How to Tackle Common Challenges in App Monetization
With over 5.2 billion people worldwide now using mobile services, mobile development has taken off. To make apps profitable while keeping them free, many publishers choose to run ads.
App monetization may seem simple, but in reality it requires some
strategizing. In this article, we'll discuss common challenges
publishers face in monetization and ad placement for different types of
apps, and share Pangle's recommendations for overcoming each of them.
Making Sure Ads Get Seen
Before we break down the challenges, it's important to understand the
concept of AIPU (average impressions per user). AIPU refers to the
average number of times per day each user views an ad. You calculate it
by dividing impression count by the number of daily active users (DAU).
And what are impressions? Impressions are simply the number of times an
ad is actually displayed. Assuming DAU is fixed, if your impressions are
low, your AIPU is probably low, and you're not monetizing effectively.
Let's take a look at some of the factors that suppress impressions,
along with some counter-strategies:
1. Poor ad placement
To ensure that an ad is placed where users will see it, it's important
to understand user habits. Take a look at your data on user behavior and
see whether you're burying your ads. Users should come across the ad
without needing to perform lots of operations first, and the ad should
be displayed in a configuration users are used to seeing.
2. Missed opportunities
To expand ad placement opportunities, consider the type of app you're
working with, and how you can work new ad formats into the app's
functions organically. With a bit more development, your app can
accommodate a wider range of ads. For example, you may be able to add
interstitial video ads or rewarded video ads, which use full-screen
display for a limited amount of time.
3. Users not spending enough time on a page
If users typically spend only a short time on your app (e.g., if it's a
tool, productivity aid, or routine service), consider using the above
strategies to display ads in places where a user might pause. You can
also develop new functions to boost user retention and session length.
If your app is a game, content-heavy app, video/music app, etc., where
users naturally spend more time, analyze your users' in-app behavior to
see whether that time can be maximized. For example, find ways to reward
more time spent in the app, provide a wider variety of content, or add
4. Technical issues
To help prevent technical difficulties from interfering with ads, use an
SDK and test every ad placement to identify weak links.
Creating Ad Experiences Users Look Forward To
Publishers whose revenue comes solely from in-app ad monetization may
want to include a large number of ad placements or show ads more
frequently to boost their revenue. But placing too many ads or showing
ads too frequently can turn away users.
The perfect solution for this dilemma is rewarded video ads. In a
rewarded video ad, the user can choose to watch a video and receive an
incentive, or skip it and forgo the incentive. For example, watching
video ads to unlock free additional spins in a casual game, and free
skips or replays in a music streaming app. These ads are easy to
integrate into an app, and lead to a higher completion rate and higher
It's easy to see how rewarded video ads can keep user experience
intact. Many apps incorporate rewarded video ads in a way that feels
native and avoids turning away users. And from there it can snowball, as
the incentives for watching ads can further extend use time.
We hope the strategies we've introduced here help you navigate the
challenges of app monetization more easily. It may take some
experimentation, but finding the right solution at last can take you
from struggling to profiting in no time. And you don't have to do it
alone -- if you need support along your monetization journey, Pangle is
always ready to help!