I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel at Casual Connect-Seattle with executives from ngmoco, WildTangent and Z2Live. One of the key topics we spoke about was diversification in mobile monetization.
Many game developers rely on paid apps and in-app purchasing. While both of these certainly have a role in the mobile ecosystem, traditional brand advertising can also be an immensely valuable tool for developers.
Jason Gruber, the VP of Business Development from WildTangent, said that traditional advertising was a critical part of their business, but gave the caveat that developers need to approach it strategically. Specifically, he mentioned that developers need to think about “how advertising fits into the architecture of the game.”
Lou Fasulo, the CEO of Z2Live, seconded this, and said that “the ad experience needs to work inside the game experience, and the content needs to make sense for players.”
Zynga is a company that we’ve seen do a great job of this, particularly with their “With Friends” games. Zynga includes traditional banner ads to maximize their overall yield, and they’ve also designed the games so they can seamlessly insert static and video interstitials in a manner that doesn’t disrupt the gaming experience. By combining this with paid versions and in-app purchases, Zynga has developed a diverse revenue stream that lets them monetize users in multiple ways.
Delivering a great user experience was another key topic that we talked about during the panel. Barry Dorf, Director of 3rd party at ngmoco, summed this up when he shared ngmoco’s top goal for their games ― delighting users.
Smart developers in the ecosystem understand that while user experience comes first, it’s important to have a strategic, diverse plan for monetization. When developers are thinking about monetization from the beginning, they can use advertising in a way that uniquely fits their game and, in the end, both the user and developer will benefit.
If you are interested in monetizing your app through advertising, I encourage you to download the latest iOS and Android SDKs. These SDKs are packed with functionality and technology that is in high demand from premium brand advertisers and can help increase your eCPMs and fill rates. Features include the ability to place banner, rich media and interactive video ads in your apps, make the best use of available metadata, enable advanced targeting capabilities and more.
Thanks to all the panelists and developers who joined us for a great discussion in Seattle!