Industry updates and news from the ad tech world
Fyber’s VP of Developer Relations, David Diaz, debunks mobile advertising myths in PocketGamer.biz
Mistrust in mobile advertising stems from widespread misperceptions that many developers believe to be fact. Does advertising cause decreased engagement within your app and lead to user churn? Is there IAP cannibalization when you introduce rewarded ad formats? While many of these misconceptions may have circulated, you shouldn’t let the possibility threaten the potential lucrative upside that mobile advertising can bring.
Let’s take a look at five of the most common industry myths and see how top gaming companies have debunked them one by one.
1. Myth: Rewarded ads will hurt in-app purchases.
Fact: Rewarded ads can boost IAP spend up to 100%.
One myth that we hear all too often is that rewarded ads will cannibalize in-app purchases (IAP). When looking to insert new ads, the first question is almost always whether or not it will hurt the paying customer base.
Research has shown that in-app ads, when executed in a contextually relevant manner, are more likely to encourage than cannibalize IAP. In fact, we recently published a case study with a leading international publisher of mobile and social games, showcasing that players who engaged with ads were more than twice as likely to make an in-app purchase and stay active in the game and demonstrated up to a 100 percent boost in IAP spend. Interestingly, users with the lower spending amounts showed the biggest boost in spending after interacting with ads.
2. Myth: Rewarded ads create low-quality users.
Fact: Targeted, rewarded ads can increase time spent with your app.
Things have changed. Rewarded ads are not only used for charting like they previously were. Instead they can provide ROI-positive users. These ads are like any other type of advertising; however, they still need to be targeted. If done correctly, it could lead to increased engagement and more time spent with your app.
How can you get it right? With rewarded ads, just like with any other type, optimizing campaigns and making them contextually relevant for users is paramount. We know that being smart about finding good inventory can yield big results. For instance, in a rewarded ad campaign by Social Point, their app, Monster Legends, gained 46,000 new users in the first week, with 66% completing the game’s tutorial and saw an average of 7-10% ROI.
Social Point Monster Legends
7-10% Average ROI
66% of users completed the game’s tutorial
3. Myth: Ads reduce user engagement.
Fact: Users who engage with ads can have an increased user session time.
You’re proud of your app, and you want more engaged users spending time with it. Some worry that increasing ads will decrease app usage when, in fact, real-world practice shows the opposite. Players find rewarded video ads more engaging and interactive. A leading international publisher of mobile and social games discovered that users who watched at least one rewarded video ad were actually two and a half times more likely to stay active in the game the following month.
4. Myth: Showing more ads will make you more money.
Fact: Spamming your users will not keep them engaged.
Mobile video advertising is extremely performance driven. When determining your monetization approach, it’s critical to add elements of scarcity and rarity and show the most relevant ads to users at the right time to ensure you’re hitting higher KPIs.
For instance, Next Games was able to double their average eCPM from $10 to $20 for “Compass Point: West” by showing less ads. They also went up to 60% engagement with their ads, with average video completions rising to 4-5 per day and with about 10 percent of users leaving a positive App Store review specifically calling out video ads. Sometimes, less can be more.
Next Games “Compass Point: West”
$10 -> $20 Average eCPM
60% of DAU engage daily
4.5 per day average video completions
40% of overall revenues from ads
5. Myth: Mid-core games don’t benefit – and won’t make money – from ads.
Fact: Just using one advertising format can increase total revenue.
The truth is that you can make a significant amount of revenue through ads. After working with DeNA, Fyber found that mid-core games can make significant revenue from ads.
Clients using just one advertising format generate 10% of their total revenue. If you’re a mid-core game, you should be making at least 10 to 20 percent of your revenue from ads. If you are not generating that much, you should be rethinking your ad strategy.
DeNA’s Super Battle Tactics
ARPDAU on iOS $0.05
ARPDAU on Android $0.03
10% Ad Revenue
When it comes to understanding effective mobile advertising, it’s important to distinguish truth from fiction, to determine what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t buy into these aforementioned myths. Instead, use advertising in a smart, efficient and streamlined way to make a positive impact on your app’s bottom line.
Interested in testing the waters but don’t want to jump right in? Try just one ad format to start and see what happens, that’s all it takes. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Next Games is a Helsinki-based games studio founded in 2013 by a team of industry veterans representing market leaders such as Rovio, Supercell, and Disney. From the outset, Next Games saw ad monetization as an integral part of their overall business strategy for their title, Compass Point: West™, a visually-rich 3D action strategy game set in the Wild West. As a result, they were thoughtful not only in selecting a monetization partner, but also in deciding how to integrate ads into their overall gameplay. In our latest case study, we take an in-depth look at the deep video ad integration that Next Games developed for Compass Point: West, and how they employed card collection mechanics to increase ad engagement and deliver an experience that was both delightful and compelling for the user. We’ll explore how Next Games achieved:
- 40% of overall revenues from ads
- $0.05 ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user)
- 60% of DAU (daily active users) engaging with at least one video ad
- 4-5 average video completions per user
- Specific mentions of video ads from approx. 10% of users that left a positive App Store review
We’ll also take a detailed look at the key takeaways from Next Game’s strategic approach to monetization and discuss how developers can:
- Create a reward mechanism that drives ad engagement, while offering value and fun to the user
- Integrate ads into the core loop of their game
- Complement, rather than deter, IAP (in-app purchases)
We’re thrilled to announce today our partnership with Chukong USA to offer the growing Cocos2d-x developer community easy access to Fyber’s leading ad monetization platform through Cocos SDKBOX. Cocos SDKBOX is an open platform that supports all major services of a mobile game’s production and operation, in the areas of analytics, user acquisition, monetization, advertising, and more. Cocos2d-x is the largest open source mobile game engine with 490,000 registered mobile game developers and over 50,000 published titles.
Kai Zhao, GM of Chukong USA, said: “Today’s SDKBOX version 1.3 update is chock-full of capabilities designed to streamline a developer’s live ops. In that vein, Fyber was a natural partner for this initiative because their platform is designed to maximize revenues and simplify ad network integration so that developers can truly make the most of their monetization strategy.”
Through SDKBOX, developers using the Cocos2d-x engine will be able to integrate Fyber’s SDK at the click of a button. This means instant access to all the benefits offered by Fyber’s ad monetization platform, including:
- High-quality demand from the world’s leading ad networks, all integrated through a unified SDK
- Simple integration and hassle-free maintenance
- Complete control over developer’s monetization strategy from an easy-to-use dashboard with actionable insights
- Various rewarded and non-rewarded ad formats that provide flexibility
- Access to additional demand at scale through the Fyber Exchange
Ted Liang, General Manager of Fyber North America, said: “We are delighted to partner with Chukong and offer the growing Cocos2d-x developer community access to Fyber’s monetization platform. We have heavily invested in our platform to bring mobile developers best-in-class technology to execute smart ad monetization, so that they can focus their energies on what they do best – creating great mobile games.”
The demand for video advertising, particularly programmatic solutions, is stronger than ever before. eMarketer estimates the value of the global online video market at approximately $7.8 billion for 2015, with 30% of that amount qualifying as programmatic-only. Furthermore, programmatic video spend is expected to more than double in 2016.
Over the past few months, Fyber has focused heavily on the growth of our programmatic video exchange, offering clients even more access to the world’s leading demand. Today, we are thrilled to announce the addition of AppNexus to Fyber’s video programmatic exchange. This brings our impressive roster of DSP and demand source partners to over 120. The strength of Fyber’s growing platform is evident in the numbers: Just this month, we announced that our programmatic video product saw weekly revenue increases of more than 250% and impression increases of over 330% between May and August 2015.
“AppNexus is a natural fit for Fyber’s programmatic platform,” said Fyber VP of Business Development, Erwin Plomp. “Its high-quality, scalable demand is a fantastic match for the top-ranking developers that use Fyber’s Supply Side Platform, and allows us to offer even more value to our publisher clients.”
AppNexus announced its entry into the programmatic video market in June. Early testing of their video product indicated excellent ROI for leading agency clients, such as Collective UK, the multiscreen programmatic media company, and Xaxis EMEA, the programmatic media platform within the advertising agency holding group, WPP.
“Partnering with industry leaders such as Fyber is critical for us as we build out a broad and deep portfolio of supply for an open video marketplace,” shared Eric Hoffert, AppNexus’ SVP of video technology. “Fyber’s focus on mobile video and global inventory is particularly attractive to many of our buyers. Together we are committed to maximizing reach and value for marketers to deliver campaigns for video users across multiple devices.”
Last week, for the second year in a row, our team headed to the beautiful city of Braga for RubyConf Portugal. While we were greeted with grey skies, that did not lower our spirits – we were ready to enjoy the conference to the full! RubyConf Portugal is an intimate event of only 250 attendees, which allows attendees to meet and network with some of the most well known figures of the Ruby community. Besides great talks during the day, the organizers also managed to fill the evenings with fun events and, after just two days, we all felt like one big Ruby family!
The conference’s “MC”, PJ Hagerty, did a fantastic job, as did the organizers. In fact, there were some particularly “magical” moments, such as when PJ opened the event dressed as Bilbo Baggins and gave a modified version of Bilbo’s birthday speech from Lord of the Rings. Watching this take place in the setting of Teatro Circo was surreal and absolutely mesmerizing!
But what about the talks, you might ask? There were too many good ones to mention them all, but we compiled some of our personal highlights:
Evolution Of Keyword Parameters – Koichi Sasada offered us insight into Ruby MRI and the evolution of keyword parameters. Sasada is on Matz’s team at Heroku and a member of the core team that maintains the Ruby programming language, thus making him one of the most knowledgeable people in the Ruby world. The talk stressed the on-going effort of the core team to optimize Ruby by making it faster and easier to use.
Ruby Smells – A great talk by Piotr Szotkowski about “code smells” (defined as a symptom in the source code of a program that potentially indicates a deeper problem), what it really means, and why it is often misunderstood. As a member of the reek core-team, Piotr provided us with an introduction to the tool and how to use it to identify and refactor found code smells. ‘Reek’ is a great code testing tool that identifies classic code smells, however it’s results are not yet 100% accurate. The conclusion offered by Piotr is that ‘Reek’ results do not mean that something is inherently wrong with the code, but that it exemplifies patterns which could be characteristic of code smells and, therefore, are to be taken with a grain of salt.
Industrial Rails – An unusual talk by Christian Weyer which described how Ruby on Rails (RoR) is tackling challenges of mid- to large-size corporations. Weyer is a member of a small team of eight developers at Crispy Mountain, a software company which he founded with his childhood friends. Driven by the mission to create a more clickable world, the team pays special attention to various aspects of UI and UX, putting them in a position to compete – and often succeed – against industry giants such as Siemens and SAP. The agility of RoR offers makes them a top competitor in this highly dynamic environment; As Christian put it, “fail often and fast, and deploy daily”, as RoR allows for that.
What Rust Can Teach Us About Ruby – An in-depth talk by Steve Klabnik on the similarities and differences shared by the Ruby and Rust programming languages in terms of bytecode and compilation. The main message of the program centered on Klabnik’s appreciation for different programming languages and the concepts, processes, perceptions that can be learned in a polyglot environment. His opinion was that you should never look down on a language, but rather join communities to improve the language and start contributing as soon as you can! He noted that the youngest Rust contributor is currently the 13 year old son of a Google employee.
The Soul of Software – The conference closed with an enlightening talk by Avdi Grimm. It wasn’t particularly technical in nature, but rather an excellent and compelling discourse about the future of software and the responsibility that developers bear. The talk touched upon philosophy, human perception, ubiquitous computing and carried a great message directed towards the Ruby community on how the language and its developers can shape the world. What can we leave as a Ruby legacy for the community? If this is a question you’ve asked yourself, be sure to watch the video of Avdi’s presentation. You can also check out a great blog post that “MC” PJ Hagerty wrote about his experiences at the conference.
We say goodbye to Braga and RubyConf for another year and hope that all of you have enjoyed the conference as much as we did! We hope to see you in Portugal again in 2016. Obrigada!
At last year’s dmexco, AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing, was asked to discuss the future of advertising and marketing in the digital space. His response: “The question I get a lot of the times is, ‘Hey, what’s the future of video?’… That’s not the question – video is the future.” Judging from the fact that mobile video is the fastest growing ad format, with an estimated total US media spend of $2.62 billion this year and a projected growth rate of over 50% in 2016, Shing delivered on his title “Digital Prophet”.
Consequently, mobile video took center stage in many of the sessions at this year’s dmexco. “Mobile and video are the two most interesting growth areas that are very much coinciding” said Anna Bager, Senior VP and GM, Mobile and Video at IAB. In Bager’s panel discussion “Hitting the next milestones”, audiences learned that the biggest mobile video spenders are gaming companies and performance advertisers who are taking advantage of immersive mobile video for customer acquisition. The highly engaging format with measurable installs and conversions is ideal for advertisers focused on user acquisition.
At the same time, the consensus across many of the sessions was that the primary growth area for mobile video lies in brand advertising. Here, the story-telling capabilities are especially fruitful for in-app placements vs. mobile web ads, due to technologies like pre-caching to improve video playback, and advanced capabilities from native integrations to rewarded ads, which can help to make in-app mobile video campaigns highly immersive. As brand advertisers learn to use better targeting with location and user data, there is great opportunity to create tailored content for mobile.
The show’s other hot topic was programmatic buying. With the rise in mobile video, automated buying is vital for advertisers to efficiently add mobile video to their multi-screen marketing strategies. This was underlined by success stories from advertisers like Thomas Cook, who have effectively used multichannel programmatic buying to lower cost per order of online advertising by 7% and increase the CTR of moving image placements by 16%.
Simultaneously, dmexco’s opening debate “The Programmatic Wave – Love it or Hate it” (session link in German) emphasized the march towards automation being inevitable as it makes ad transactions more efficient and effective, and introduces a KPI driven approach to brand advertising. In the words of Google’s Director DoubleClick Top6 DACH & CEE Lucas Brinkmann, “Branding and performance used to be completely siloed, both within the companies and their agencies. For me, programmatic is the glue that brings both sides together.”
Predictions for 2016 and beyond
As dmexco comes to an end, marketers benefit from a clearer outlook into the future and the vast opportunities in mobile video advertising and programmatic buying. Based on the insights we gained at the show, here are some of our prediction on what may be discussed next year:
Brand impact will become a KPI: In the session “Bringing Brand Advertising to the Programmatic Era,” Matt Persson of AdForm predicted that brand advertisers will adopt programmatic mobile buying as it moves towards fraud-free, brand-safe inventory with guaranteed viewability. While recent developments around ad blocking on iOS 9 were a topic both on the show floor and in the sessions, we foresee a rapid evolution of solutions that address current viewability concerns. Even today, rewarded in-app video placements that give users an intrinsic motivation to engage with advertising to earn free content, can help bridge this gap. This will allow advertisers to focus on measuring the impact of their campaigns in terms of branding impact, rather than trying to answer the question whether an ad was seen at all.
Creatives will embrace programmatic: The added targeting methods offered by programmatic will intensify the discussion about the creative implications of this technology. As native formats and hyper-targeted campaigns gain traction, advertisers and their digital, creative, and media agencies will have to work together to make the most of capabilities around user-centric campaigns without having creative budgets spiral out of control. In this weighing of standardization vs. customization, we will see the beginnings of a new balance between the two, driven by technical developments.
Dmexco will continue to grow: This year’s show was bustling with over 43,300 attendees, far exceeding the estimated 32,000 visitors, and proving that Europe’s digital media economy continues to grow at a fast pace. Between Barcelona and Berlin, there are new and innovative companies that enter the market, while consumers and advertisers benefit from a well established digital ecosystem. With this in mind, the team at Fyber is looking forward to an even bigger, better show next year!
In response to the growing demand for programmatic video solutions, Fyber has doubled down over the past few months on the growth of our exchange, offering clients even more access to the world’s leading demand. We are pleased to announce today that between May and August 2015, the Fyber Exchange saw a weekly revenue increase of more than 250% for its mobile video products. Simultaneously, mobile video impressions on the Fyber Exchange increased by over 330% during the same timeframe. Mobile video in general has seen strong growth on the Fyber platform in recent months, underscoring a strong monetization and growth opportunity in mobile and multi-screen video as our most prominent ad format.
The exponential growth in the number of mobile devices globally is driving mobile video ad spend at a faster rate than any other type of digital marketing. According to eMarketer, advertisers will spend $3.94 billion on mobile video next year, an increase of 50 percent. This growth is further supported by increases in programmatic ad spend, which is projected to reach $2 billion for video on all devices, and double again in 2016.
“To capitalize on mobile video as the fastest growing ad format, we need to make the campaign buying process as easy and transparent for advertisers as possible,” said Janis Zech, Fyber’s co-founder. “This means a continuous investment in Fyber’s programmatic capabilities to strengthen the value provided by our own Exchange, on top of our vast mediated demand offerings.” Earlier this year, Fyber acquired RTB platform Falk Realtime to strengthen its programmatic stack by offering premium programmatic pre-roll and in-app inventory.
The results of this strategy are underlined by the impressive roster of demand-side platforms working with our Exchange. Over 120 of the world’s leading DSPs and demand source partners – including AppNexus, DataXu, MediaMath, The Trade Desk, TubeMogul and YuMe – can now bid on Fyber’s global inventory.
“Growing our sources of quality inventory has been essential to our business,” said Tim Sims, head of inventory partnerships at The Trade Desk. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Fyber to deliver programmatic video campaigns on a global scale with Fyber’s multi-format, multi-screen inventory.”
“Partnering with industry leaders like Fyber is critical for us as we build out a broad and deep portfolio of supply for an open video marketplace,” said Eric Hoffert, senior vice president of video technology at AppNexus. “Fyber’s focus on mobile video and global inventory is particularly attractive to many of our buyers. Together we are committed to maximizing reach and value for marketers to deliver campaigns for video users across multiple devices.”
The gains reported today follow a number of market-leading enhancements to our mobile video products. These include an improved video player UX and advanced pre-caching controls that allow app developers to choose when and how many video ad network SDKs they want to initialize at app-start, resulting in a reduction in data and memory usage, loading times, and an overall improvement in app performance. We also extended our mobile video product offering to Android devices to better cater to cross-platform advertisers.
“As advertisers move toward a cross-screen approach, having highly-viewable mobile video inventory available for automated buying is vital,” said Keith Eadie, chief marketing officer at TubeMogul. “We applaud Fyber for its momentum and are proud that our software is contributing to that growth by offering brands a single solution to centralize buying and optimization across screens.”
Want to learn more about Fyber? Our team will be attending dmexco in Cologne, Germany from Sept. 16-17th. We’ll be sharing our latest product innovations and available to answer all your questions! Find us at Hall 6.1, booth B071!
We are excited to announce the new streamlined SDK 8.0. For this release, our developers imagined a new API with all the characteristics they want – one that is streamlined, elegant, and will help app developers easily integrate mobile advertising. Then, we made it happen.
Your developers will love the new SDK.
We examined every part of our SDK and made it lighter and easier to use. The new SDK will require less code to integrate thanks to a simpler API, so apps can get to market faster and with fewer errors. We also dove deep into the latest best practices and development guidelines from Apple and Google to ultimately produce an SDK that was built by developers, for developers. Here are some highlights:
- Coding methods that adhere to Android & iOS best practices, making the code more elegant, intuitive, and lightweight.
- A new sample app: A simple sample app to help guide your integration. The easy-to-use app shows an example of what a Fyber integration could look like.
- No more adapters.info file: Simply drag and drop the Fyber SDK and mediation bundles. No need to update the adapters.info for Fyber Mediation
- More control over loading & life cycle notifications for all ad formats
- iOS 9 compatible with bitcode support.
How to get started with the most developer-friendly SDK yet:
- Current Fyber customers: SDK 8.0 makes ad integration more elegant, easier, faster, and less error-prone – however, updating is not mandatory. We will provide a wrapper for any version of SDK 7.2, then you can use SDK 8.0 to take advantage of the new features. See how in our Migration Guide.
- New customers – Use our simple start-up guide to integrate our most streamlined SDK yet.
Download SDK 8.0
If you’re using an SDK version older than 7.0, here’s what you’re missing out on:
Every month we dedicate a blog to highlighting some of the many demand partners available to you through Fyber’s mediation platform. This month, we caught up with our friends over at InMobi to get their thoughts on the key benefits of rewarded video, recent success stories, and more.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your network.
A: InMobi is the world’s largest independent mobile ad network. Recognized by the MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Most Disruptive Companies in the world, 80 of the top 100 AdAge brands advertise through InMobi. Advertisers can reach 1B unique devices through 17k mobile apps, and everyday InMobi receives 6 billion ad requests.
Q: Can you share with us a recent success story or achievement that your company is proud of?
A: We are really proud of helping over 17,000 developers monetize their mobile apps. Our goal is to help developers achieve their monetization goals, while preserving their app’s user experience. We do this by working with developers to help them choose the most appropriate ad format for their app. For example, we recently worked with the developers of Mr Jump, an iOS game that launched in May, to generate $40k a day on our network.
Q: What are the key benefits of rewarded video?
A: Rewarded video allows users to opt-in to watch a short video in exchange for virtual goods or gifts within the app. For developers, our rewarded video ad format helps monetize non-paying users at higher eCPMs than traditional formats like banner ads. Based on data collected through our network, we’ve also seen that rewarded video ads can help increase user retention. After unlocking a feature in exchange for watching an ad, users on average stay more engaged within the app – an added bonus on top of helping the developer monetize.
Thanks to InMobi for taking the time to share their thoughts with us! If you have any questions or are interested in getting started with Fyber’s mediation solution, please contact your account manager.
Last week hundreds of developers from all over the world descended on Barcelona, eager to partake in Full Stack Fest 2015. The event consisted of two separate conferences – Baruco (Barcelona Ruby Conference) and Future JS conference – catering to both backend and frontend developers.
Full Stack Fest, specifically the Baruco part of the conference, is a true innovation hub for rubyists. The Fyber team attended some fascinating talks, such as “How to Performance” by Eileen Uchitelle, which suggested different ways to benchmark and improve performance; “First do no harm: surgical refactoring” by Nell Shamrell, which covered how to refactor legacy code the right way; “Request and Response” by Aaron Patterson, which looked at response and request lifecycle in Rails; and “Nothing is something” by Sandi Metz which explored best practices of object-oriented design.
We also had the honor of meeting and listening to Yukihiro Matsumoto, or Matz, creator of the Ruby programming language and its reference implementation, Matz’s Ruby Interpreter (MRI). Matsumoto spoke about current trends in Ruby, including the new Ruby 3.0.
First, he discussed the so-called “second system syndrome”. Using Perl 5 and Perl 6 as examples, he described “second system syndrome” as being the point at which, instead of iterating over existing implementations, the language is rewritten in its entirety. The difference between Ruby and other coding languages is that, since 2012, parts of the language have been improved without any cardinal abandonment or changes. This has allowed Ruby to dodge the risk of “second system syndrome” and avoid having to fully re-implement the language from scratch. Instead, Ruby has evolved by incrementally replacing some parts of the language and offering backwards compatibility.
So what can we expect from Ruby 3.0? Matsumoto was concise in his announcement: no schedule, no plans, no promises. However, he offered broad hints of the new features that might be included by pointing to the themes of communication between man and machine, performance optimization, and concurrency:
- Communication between man and machine would allow the machine to recognize a user typo. Furthermore, it will use soft-typing and implement a check for contradictions.
- Performance optimization could possibly hint at the introduction of some compilers for Ruby. Right now JIT compiler is under investigation, but it introduces a memory bottleneck which could prevent it from being used in Ruby 3.0.
- Concurrency: There is discussion of removing GIL (Global Interpreter Lock), which would allow for concurrency and performance improvements. In the current version of Ruby, threads have proven to be too complex. As such, more abstract concurrency models are being developed by Ruby designers, such as actors, ownership models, and stream models.
There was also discussion of introducing a language operator, which would allow Ruby devs to work like they can in Unix Shell using thread-safe pipelines.
Certainly some exciting developments to look forward to with the release of Ruby 3.0! Our team would like to thank the organizers and participants of Full Stack Fest Barcelona for making it a great week of innovation and networking. We sincerely hope to see you all again in Barcelona next year! As for us, the Fyber team’s next stop is RubyConf 2015 in Braga, Portugal. So if you’re planning to attend be sure to drop by our booth to say hi!