Mobile Monday: Clever Digital Advertising, Mobile Game Monetization Methods, and the Growth of Mobile Gaming

Digital Turbine is constantly keeping tabs on the mobile world, and every week, we’re sharing the most interesting and important need-to-know stories and articles. In this edition of Mobile Monday, we’re covering the popularity of digital advertising through clever ads, the latest monetization methods players and publishers are loving, and mobile gaming accelerating digital gaming growth. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!


A M(ad) World


In the era of consumer privacy and people’s seeming displeasure of being advertised too, one would think that advertising is becoming less popular. The opposite is true. It’s, in fact, becoming more popular. Just in new ways. Advertising as a whole has become more clever. A recent blog in strategy+business gave an overview of PWC’s recent Global Entertainment & Media Outlook. The blog shows how after the early stages of the pandemic caused worldwide advertising revenues to fall 7% in 2020, the industry rebounded in 2021 by growing a “stunning” 22.6%. And those increases are just the start – as PWC sees ad revenues increasing through 2026.


The difference, however, is in how people are advertising. Instead of the normal 30 second TV spot, pop-up internet ads, or even social media advertising that dominated recent decades, people are using different techniques to get their brands in front of their market. While people have gotten used to ignoring ads that are in the typical advertising contexts, there are still opportunities in our new digital spaces that advertisers are taking advantage of with more frequency.


Beyond just websites and social media platforms, digital advertising is now taking place in virtual worlds, communication apps, e-commerce sites and immersive video games. Every time you turn on a streaming app, you’re seeing advertisements – they might just be within the show itself! And that’s the beauty of clever advertising. People don’t like being blatantly advertised to, but make it seem like your brand is part of the larger environment or story or game they are already immersed in and advertisers will see their investments pay off.


Mobile Gamers Want Battle Pass and Gacha Game Monetization 


Recent data from Game Refinery indicates that certain monetization models for mobile games are performing better than others. There are many possible monetization methods, within in-app ads and in-app purchases, but currently, battle passes and gacha systems are performing well for publishers, as noted in PocketGamer


Especially in free-to-play games, users are loving the battle pass option as this method is being used in 60% of the top 20% grossing mobile games in the U.S. Battle pass monetization is used when players can complete certain tasks or levels to get rewards or points within the game and progress further. This monetization strategy is still evolving and will continue to include more elements and social capabilities, making it more compelling to users and easier to integrate into games of all types.


Even more popular than battle pass, the gacha monetization method, like loot boxes where players can spend game currency to receive a random, virtual item, is now being used in 75% of the top 20% grossing mobile games in the U.S. This number is even higher outside of the U.S., with Japan seeing gacha methods used in 93% of top games. In addition to these monetization methods, the report indicates that users prefer in-app purchases that are more exclusive, limited, or allow for game progression.   


Mobile gaming leads digital gaming growth


Insider Intelligence is estimating that more than half of the US population will be digital gamers in 2022  – with mobile gaming being the bigger segment, with over 160 million people playing games on their mobile devices.

Looking closer, demographics make a difference in the platform of choice for digital gamers. 9 in 10 digital gamers play mobile games, making just over 10% strictly committed to desktop or console. Men still dominate the console world, making up two-thirds of the gamers – while three quarters of mobile-only gamers are women. 


The gaming audience is young, with almost 75% of 18-25 year olds playing video games on some platform. 

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