young lady sitting on bed looking at her phone with decorative icons around her showing rewards

Rewarded Ads: What Publishers Need to Get Right

Successful in-app advertising is the fastest-growing revenue stream in the mobile landscape. But it’s far from foolproof.

App users are driven to ad burnout after being bombarded with up to 10,000 in-app ads per day. That’s why the most successful developers are adapting their ad stack to user preferences and are more cautious of injecting negative ad experiences into their apps. Especially, when revenue and engagement are at stake.

This is where certain rewarded ads enter the mobile advertising arena – especially formats that tick the following boxes.

Actually Put Users First 

It’s a cliché, but it’s not a lie. 

Rewarded ads are better equipped than most ad experiences to meet publisher, advertiser, and user needs. 

Over the last five years, rewarded video ads have been the most popular among mobile gamers; survey ads and playables have likewise increased in popularity. According to Google, 50 percent of users also reported they would be less satisfied with their app experience if rewarded ads were removed. 

Users clearly appreciate the right rewarded ads. And there’s room for improvement when it comes to integrating certain rewarded ads in a way that satisfies users.

banner saying "find out how this publisher saw a 26% boost in daily active users"

Here are five things publishers need to get right to get the most from rewarded ads.

1. Make It Easy for Users to Earn Rewards

Users drop off when they’re given several tasks to complete within an offerwall (answer questions, reach a certain level in a game). This is especially true for offerwalls, in which users must invest a lot of time to earn the rewards. 

When users drop off, revenue also drops. The goal for publishers is therefore to integrate rewarded solutions designed to complement their app’s UX and prolong engagement and fight app user churn. Even if users are investing time in the app and its rewarded ads, they shouldn’t notice it because:

  1. The earning process is short and simple
  2. The earning process is fun (time flies when you’re having fun, after all)
  3. The earning process is personalized and therefore slots seamlessly into the in-app experience. 

This is why rewarded ad formats, like rewarded video and Playtime, make it easy – and enjoyable – for users to earn rewards. Playtime users just have to start playing top mobile games to start earning rewards with their favorite app. Every minute played converts into a minute of rewards. 

four phone screens showing user flow of how users can earn continuous rewards with Playtime ad format

2. Integrate Personalized Rewarded Ads

Half-hearted personalization leads to half-achieved revenue KPIs. Many publishers serve rewards that are irrelevant to their users and the in-app experience. As a result, they lose out on building a crucial connection with their users. 

The best app advertisers and publishers create relevant and valuable rewarded ads by serving them to users based on their gender, location, and user behavior. With the help of machine learning systems, this personalization becomes even more accurate.

banner with young woman indoors looking down at her phone with decorative writing

Some rewarded ad units, such as Playtime, allow users to receive lists of new gaming offers curated just for them each time based on their mobile interests and demographic. After discovering new games tailored to them, they then engage longer, which enables publishers to generate higher rewarded ads revenue.

3. Opt for a Secure and Seamless Rewards Process

Involving more players (such as MMPs) in the rewards payout process means a greater margin for errors. How?

  • Users don’t receive their promised rewards
  • Users face delays in receiving their rewards
  • Users complain about missing rewards, lose trust in an app, and churn
  • Publishers miss out on their rewarded ads revenue

Does it have to be this way? No.

Certain rewarded models are designed to combat this UX interference. With Playtime, all reward payouts are tracked and processed by adjoe – so there’s no “MMP middleman” acting as a blocker between users and their rewards and publishers and their earnings.

4. Focus on Continuous Rewards

Offerwalls, videos, playables, and interstitials give users a single reward in return for completing an action. 

Users interact with these rewarded ads, complete actions, and then take their earnings – without engaging further. Instant gratification in these instances has an expiry date. That’s why publishers must couple these rewarded ads with continuous time-based and event-based rewards as an incremental revenue source and also to improve lifetime value

Continuous rewards are the gift that keeps giving. They give users the chance to keep engaging and earning with rewarded ads, and they give publishers a steady revenue source from this engagement.

That’s why Playtime rewards users continuously for their time spent playing to keep them engaged, enjoying, and earning.

bar graph showing app opens and line graph showing reward payouts

5. Go for Nonintrusive Ads

Successful publishers will stop considering ads only as a revenue mechanism but also as a product enhancement mechanism in the future of mobile advertising. And what does that look like?

Publishers should integrate rewarded ad experiences that users love – that don’t alienate them but empower them. These experiences will be a key component in every publisher’s powerful ad stack. And publishers that prioritize great ad experiences can do no wrong in Google’s eyes, as it continues to weed out the unwanted ad formats.

This is how nonintrusive ads enhance the app:

  • Effective rewarded ads will require users to opt in – they engage when they want to engage and are better-quality users for it.
  • Nonintrusive formats keep the user in control – they initiate the rewarded experience and aren’t frustrated by it.
  • Putting users in the driving seat means they are more likely to stay loyal to an app over the long term.

So, a question to ask before integrating a new rewarded solution: Ask about the impact on user experience as well as (or even before) the rewarded ad’s revenue potential.

“Our metrics show that some of our most engaged users in our games are the ones coming in from rewarded ads … Integrating the ad inside the game gives a better user experience to the player, and thus leads to better engagement.”

Mark Avidan, Former Media Department Lead at Playtika

Are Rewarded Ads Worth It? 

Partly due to the economic situation, when people have less disposable income, it is crucial to make the most of and reward players with video and rewarded ads.” – Josh Vowles, Head of Content at GamesForum

It’s clear that rewarded ads are worth it – but what do publishers need to get right to make the most of rewarded ads? Revenue starts with the user; engagement strategy must also start there. This means the solution must

  1. reward users instantly, often, and continuously
  2. keep the ad experience personal
  3. let users engage when they want to engage
  4. cut out the middle men and ensure secure rewards

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