A Game Developer's Guide to Mobile Video Ads

Chirag Leuva
by Chirag Leuva 29 Apr, 2015


Being a game developer can have many perks, but when it comes to money making, it can be a struggle at times. It is also tough for a developer to decide between the Free-to-Play or Paid apps model. Since the majority of users do not want to pay for apps, it is common for game developers to go for freemium apps. 


Creating freemium apps have also not solved many developers' money-making problems. A very small percentage of users go for in-app purchases and the popup ads can really disrupt the user badly, which is why many developers have turned to video ads. 


Types of Video Ads

The video length can vary, but the standard time is 15 to 30 seconds. There are basically two types of ads.


- Voluntary and Involuntary


- Forced and un-forced


Voluntary ads are mostly opt-in ads and the user has to initiate it, whereas, the involuntary ads are those that appear without the user's permission. These ads are displayed at certain milestones within the app.


Forced video ads do not allow the user to skip the content. These ads always return greater revenue, but they can result in a poor user experience as they disrupt the normal flow of the game. Un-forced video ads allow the users to skip the content of the video and low revenue is generated using these ads. They offer great user experience as the user can skip the ad easily.


The ads that are to be displayed are of different types.


- Banner 


- Video 


- Offer Wall


- Rich Media 


- Dialog 


- SmartWall


Video Monetization

In order to monetize the video, the developer must meet the following requirements.


- The content in the video should be advertiser-friendly.


- They should be able to provide documentation proving all their commercial rights related to audio and video.


- They must have the permission to use the video commercially.


Ads are one of the great ways to make people pay for your app. The free version apps can be full of ads, but when the user pays to buy the premium version, and then all the ads should be removed from them.


If the developer is not monetizing the app, then he or she can insert the ads as well. 


How Can Marketers Maximize Their Success Rate for Mobile Video Ads?

There are a number of factors leading to the success rate.


- Not all screens are same


Most of the video ads can be run on tablets and smartphones as well and both of these platforms add a unique value to video marketers. Smartphones offer great usage distribution as compared to tablets. The marketers should focus on this while determining the target parameters. 


- Interactive content


It is necessary for the marketers to customize the content for more user engagement. Customization or personalization is not easy and one way of doing this is to add some level of interaction in the mobile video ads. The advertisements that involve user touch are more effective and they are in more demand.


- Cost & Effectiveness


Mobile video ads are divided into three main ad types - in-banner, interstitial and in-stream ads. Ad contexts have a choice between ads running in apps or ads running on the mobile web. Marketers have to decide between them depending on the audience and their campaigns. Apps are a central setting for mobile video advertising. 


- Measure


It is necessary to measure the key performance indicators for the mobile video ad campaign. The key metrics for this are:


o Interaction rate


o Generation metrics


o Cost per view


o Completion rates 


o Time spent 


Video Ads Implementation

Every platform offers a different set of APIs, but the developer should have access to some basic functionality while implementing the video ads. Major platforms should at least have access to the following:


- isAdAvailable()


Most of the platforms support this and it returns a bullish value depending on the availability of the video. 


- playAd()


Every platform should also support this function. The developer will call this function when he or she wants to display a full screen ad within the app. 


Video Ads Integration

Instead of forcing the users to view the ads on their mobile screen, the app will have a better experience if they opt-in to the videos. There are a number of ways to integrate the videos in the app, but the integration points should focus on some of the key areas of the app. 


If the developer is choosing a reward system based on the video ads, it is important to consider about the bonuses that will be offered to the user. 


Well-integrated video ads enhance the overall experience of the app and the users will be happy to write good reviews about it. 


Reasons Why the Mobile Video Ads are Popular

- Videos are the easiest and user-friendly ad formats 


- Brands are shifting their dollars to mobile 


- The broadband 4G LTE infrastructure is all set to go


- App trailer videos are becoming the best and instant way to drive high numbers of installs by the user


- Developers are becoming smarter about when and where the ads need to be integrated 


- Video ads are getting more effective by the use of back-end tools 


What's next?

Mobile video ads are projected to be double in the next five years. In order to continue with the growth, advertisers and developers will have to continue driving innovation.


The increase in inventory along with the higher prices for both the advertisers and publishers and the rise of efficient and automated marketplaces to increase trade is guaranteed to take mobile video ads to the next level.


Author Bio: Chirag Leuva is the CEO of Yudiz Solutions, an Android game development company; where he works to bring client ideas to reality. He enjoys pushing the limits of user interaction and finding ways to create awesome reusable components within a mobile environment.