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App Monetization: How to Choose the Best In-App Video Ad Network
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In-app video ads are a great way to monetize your app, and US Digital Video Ad Spending has skyrocketed over the past years, with the fastest growth attributed to mobile video ads.
Rather than send you out into the wild world of internet research on your own, we’ve gathered together the best and most-used in-app video networks and found out where their strengths and weaknesses are, to show you how to make your own call.
With Facebook/Instagram video ads, Google and YouTube video ads (with Universal App Campaigns), Snap ads or even Apple Search Ads, advertisers have a lot of user acquisition options to run mobile video ads. But it doesn’t prevent some mobile video ad networks from offering them new channels to put their app in front of people.
As long as you have a natural way to include video ads in your app, that doesn’t push your audience away, you stand to make more money by using them. If that is the case, using video ads is a no-brainer.
The real catch is identifying which video ad network best suits you. Each ad network is different, and depending on how you fit, you might achieve radically different results.
AppLovin works with some of the biggest brands in the mobile industry, and their SDK can be used in iOS, Google and Amazon apps. In fact, the AppLovin SDK is the most used amongst the top 200 apps after the Google and Facebook mobile ad SDKS!
AppLovin pays you 15 days after the close of each month and has all the major ad formats for you to integrate in your app: video, playable, interstitials and native ads. They also claim that launching your campaign only takes a few minutes!
This app monetization platform focuses on interstitial and rewarded video formats, so that’s where you’ll the best performance for in app video advertising.
Vdopia boasts one of the broadest and least intrusive ad networks. Because users can control the video ads with options like play, pause, mute, and even close, they mitigate much of the risk of permanently losing the audience.
In fact, the ads can be set to start on mute by default, allowing the user to seek engagement based on visuals and putting the power in the audience’s hands. Also, Vdopia optimizes mobile ads exclusively for mobile devices, negating some of the confusion that arises from converting desktop video ads to mobile platforms later.
Vdopia is best for your app if you have a very fickle audience who may leave after minor interruptions. While it’s impossible to please everyone, it makes sense to identify who your audience is and serve them.
A less intrusive ad that can even be closed by the viewer might not seem like a bold enough strategy, but there is a specific type of person who will reward your easygoing advertising with ad engagement and continued app usage.
YuMe offers a simplified interface for you, the displayer of the ads, while handling a lot of the optimization complexity in the background. Their data-driven systems determine the ads in your app are displaying, what users are doing with them, and which types of ads do best with your app. Then, YuMe matches better content to your app over time while also rewarding better display and conversion rates in your app with more influential ads.
Another one of the key selling points of YuMe is that you can use your YuMe account to display ads both through websites and mobile. This is great if you want to use a single advertising network for both your app and website monetization at the same time.
YuMe is best for your app if you are exploring the use of video content online and in-app simultaneously.
It also works best if you know that the ads you display will do exceptionally well compared to the competition (but it will not be quite as great if your app is in the bottom half of video ad conversion rates.) Be honest with yourself about whether the optimization algorithms at YuMe is going to find you to be the best.
HaxHax is a large-scale and selective video advertising company. While there are minimum traffic requirements to get your app into the HaxHax video advertising network, the options you’ll have to display ads give you a lot of the control behind the process.
For example, HaxHax does allow publishing advertisements between mobile and web interfaces, but at your own discretion (and at the option of the ad’s creator as well.) You can also publish non-video advertising through HaxHax, and you may choose between getting revenue based on impressions or clicks, whichever suits you best.
HaxHax is best for your app if you have a high volume of traffic and you know whether your users will be clicking the videos or simply watching them. It’s also great if you want to combine video ads with static ads and use the same network for both mobile and desktop monetization.
PropellerAds has no minimum traffic requirements for you to show ads and offers a streamlined sign up. With arguably the lowest friction to get the ball rolling, PropellerAds works well for smaller apps that are growing but have already identified video ads as a beneficial revenue stream.
Plus, no matter what size your app’s audience is, PropellerAds makes revenue the top priority for the publishers who are showing the ads in their apps. Advertisers bid on the price they’re willing to spend to show their ads, and those ads get shown first. This works well for the ad displayers, as the most valuable ads get shown first and more often, leading to more income.
PropellerAds is best for your app if you don’t have the audience size to get into one of the bigger video ad networks yet. It’s also great if you don’t have the resources to go through a long sign-up process or optimize ads right away. It may be less appealing if you do have a huge audience, however, as you won’t get the preferential treatment you may feel entitled to at your app’s size.
Vungle is an excellent option for really sticking to in-app video advertising. After all, if you are only displaying advertisements in your app (and not on a website you own,) and you really want to optimize video ads, then Vungle matches up without offering other services you won’t need.
As an added perk, Vungle lets nearly every publisher and every advertiser get connected by displaying more diverse ads. This option allows publishers to explore ad performances in all sorts of markets and helps advertisers find new places to show their products.
To ease implementation, you can also use the same ad integration across Android, Apple, and Windows phones if your app works for any combination of platforms.
Vungle is best for your app if you want to specialize in in-app mobile videos, especially across more than one mobile platform. It’s also great if you have a broader audience rather than a niche one, as the ads you’ll show will likely be more varied than some other video network options.
AdColony is a marketing network that offers unique solutions to some of the pain points app creators have when displaying video ads.
First, AdColony optimizes video ad buffering so that your users are never waiting to see an ad start. In addition, the ad doesn’t get frozen while waiting for the rest of the video to download halfway through. Having video ads is great, but if the experience is delivered poorly, it may spell doom for both the ad’s success and the app’s.
The second challenge AdColony tackles is the major differences between gaming apps and other premium apps. Ads are optimized much differently depending on which type of app you use. Naturally, there are entire ad networks driven only by one or the other, but the option is there if your company has more than one type of app they want to use with a single video advertising network.
It’s also an added bonus if you want category specialization and you want to tap into the no-wait video buffering AdColony is so good at.
AdColony is best for your app if you know your audience might bail at the slightest friction with video loading. It’s also ideal if you know your audience will be using a below-average WiFi or cellular data connections, as the buffering compensates for those problems.
If you’ve built an app and have followed your app marketing strategy to the point where you’ve build up enough users to monetize, video ads is a terrific option. With higher engagement and a better payoff than other ad units it’s worth a shot with just about any app. But developers need to be smart about the networks they choose.
Utilize this post as a resource to help you navigate through the noise of the seemingly never-ending options of in-app video ad networks to find your sweet spot.
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