Mobile Monday: Mobile Budgets Shift to Android, Effectiveness of In-game Ads, Monetization Models in Puzzle Games

Digital Turbine, AdColony and Fyber have partnered up to give you the latest news, trends, and developments in the mobile world. This week, Digital Turbine touches on mobile budgets continuing to shift to Android, AdColony recaps a study into the effectiveness of in-game advertising, and Fyber spotlights puzzle games and how publishers monetize them. Check out Mobile Monday for this week’s top mobile stories!


Mobile Budgets Continue to Shift To Android


Hot off the presses data from Pubmatic shows that the share of mobile ad spend on Android has grown to 63% from 54% since Apple rolled out its Apple App Tracking. But who are the ones shifting their spend? Well, some interesting categorical data also shows that app categories like Education, Food & Drink, Finance, Community, and Tech have the highest rates of opt-outs for IDFA. When you are already dealing with diminishing returns on your spend (iOS 14 has 30% less of an IDFA presence overall) – to have these high rates on top of that is certainly not optimal.

Last month Digital Turbine released their own set of data that revealed some insights into Android users, including a telling data point that they aren’t social media “scrollers” So hopefully the shift in spend is coming with an eye towards other methods (like on-device solutions) instead of the traditional social ads that may not pay off as well.


The Proven Efficacy of In-game Advertising


Gaming has skyrocketed in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, advertisers have taken advantage of the opportunities to reach audiences in the space. But is advertising in games actually effective? The U.K. broadband provider TalkTalk commissioned Lumen Research to see how their ads within gaming environments reached and resonated with gaming audiences. According to the research, in-game advertising can result in a 12% uplift in purchase intent among players. Just under half of study participants were able to recall TalkTalk without being prompted and 58% when prompted. These figures are compared to a benchmark of 33% when looking at digital display (desktop and mobile) and Facebook Infeed (mobile).

In-game ads in the study generated approximately 29 minutes of consumer attention per 1,000 impressions. This result is significantly longer than 17.5 minutes, the industry average for online advertising desktop display, mobile display, and Facebook mobile infeed. The study also showed that the average dwell time was 13% higher for the ads than the average of 1.6 seconds for online advertising. The success of TalkTalk’s campaign has further proven the efficacy of in-game ads. Brands from all verticals can advertise in games to engage with a valuable audience in a platform where they are spending more time.


Piecing the puzzle (games) in mobile gaming


We’ve seen Candy Crush dominate the mobile games market for years. Today, the Match 3 genre is still riding the popularity wave and engaging players with their problem-solving skills and wit. In fact, according to Newzoo, puzzle games accounted for $6.9 billion consumer spend in mobile game revenues in 2020, representing 8% of last year’s $86.9 billion mobile game market. 


The monetization piece of the puzzle


To grow and sustain retention and LTV, puzzle game developers are adopting hybrid monetization models by featuring a mixture of in-app purchases, in-app advertising, and subscriptions in their games. According to the Pangle x Newzoo: Mobile Game Genre Report, monetization strategies also tend to differ slightly across the world. Japanese users prefer IAPs, whereas U.S. users are more open to IAA. More particularly, Japanese titles focus more on IAP because of their deeper economy when it comes to character collection, progression, and gacha. While IAPs are still a significant revenue stream for puzzle games, this genre has also learned from core mobile games to add Battle Pass as a subscription. We can see this in games such as, Merge Dragons! Angry Birds 2 Blast, Homescapes, and more.


The bottom line is, puzzle games don’t have to be an enigma. Testing and understanding your demographics can help you determine the most optimal monetization strategy for your game. And, with the proof in the puzzle – this genre has the knack of pleasing the masses from East to West, making it a bucket of opportunities for developers to dive into.


About Mobile Mondays


Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?


About Digital Turbine

Digital Turbine is the leading independent mobile growth platform and levels up the landscape for advertisers, publishers, carriers, and OEMs. By integrating a full ad stack with proprietary technology built into devices by wireless operators and OEMs, Digital Turbine supercharges advertising and monetization. Looking to supercharge your mobile advertising? Check out their blog to start!


About AdColony

AdColony, part of Digital Turbine’s leading independent mobile growth and monetization platform, helps brands, agencies, and apps expand their reach and results with the power of mobile. AdColony is known globally for its award-winning video advertising marketplace, with ad engagement innovations like Instant-Play™, Aurora™ HD Video, Playables, and more. Looking for more insights on apps and mobile games? Find out more on their blog!

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