GDC 2017: App Marketing & Monetization Comes of Age

The Game Developers Conference is one of our favorite events of the year. It brings together nearly 30,000 of the industry’s brightest minds and most innovative developers to talk about the latest trends helping shape the future of the industry, and this year it felt like there was even more than ever to talk about.

The mobile sector of the gaming industry has evolved especially rapidly. Some might even say that it has “grown up” to a large extent. And that was one of the main points of the panel we hosted on Thursday, March 2, titled “Driving Maximum Impact on Monetization and User Acquisition.

As moderator Ben Chen discussed with panelists Sally Lu of Jam City and Jonathan Simon of Magmic, during the early days of mobile gaming developers transitioned from monetizing first through paid apps and then through the freemium model and in-app purchases. Later they started integrating ads — experimenting with different formats ranging from traditional display ads to rewarded, value-exchange ads that were more user-friendly. Today, thanks to the analytics, automation and targeting tools that developers have access to, they can insert rewarded ads into contextually relevant moments within their app.

Just as monetization strategies have evolved and matured, so too have UA strategies. Remember when app marketers focused on “burst” campaigns aimed at getting them to the top of the charts? Later they focused on sustaining success, but now the aim is to acquire high-value users that drive true engagement and lead to an effective ROI.

As always, we had a strong presence in the Expo hall as well. With one of the larger booths in the hall, we were delighted to hold so many great conversations about what’s new with mobile video ads, app monetization and other ways to drive maximum impact. The booth revealed our new branding, while giving attendees the chance to get a free custom-printed tee shirt featuring their choice of Princess Leia or the musician Prince.

Scroll through the photos below to check out our booth for yourself!