Rewarded Video Ads and User Engagement

Rewarded Video Ads and User Engagement: Building the Most Engaging Games

We get it – you want to design and build a financially successful game. You’re concerned about game monetization and worried that you might not have the right ingredients to achieve success. That’s natural, particularly with the number of app monetization options available today. Here’s the thing, though. You need to ensure that you’re designing and building the most engaging game possible. Otherwise, all the monetization methods in the world won’t help. Rewarded video ads can add engagement and profitability, helping you tackle two of your most significant challenges.

What Are Rewarded Video Ads?

Not sure what rewarded video ads are in the first place? They’re not particularly complicated, and chances are good that you’ve seen them yourself. Ever play a mobile game and been asked if you wanted to watch a short video in exchange for something of value? That’s a rewarded video ad.

Can Rewarded Video Ads Actually Improve User Engagement?

If we’re being honest with ourselves, everyone hates advertisements, at least to some degree. At best, they’re annoying. At worst, they can be intrusive, and even break the gaming experience. Seriously, what player is going to be excited to go back to playing a game if a non-skippable ad pops up during the middle of the most intense action every time?

Rewarded video ads are different. They actually can increase user engagement, and they do so in a number of ways, and for many different reasons. Don’t take our word for it, though. Venture Beat reported that users were 4.5 times more likely to make an in-app purchase after engaging with rewarded ads. In addition, those users spent 326% more money in the game than those who did not see rewarded ads.

AList found that users who interacted with just one rewarded ad had a 53% retention rate over 30 days, as opposed to 12% without rewarded ads. The same study found that those who interacted with seven ads actually had a 71% retention rate after 30 days.

Here’s another surprising consideration: removing rewarded video ads can have negative ramifications for game developers. When the rewarded ads were pulled from Angry Birds Transformers, the backlash from players was massive and immediate. Imagine creating a community of players that actually loved reward ads so much they protest if they’re taken away.

 Why the Improvement in Engagement and Retention?

So, why do rewarded video ads improve user engagement and retention, particularly when compared to other app monetization options like in-app purchases? Well, there are a few reasons for this. One of those is that the user experience isn’t broken if you’re able to place video ads strategically throughout the game. Another is that players feel that they’re making a worthwhile trade – their time watching a video in exchange for a reward that has actual value or utility within the game environment.

It reinforces itself when done properly – the ads deliver value outside themselves, which fuels further gaming sessions, which fuels further video watching. This can even lead to an increase in in-app purchases, delivering further profitability without any extra marketing costs.

Ultimately, rewarded video ads offer improved user engagement and retention. However, you need to go about instituting these ads the right way. They need to be positioned correctly within overall gameplay to ensure that the user experience isn’t broken. They need to offer something that your players will actually value. Of course, they can’t give it all away, either. They should be an incentive to play, and should help players achieve their goals, but avoid the temptation to give away the farm.