More publishers are looking beyond building great games to building great video game businesses. Gone are the days of developing games in isolation from marketing and monetization strategies. Instead, the most successful mobile game businesses unify their approach to user acquisition (UA) and monetization, embed advertising strategies into game development, and leverage multiple avenues of growth.

According to a recent survey of over 500 mobile game businesses in 17 countries commissioned by IDC and published in a report by Meta Audience Network, nearly 70% of gaming decision makers believe they have a unified UA and monetization strategy. I am developing a game. IAP and beyond: Supercharge your game.

Rob Kiely, Global Director of GAMES Midmarket at Meta

Here we review our recommendations for three areas of gaming business growth.

  • Which player acquisition strategy is effective in the changing app ecosystem?
  • What role should in-app advertising play in the monetization mix?
  • How does the mobile gaming business see future monetization and growth?

Which player acquisition strategy is effective in the changing app ecosystem?

The mobile gaming business is the most successful overall acquisition and monetization strategy, and in-app advertising (IAA) is important in this combination. In “Ads, IAP, and Beyond: Supercharge your game,” 83% of developers reported that they feel the IAA is effective in acquiring players for other games in their portfolio . Especially as part of a suite of user acquisition solutions.

Leverage your social community to acquire players

Beyond advertising, there are many other ways game publishers can optimize the combination of user acquisition and growth depending on the needs of their game.

Brand communities are nothing new in the gaming world, but the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need to build social connections. This is evidenced by the fact that over half of those surveyed said they also acquire players by:

  • Collaborate with social media influencers and content creators (54%)
  • Create social communities and networks outside of games (53%)
  • Use social/viral ingestion features built directly into the game, such as custom invites to tournaments (51%)

What role should in-app advertising play in the monetization mix?
Fewer mobile games monetize solely through in-app purchases, and in-app advertising is increasingly seen as essential to successful monetization.

An IDC study commissioned by Meta Audience Network revealed that 93% of developers are currently using in-game advertising as part of their monetization.

According to the 2019 results reported by in 2020: Ad Monetization in Mobile Games: The Untapped Potential, this is in contrast to just three years ago, when 83% of mobile games had an ad SDK.

Balance IAA + IAP to improve ARPDAU and retention

The 2022 Meta Audience Network report also revealed that decision makers are increasingly prioritizing balancing in-app advertising (IAA) and in-app purchases (IAP) within games. Most respondents noted that this combination outperformed their average revenue per user per day active user (ARPDAU) and player retention targets over IAP-only games.

Specifically, 62% of developers agree that the IAA + IAP hybrid built in at launch helps maximize day 8 and day 28 retention and revenue.

Offer a positive value exchange with video rewards

When considering ad formats, rewarded video ads offer a positive value exchange by offering in-game rewards for the time a player engages with an ad.

  • Nearly 47% of survey respondents chose rewarded video ads as the most important ad format
  • 74% of surveyed developers who implemented rewarded videos felt a neutral or positive effect on retention
  • Interestingly, 39% increased IAP revenue and 29% increased player lifetime value.

How does the mobile gaming business see future monetization and growth?

Finally, we gathered insights on how to diversify your revenue streams and build a balanced player acquisition mix to move your business model forward.

Diversification of revenue sources

The developers we surveyed shared some additional avenues for monetization beyond IAA and IAP.

  • 53% leverage sponsorship or licensing agreements
  • 44% are looking at game portals and other app stores.
  • 28% seek organic discoveries

The next step is to consider growth areas that make sense for your business and build the most resilient revenue mix for a sustainable future today.

Download the 2022 Ads, IAP and Beyond report for richer insights and strategies to take your gaming business to the next stage of growth.

Power up your game with Meta Audience Network
To learn more about how Meta Audience Network can help you maximize your mobile game revenue, visit the Supercharge Your Game resource hub on the Meta Audience Network website.

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