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.
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:
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.
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.
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 game levels.
To help prevent technical difficulties from interfering with ads, use an SDK and test every ad placement to identify weak links.
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 user satisfaction.
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!