Rewarded video ads have made what is called a “breakthrough” in the user experience during 2015-2018 years and finally offered watchers a real value exchange for their attention. Instead of having to dodge annoying banners and interstitial ads, mobile users are now voluntarily watching a video ad in exchange for the in-game treat.

Rewarded ads belong to the ad units that utilize the principle of exchange - after watching the short ad (a video that lasts up to 15-30 seconds), the user obtains access to valuable in-game bonuses. The rewards offered to the users could range from the extra life/round in-game to the little daily bonuses as coins or hints, which help the gamers to walk through the game if they get stuck.

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The attention hook of in-app video ads

The rewarded video doesn’t force the user to watch. Instead, it offers the option to skip it or watch it. That’s what gives users a sense of control and results in an outstanding video completion rate. Advertisers get the undivided attention of the users, and the users are happy to check videos in exchange, knowing that their time is valued and paid for. Simple as it is.

According to the data obtained by SmartyAds, the engagement rate of reward videos climbs up as high as 92%, and the opt-in rate reaches 79% - an almost impossible task for the majority of exhausted formats. 

The fact that around 80% of players prefer to be shown rewarded ads at some point in the gameplay doesn’t strike anyone as a surprise.

The survey conducted among two thousand mobile users and developers by Unity revealed - around 71% of responders claim the mobile rewarded video to be the most preferable way to pay for the free mobile games. About 54% of the questioned crowd also agreed that showing rewarded videos is the best ad-serving practice that they know.

Rewarded video ads: eCPM and the yield

When the rewarded video advertising had to be accessed from the commercial point of view during the same survey, 52% of developers called rewarded ad the most profitable option. After fitting the ad inside the game, 62% of mobile developers noticed a significant rise in revenue.

So far, the best-rewarded video ads generate eCPMs on the $30+ level, which is much higher than the same rate of $0.15-$2.00 for the banners or $2.00-$5.00 for interstitial ads. Cases like Adscend Media’s Offer Wall even prove - the eCPM may jump up to $90.

Around 41% of questioned developers claimed to be ready to spend 25% more ad budget on rewarded and playable ads in 2018 than they planned for the previous year. The full screen (23%) and social ad units were also reported to be the most preferable.

As long as the users are ready to receive rewards, they will carry on raising up these stats - that’s what the market currently prepares for. The average ad spend on the rewarded videos during the last couple of years has tripled and raised to 153%. Only 20% of advertisers are still planning to spend their budgets on static ad units. 

How to make rewarded ads work for you?

Best-rewarded in-app video ads are widely used in games and mobile apps as a memorable digital ad promotion method. If you played a mobile game and had a chance to stumble on such an ad unit, you know that they mostly promote a demo version of another game, but advertisers from other industries are also hurrying to catch up with the trend.

Common rewarded video ad may still serve pretty well in non-game surroundings, improving the user experience and loyalty to the app. Here is a rewarded video ads example - on the news portal, it may be such incentives as access to the closet content, a free hour listening bonus will be good for the music app, and the profile rating growth will serve well for the chatting application. It is worth remembering that rewarded video ads require specific attention to the creative and optimization of it as well. It’s not enough to make an outstanding design and memorable content.

First and foremost, the app rewards should bring noticeable value to the user; if the viewer regards the reward as insufficient, or it will be troublesome to find or understand it - the ad unit will fail to bring the results.

On the one hand, rewarded video advertising should be initialized in the app or game as soon as possible in order to display as much of them as needed; on the other hand, such practice may harm the user experience by decreasing the retention rate. That’s why try to think through the game beforehand and identify the spots for the ad insertion that would cause the least irritation.

In order to trigger the reward videos, send users notifications, for instance, when they are out of coins, to remind them to watch the video or notify them about this between the game levels.

Retaining users with reward videos

Rewarded in-app video ads have a positive impact on revenue not only in the short term but they can also help you increase the retention rate in the long run.

  • Target. Once you have figured out the demographics of your app, you can serve the rewarded ads more precisely and show the ad according to the filter applied, such as geolocation of the user, IP, Browser, OS, etc. Starting an ad campaign at the self-serve platform, the advertiser can configure them at the self-serve DSP dashboard.
  • Analyze. Rewarded video ads need to be frequently tracked and analyzed, but the single performance indicator is not enough to determine and measure the indicators of player involvement and retention, conversion, etc. In case overall performance drops, make sure to check the frequency to make sure the ad unit doesn’t harm the user experience. All the stats and reports can be custom-generated by your DSP in real-time.
  • Optimize. A benefit of running a rewarded video campaign through the programmatic demand-side platform is that it can be tuned and modified at any moment when the changes need to be made. Thus, if the ad unit has a high impression rate but brings low profits, raising the min eCPM will help to fix the issue, and the deals will be closed only when the price is met.

Read here about What is a DSP?

Rewarded ad unit makes it easy for the developers to monetize their ads with ease and bring advertisers extra yield. This creative type is quickly becoming an industry-standard in the mobile ecosystem. When choosing the mobile rewarded video for the campaign, it is important to determine how to achieve the synergy of the ad in combination with your app and make it work on the ad platform, which will retain the users, grow the business, and bring in the highest ROI.

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