The Winner Of The Mobile Game: Rewarded Video Ads

Ladies and gentlemen, today you will assist to a real fight here at AppSamurai! So, game lovers and owners, you will see the winner of the confrontation between Video Ads and Rewarded Video Ads. They will compete for the title of Best Monetization Method For Mobile Games. Actually, it is a spoiler right in the title of this article but let’s pretend we don’t know the result. Isn’t it exiting waiting for the competition to start? Since we already discussed in detail about mobile video ads and video ads on social media in previous articles, let’s cover the strength points of rewarded videos.

What Is A Rewarded Video?

As its name shows, rewarded video is an ad type which brings you different incentives if you watch it. Rewarded video advertisement has the following characteristics.

It is a non – intrusive video with sound for which users can opt – in if they want to see it.

We are talking about short videos, around 15 seconds each.

Non – Skippable
Rewarded ads don’t allow you to close them. If you choose to watch them, then you have to wait until they are finished.

Encourages Users To Watch 
As you can imagine, the best asset of rewarded videos is that they offer various virtual prizes like new characters, lives or special bonuses in a game.

Video Ad Versus Rewarded Video

It is time for the real battle. Let’s present the opponents.

Video Ad

Video advertisements are short clips that start playing while customers use the app or game, without their approval, but users can stop after 5 seconds.

Non – Incentivized

Since for simple video ads is missing the initial motive for watching them, they are not so appreciated by users. Why losing 15 seconds of your life for something that won’t bring you any benefits in the end.

Low Retention

Since video ads are playing in front of users without asking them before, they are considered in some way intrusive and there are chances to make players quit the game.

Low Completion Rate (Skippable)

With the option of turning off the clip, and without the promise of the reward there are very few users which keep watching the ad until it’s finished.

Low Revenue

Because video ads have lower chances to reach their purpose, the monetization is far from the level dreamed by developers.

Rewarded Video

Now let’s discuss the favorite of this competition. You know win – win situations? When every part involved in the event takes benefits of the results? What about win – win – win? When the brand that appears in the ad reaches its target audience, a developer who displays the ad gain money and engagement and the player receives what he wanted for continuing the game and valuable information about other games or products? That is rewarded video ad.

Incentivized View

The prize is the focal point of the ad, at least for start. The recompense convinces users to click the play button. Who refuses watching few seconds of interesting information for his own benefit? If the video shows valuable content, the ad is even more successful.

High Retention

When a user is about to leave the game after several failures, you can offer a video advertisement in a change of what he needs for reaching the victory with your app. You drive engagement and, in the same time, you win back your user. Take for example Scattergories app.

High Completion Rate

Watching the statistics you can realize the benefits of rewarding video ads.

The fact that the ad runs without an exit button makes the user watch it until it ends. This way he can see all the information displayed.

Increases Brand Recall
Customizing your app according to the ad you present will make you create the perfect match for engaging the user.

Leads Organic Downloads
Since users watch the entire video they are aware of the advantages presented in the clip. The point of the ad is to convince them to try the product.

High Revenue Income

As you can observe in a report published by Nanigans, spend for personalized video ads according to users’ behavior saw a growth in 2016 with 20%. As you can see, if you follow your players’ preferences and you offer them what they need you will receive instead their attention and high-quality downloads. This happens based on informed clicks since users are aware of the advantages.

4 Best Practices Of Rewarded Videos

It’s time to see how to implement this type of ads.

Use Opt – In Feature

Players have the liberty of choice. There are big chances to decide to watch it, especially if it is a stake in the end. The point is to have the feeling they are in control.

Make It Visible

Don’t make the ad too similar to the game. Users which pay too much attention to the game won’t know that it is an ad and they will ignore it. You can display the ad as a part of the game, where users can consider it like a challenge to pass to the next level, but you must specify in a clear manner that they are watching a promotional video.

Make It Native (Non – Intrusive)

Back to the point above, you need to find the right balance between native and intrusive. Rewarded ads need to blend with the rest of the game unlike interstitial ads but users have to observe them. Follow players’ actions and decide the right moment to interfere in their adventure. A good solution is when they run out of credits, food or other resources and you offer this chance to save their avatar. They will be more than happy to receive a second chance so easily.

Offer Something Valuable (Lives, Tokens, Coins, etc.)

Think about what users really need. If a player already has 53948 coins and he has nothing to do with them, then stop offering him in – app currency. Try engaging him with a different character or with access to a more advanced level.

Diversify Rewards

Now you need to be more creative and figure out what incentives will attract players. Take advantage of this method and amaze your users with innovative ideas since the main aspect of rewarding videos it that they avoid the disruptive and annoying intent of classic banners. Make customers asking for more ads. Yes, this is possible! You just need to A/B testing all the options available.

Integrate Well

Not being so predictable will increase suspense. Knowing that a video will show but not knowing when it will happen will make users desiring to see an ad especially when they need some extra help. In the same time, you can increase your monetization chances when a gamer is very engaged but he lost the game, asking him if he wants to buy more lives or he opt – in for seeing a short video with the same result. Be careful though, you need to keep also the interest for the in – app purchases. An idea will be to offer temporarily bonuses for video ads allowing him to feel the taste of premium options. And for enjoying them permanently he will need to pay for extra features. Act smart and show your customers the benefits of using your app.

4 Common Placement Practices

There are various strategies which can get you to the desired point. Let’s cover some of them.
In Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff, a game inspired from a popular TV series it is displayed every now and then one of its characters which intrigue players with his own style inviting them to watch funny videos. This simple message convinces players even without the bonus of 2 “clams”. The idea is to match your app’s style with the video you want to show.

Bringing the ad into the game takes your app to a higher level of engagement. Look at the image below and observe the smart strategy of Food Street’s developers which involve users in the ad experience in a pleasant way. After clicking on the billboard a message will ask them if they agree to watch a video. What do you think they will answer?

On the other hand, Angry Birds 2 limited the number of displays for their rewarded video ads at 3 per session for each user. When a gamer uses his last bird, he has the option to see a clip to continue or to pay for one more chance.

We will end this short list with the success story of Crossy Road which earned $3M from video ads. Their strategy was to respect the audience and to display ads without interfering in users’ experience. Their customers received their ads like small breaks with the scope of gathering their efforts for continuing the game.

Final Thoughts

And the winner is… Reward Video Ad! Wow, you didn’t see that coming, did you? Of course, there are plenty of advantages if you play your cards well. You have to attract users and in the same time, you need to earn money. If you manage offer to your customers more than they were looking for when they downloaded the app in the first place, then you will get the real payoff. The Reward will come in form of Retention and Revenue, the most wanted Rs.

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