Trying to sell an app in a world of free-to-download mobile applications is just as it sounds – close to impossible. The majority of mobile app developers nowadays build free apps, with the hopes of monetization through advertising and in-app purchases.
But that’s a lot more difficult than you’d think. Free apps don’t make money. In-app banners are clicked on mostly by mistake, and the apps that run them can sometimes feel cheap. On the other hand, in-app purchases are a pain to set up and you still don’t know what you’ll end up with. In such a world, reward-based advertising, or offer walls, presents itself as a possible feasible alternative.
Reward-based advertising revolves around the idea that a player gets rewarded for watching an ad. It’s a scenario in which everyone’s happy – the player will want to engage with an ad because he knows there’s something in it for him (usually, an in-game currency of sorts).
I know what you’re thinking – people have tried this and failed, mostly because the ads that were circulating in the games were straight up frauds. Remember when TechCrunch founder and former co-editor Michael Arrington called Farmville videos Scamville? Well, that was almost a decade ago, and it’s safe to say that providers filtered out the fakes from their ad inventory.
Also, don’t forget that in 2014 Apple tried banning developers that offered rewards for video views and social sharing. It claimed that app developers used this method to manipulate app store rankings, but it quickly abandoned the idea, following community backlash. It did, however, say that ranking manipulation will still earn you a ban.
So how do you set up offer walls? Here are six providers you should consider:
The first on the list is Fyber, a ten years old platform formerly known as SponsorPay. Based in Berlin, but with offices all over the world, it’s a platform that AAA developers such as EA, Ubisoft and Gree use regularly. It’s available both natively for iOS and Android, and as a Unity Plugin, which can also come in handy.
You can expect an increase in revenue, conversion rates, eCPM and ARPDAU, but also multiple integration options and detailed analytics.
With more than 520 million users around the world, TapJoy is among the biggest platforms you can find. They’re available on both iOS and Android, but also on the Windows Platform.
IronSource is now considered one of the best ad networks, used by the likes of Zynga or Big Fish Games. It supports all of the major platforms today, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Cocos, Amazon and AdobeAir, and is used by more than 80,000 app developers worldwide.
The company once known as W3i changed its name to NativeX long ago, to make it more self-explanatory that they’re focusing on native-looking offers. They also offer their own game-developing tools to make it easier for devs to build apps. That being said, you’ll find mostly game apps in their ad inventory.
Placing Kiip in the offer wall category may be a stretch, but the company does offer reward advertising, so take it at face value. If a player achieves something in a game, or reaches a milestone, Kiip can tap into the feeling and offer a $10 discount for a product in real-life, from a well-established brand.
As a platform that focuses a lot on emerging markets such as Russia, India, East Asia or Brazil, Persona.ly offers a lot more than just offer walls. It is available on all of the main platforms (Android, iOS, Unity, Adobe AIR and Corona), and focuses mostly on player data, offering as personalised of an experience as possible.