The Future Of Ad Monetization; Game Forum Edition

This past Tuesday Oct 25th, I had the privilege to moderate a panel at Games-Forum, – the leading Game conference.

The topic was the “Future of Ad Monetization”. I had 4 panelist CK Wang, CEO, Kooapps Chris Lam, Senior Ad Product Manager, Big Fish Games, Jade Graves, Senior Director of Publisher Development, MobileFuse and Phil Suh, VP of Ad Monetization, Zynga.

A Short background on Game Forum

Games forum brings together a global community of games industry professionals (10,000+ and counting) to discuss key marketing and business challenges facing the games industry today. Quoted from their site – “Home of the Gamesforum Online Weekly Webinar, leading mobile game analysis, and where the mobile games industry comes together to discuss the latest ideas and best practice”. Game Forum holds 4 major events worldwide – Hamburg (June 14th-15th), London (October 18th), Seattle (October 24th) and Barcelona (February 7th-8th 2024)

The future of Ad Monetization Panel

As 2023 draws to a close, mobile game competition has increased and CPMs decreased. Publishers are looking for new ways to diversify demand sources and segment users for more pleasant ad experiences. But what can we expect in 2024? So the topic of discussion revolved around the opportunities and challenges of Ad Monetization in 2023 and outlook in 2024.

Our conversation was mostly focused on Ad monetization. When I say Ad monetization, I am mostly referring to Rewarded Video Ads. It is no secret that these companies have mastered the use Of rewarded Video Ads and are making millions from Rewarded Video Ads.

One of the challenges we talked about was the ever-evolving regulations around user privacy and how that Impacts game publishers. The use of Unified ID was discussed in a rather much detail both by Zynga, BigFish and Koo Apps. I will cover the topic of UID/ unified ID on my coming blog posts. The other hot topic of discussion was Unity’s runtime fee and the overall dependency on such big platforms for game design, monetization and overall sustainability.

The advice from the panelists – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Find other forms of monetization, optimize between vendors as you see fit. We also talked about their changing roles as Ad Monetization lead in their respective teams.

Questions I asked the panelists:

  1. One of the challenges facing Ad monetization is the issue of Privacy. How are you preparing for it?… What do you see changing in 2024 and onwards?
  2. Another challenge in this Ad Monetization space is the ever-changing way SSPs buy your traffic like real time-bidding (including Google) … How are you adapting to these changes?, What opportunities do you see coming in 2024?
  3. When we say Ad Monetization, we mainly refer to Interstitial and Rewarded Videos,… what alternative approaches are you finding to increase revenue?
  4. What are the best performing Ad formats, and if you don’t mind me asking – what type of CPM / fill rate are you seeing (just a range)
  5. Before the introduction of Rewarded Videos, ad monetization was mostly an after-thought that came after design, As Ad Monetization expert at your company, has your role changed? and how?
  6. Ok, so changing gear a bit and talking about News, what’s your take on Unity’s runtime fee?
  7. How do you mitigate risk of relying on big Game engine & Platform?
  8. What would you advise a small to medium sized game company on this (reliance on game engines / platforms?)
  9. We are almost at the end of 2023, so looking back, what trends dominate 2023? … and what are your predictions in 2024?

In the coming weeks, I will try to dive deep and share my thoughts on the topics.

Last but not least, I want to thank Team Game forum – Josh & John for a wonderful event.

Rewarded Video Ad with AppLixir 4