The Good, the bad & the Ugly in Reward Video Ads

Reward Video Advertisement in the current Gaming world is one of the main sources of income so, placement, selection and even model of advertisement should be something developers pay close attention. Knowing that this can mean success or failure

Let’s talk a bit about video ads monetization in games, and what are some of the already used practices.

Types of Video Ad Monetization

Video ads come in different forms, but they usually last from 15 to 30 seconds. Fully stripped down, video ads can be categorized into two types, forced and unforced, with voluntary and involuntary types of implementation.

  • Forced video ads are those that the player has to “sit through”. These ads can’t be skipped, they may show the duration of the video ad, but they can’t be avoided. This type of ads creates higher revenues, but it could be harder to implement because it can be disruptive for gameplay. With this type of implementation, one is risking user retention.
  • Unforced video ads allow players to skip the content of the Video Ad. There is usually a clear indicator for this action. This creates a better user experience, and creates a sense of control over the game, but, most of the ad-generated revenue comes from the percentage of watched Ad. When players get the chance to skip the video ads, generated revenue drops.
  • Voluntary Ads are those opt-in ads which players trigger themselves. These ads usually carry some kind of reward, and they represent the strong source of income. When players are rewarded for watching an ad, they don’t see it as something you’re flashing in their eyes, they see a task that needs to be completed, which practically makes these ads part of the gameplay.
  • Involuntary Ads appear without user’s consent. As with the forced video ads, these generate quite the income, but if a developer isn’t careful, they can throw off the potential player. Usually, these ads are displayed at certain checkpoints or milestones in the game (save point, level, boss fight).

Examples of Video Ads

In the seamlessly endless sea of games, you can find all kinds of examples for good (and bad) video ads implementation. Generally, there are few ways to approach this issue.

  • Progression — Great way to make players watch video content is to implement it as a mean to help them overcome a certain obstacle. Various quiz and trivia games use video ads to help players get hints. When players watch it, they unlock a hint which helps them advance through the game. This way players want to watch video ads, and in return, games generate more money. This is a great monetization technique seen with Logo Quiz, Ultimate Trivia, and similar games.
  • Checkpoints — One of the smart ways to implement video ads to your game is to give your players a second chance. If they watch the ad, players get to restart at a checkpoint or revive their character. Various developers implement this in various ways, some of my favorites are BLUK, Slashy Hero, and Shooty Skies.

BLUK and Shooty Skies: Watch an ad, restart to Checkpoint

  • Rewards — Smart developers use tactics when implementing video ads to their game. Great example for this is Tap Titans. In Tap Titans, players get the choice — watch an ad to get a reward, or just keep playing. When players chose to watch an ad, they get in-game currency or a number of different power-ups which help players in the gameplay.

Another example of reward tactics is to multiply their rewards. Watching ads doubles players’ XP or gained in-game currency. Bitcoin Billionaire is a great example of this method.

Tap Titans: Watch an ad — get rewards in a form of power-ups and currency

Video ads are a great way to monetize your game, but keep in mind that you should have a strategy for ad implementation before you finish your game. Think about reward video ads implementation when you’re developing your game and it can help you monetize your game to its full potential.