos will account for 85% of consumer internet in the US and more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Not to mention what goes down in mobile apps…

A study by PocketGamer states that the mobile advertising market was larger than the non-mobile market for the first time in 2017. And it’s still growing! 94% of mobile advertising happened in-app with about 80% coming just from games. That’s right, we see you gamers.

Basically, mobile video ads are increasing in value faster than other ad formats. While advertising took up 55% of publishers revenue in 2017, 31% of that was video advertising alone.

When it comes to monetization, 52% of mobile game developers believe that video ads provide the highest revenue per user than any other type of in-game advertising. Who are we to argue? However, mobile video ads doesn’t just mean playing a clip between pauses anymore. Oh no, there are so many different ways to integrate them into the mobile experience.

Rewarded Video

Rewarded Video pretty much speaks for itself. It is a type of video ad that is given to the player as an option when they want to speed up in a game in order to nudge them along. By watching a video the player is rewarded with things like energy or coins. That same study by PocketGamer even shows how rewarded video was at 36% of video ads in Q1 of 2017, but by the end of Q2 it was up to 45%.

This format is so successful that there are game companies such as Futureplay Games who actually build up their business model around rewarded videos. When developers added these rewarded video ads as an afterthought to game play they saw very limited success. These ads should be placed exactly where the user will need it the most to drive retention. Futureplay truly focused on that.

Surveys show that about 46% of players prefer viewing rewarded video content over other ad formats. Which makes sense, because aren’t we all more susceptible to doing something if we are given the choice to do it? I know I am.

Playable Ads

Then there are playable ads, which have seen the highest success of mobile ads. They give users a sneak peak into the actual function of the game or app. Why are they so successful? This ad type leads to more quality downloads, and higher click through and retention rates. While rewarded video may have the largest usage, 75% of mobile advertisers find playable ads to be more effective.

Because this format increases engagement, Google Play even introduced something similar to the app store. Brilliantly called Google Play Instant, it allows users to play the game before they install it. This paves the way for a more genuine user base.

Native Ads

Native ads are meant to be a little more subtle than regular advertising. The ads are designed to fit naturally within the regular content so that a user is viewing it without being interrupted. They are shorter than the regular 30 second video ad you may see on your YouTube pre-roll, favoring 15 or even 6 seconds in length.

6 seconds may seem short, but it is actually the attention span of the average consumer. So what does this mean for publishers? Well, you can look at it in two ways. First is the publisher who is advertising to the consumer (via in house ads or not, we don’t care) in which case you want them to pay attention to your ad. The shorter video will actually mean a lot more because it has a greater chance of being watched to completion. It’s up to you to make it memorable.

The second is the publisher who monetizes using ads. The long 30 second ads can interrupt game play and potentially cause people to leave your app/game. With a 6 second ad, you can beat the system and still get paid.

It’s also worth noting that mobile video engagement and CTR are over twice the amount of desktop. Mobile video ads have higher engagement from top quality advertisers and earn higher returns for publishers who can deliver a more engaged audience. That’s really saying something.

In general, video advertising is used in a way that makes monetization easier without hindering the users experience. It’s no wonder we have seen an outpouring of them in recent years. And it will probably only grow, especially because publishers and advertisers alike win with this one! You just have to find the sweet spot.

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