Mobile game devs see higher revenue from in-game ads, says Unity Technologies

Rewarded video advertisements could pave the way for mobile game developers to increase their revenues, according to a new study from video game engine developer Unity Technologies.

The study of more than 2,000 mobile game developers and players indicated 71 percent of gamers choose watching video ads as their preferred way to "pay" for content.

In addition, the study revealed 62 percent of developers that introduced rewarded video ads to an existing game saw their retention rates climb or stabilize.

Unity Technologies mobile games study

Source: Unity Technologies

  • 78 percent of mobile gamers said they are open to engaging with video ads for in-game rewards.

  • 62 percent of players said they regularly choose to engage with a video ad for an in-game reward.

  • 52 percent of mobile game developers indicated video ads provide the highest revenue per user compared to other in-game advertising. 

  • 46 percent of players said they prefer viewing rewarded video content over other ads.

  • Less than 10 percent of developers saw their retention rates drop after introducing rewarded video ads.

Video ads are becoming exceedingly important for mobile game developers, and rewarded videos may serve as the next step of the in-game advertising evolution. 

Rewarded videos typically offer users an incentive such as in-game currency (gold, coins, power-ups, etc.) that is distributed to the user after a video's completion.

Therefore, these videos allow users to stay engaged with a mobile title and help game developers drive ad revenue. 

"Rewarded video ads are a key monetization and engagement method quickly growing in popularity with today's mobile game developer community," Jarkko Rajamaki, Unity Technologies' director of ads, said in a prepared statement. "When properly integrated into gameplay, video ads, especially rewarded video ads, have a positive impact on the player's experience and can help developers monetize their games and increase player engagement."

Digital marketing research firm eMarketer estimates mobile video will account for 47 percent of total digital video ad spend by 2019. Also, click-through rates for rewarded videos range between 20 percent and 35 percent, according to in-app monetization and user acquisition platform provider Supersonic. 

These stats show rewarded videos may provide significant value for mobile game developers. However, it is essential for these developers to deploy rewarded video ads properly. 

Terry Koh, Supersonic's global PR and content marketing manager, tells VentureBeat that he believes forcing video ads on players "is a surefire way to lose them."

Instead, he suggests mobile game developers implement full opt-in and video controls to deliver the right balance between a user's desired ad engagement and the overall user experience. 

For more:
- see the report

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