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What publishers should know about in-app advertising in 2023

January 11, 2023 | By Kean Graham, CEO and Founder – MonetizeMore @monetizemore

According to Statista, around 3.4 million apps are available on Google Play Store. Additionally, the Apple Store has about 2.2 million apps. 

The high number of mobile apps signifies a serious revenue-driving opportunity for media companies. App Annie’s State of Mobile Report 2022 shows that mobile ad spending hit a colossal $295 billion in 2021 (23% growth from the previous year). 

Whether you are considering moving into mobile, or simply want to up your game, here are answers to the critical questions publishers will have as they consider in-app ad monetization. 

Which ad formats work the best for in-app monetization?

Ad technology has come a long way since its inception, and multiple ad formats are at publishers’ disposal. Choosing a suitable ad format can be difficult – but it’s essential. 

Many app developers stick to banner ads because they are the most widely deployed ad format. But to maximize revenue, it is critical to keep up with the times. Nowadays, there are a variety of engaging ad formats that retain users and keep their app experience intact.

We recommend that publishers explore rich media ads, interstitial ads, native ads, and rewarded ads. Experimentation is key, and the best way to learn what works best for your app’s inventory is through a split test. Here are some ad sizes that have historically performed well for our app publishers:

  • Banner Phone (320×50)
  • Medium Rectangle (300×250)
  • Fullscreen Interstitial Portrait (320×480)
  • Fullscreen Interstitial Landscape (480×320)

Is gamification of ads an ideal solution? 

Gamification allows users to interact with ads in fun and engaging ways. By turning ads into mini-games, audiences are more likely to enjoy interacting with them, and even be more likely to remember the advertised products or services.

This technique is similar to rewarded ads, except that users actively play a game instead of simply watching an ad. This helps keep their attention and provides a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment once the game is completed.

Overall, the gamification of ads is a solution that could help address user fatigue with more traditional advertising methods.

Instream vs. outstream video ads: what works?

In-stream ads are played within the same video player that a user is viewing video content. Outstream ads, on the other hand, are served on a display ad unit and do not require a video player.

So, which one is right for you? It depends on your goals, budget, and available video content inventory. If you want to drive more revenue with high eCPMs and improved click-through rates, then in-stream video ads may be a good option. Outstream ads may be a better choice if you want guaranteed viewability and enhanced user engagement for the app users. 

How to pick the right ad format type for your app? 

Not all apps are equal, so they all need a different ad format depending on the app’s design and niche. For example, native ads fit best for an app like Instagram, where users can slide past an ad in their feed without disrupting their user experience. At the same time, rewarded ads work best for gaming apps because they incentivize users to stick around for an ad or two to get a reward that will enhance their game experience.  

Figuring out what kind of ad formats give you the highest conversion rate can take time. Obviously, we believe that partnering with an ad monetization platform will help enormously. (For example, this can help you easily A/B test your app inventory to see which ad format works best.) 

However, if you’re looking to optimize ad revenue in-house, here’s a table we created that’s based on rigorous testing of billions of ad impressions across hundreds of apps. It’ll give you a headstart.

Niche Best ad format
Social mediaNative
Travel (bookings, information)Sticky
On-demand service appsNative/Interstitial
Video streaming Instream
News/BloggingOutstream + Sticky

Final thoughts

In-app advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach mobile audiences. Given that people spend more time on mobile apps than on the web, in-app advertising offers publishers an excellent opportunity to improve ad engagement and performance. In-app ads will continue to grow in popularity in 2023, but they are only effective if they don’t disrupt the user experience too much. Thus, publishers must do their research and due diligence to create a scalable strategy. Above all, prioritize the user experience and find a balance between revenue and returning users. 

About the author

Kean Graham is the CEO and Founder of MonetizeMore, a leading ad monetization partner for web publishers and app developers. Under his leadership and guidance, the company has scaled to 15B+ monthly impressions for over 1000+ publishers worldwide.

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