There is a lot of different steps that are required when using Ad monitization in a game.
Before I type the rest of this, I am no expert in this field and we don’t have an in house marketing team that would “optimize Ad views across our network to maximize non-converted players”. Any of what I am typing below is from my personal understanding of this process. Again, I am no expert and nothing in this post should be used as “sourced proof”. The complexity of ad networks change every day…people get paid a LOT of money to manage their companies ad traffic and because of this complexity large companies with huge marketing budgets win the Ad Revenue race.
Also a quick word about verbiage and labels. None of the terms I lay out below are intended to be offensive to our player base what so ever. This is not an emotional post, this is strictly business and I am using industry terms to shed some light on how Ad monitization works.
Ad broadcasters (the people that provide the actual service for ads) make money in a bunch of ways, here are some:
They sell the ads to companies that want to advertise their product
They sell ad impressions (this means they provide companies with specific targets based off the users that have engaged or “clicked” on ads before).
they allow companies (like us) to use their ad network in our game. The more people that use our game, the more views their Ad network will get. The more views their ad network gets, the more they can charge for Advertising in their network.
There are a TON of ad types that can be displayed in an app here are just a few:
Full Screen Ads
Intractable Ads (the ones you can “play”)
How companies that advertise ads in their games get paid:
Displaying the ad. This is called an “impression”. A player sees a banner ad in the upper right corner of the screen and we get 1/80th of a penny. (this can actually fluctuate quite a bit) For an example of this say you had 2,000,000 million impressions. You would make $200.00 off of those impressions.
“Getting a click through”. When that banner ad shows up and a user clicks on the ad. When this happens two parties get paid and one party gets charged. The Advertising Platform gets an amount of money, the Company showing the ad in the game (Us) gets money, and the company that created the Ad gets charged by the Advertising Platform. We get more money for a click through then we get for an “impression” because the user is actually engaging with the ad banner. How much we make varies by platform.
User Install. This is the most lucrative of ad models for the Ad Platform and for the “publisher” (Us). It is the most expensive for the company that is doing the advertising. This is when a user sees an Ad, clicks on the ad, then installs the product offered in the ad. A publisher of the Ad (again, this would be us. We are showing the Ad in our game or “publishing” it) would make $0.18 on a “user installed” ad. This is also the least likely to happen. To give you an idea:
You have 25,000 impressions for the entire day. You have 1,409 “clicks” on those 25,000 impressions. You would have 8 actual installs from those ads. So off of those 8 installs you could make around $3.00.
We do three types of ads in our game. However two of these ad types (banner and level load) are removed for any “converted” users… A converted user describes any player who has made a ANY purchase of an IAP in our game.
Banner ads. These show up during gameplay in the upper right corner of the screen. We set these ads up so that they don’t cover any game play HUD elements…this is why your map/shop/pause buttons move up and down on the right side of the screen to accommodate the banner ad.
We do what we call “Level load” full screen ads. These happen any time there is a level load. We make our ads show the “X” to close the ad immediately. There is functionality to wait a period of time before closing that ad, but we choose to allow it to immediately close.
Reward Ads (typically video) For our game these are “opt in” ads. So the user has to press on the Watch Ad button. They cannot be skipped (usually) they also give the user some form of in game item (bonus, or currency, or whatever) after they are viewed. They rand from 30 seconds to 1:00 (as far as I have seen). These ads are expensive for the company making the Ad, and pay the Publisher (the company showing the ad in game) very well. Lets say you have 1,500 “Video ad” impressions. You could see as much as $12.00 in paid money for that amount of impressions.
As you can see from some of the numbers here, ads are not a a “get rich quick” scheme by any means. They can be extremely lucrative for your company if you can manage the process correctly. A big thing to remember is that you need impressions to have any shot at all of getting some of the higher paying ad monies like “click through” and “user install”.
For this to work you need to have millions of downloads, but you also need a TON of players who engage (or play) your game each day.
The ad revenue we get helps us to supplement the money we make from in app purchases from our game. They way we do it is not wise from a business perspective. We only show ads to our users that have not converted, and we take away ads from players who actually buy our IAP’s. This is a backwards way to do it from a business side of this: you should show more ads to the players who buy IAP because they are the players that will almost always come back to play again, if they come back to play again you get more impressions.
We choose not to do this on our end to 1) respect our paying users, 2) we wouldn’t want that to happen to us in the games we play
Also, our game is totally offline playable…turn off wifi and all the ads go with it.
I hope this can give you some insight to how it works, again this isn’t intended to be an authoritative view of Advertising Revenue, just some take away’s from my end.