According to Statistica, the amount spent on search advertisements in 2022 exceeded 164.6 billion US dollars. And by 2024, this number is estimated to rise to approximately 190.5 billion US dollars.
While mobile advertising is a more straightforward method of monetizing the ever-popular free-to-play mobile games, in-app purchases are not quite easy to promote to most of the mobile gaming audience.
An ad network can assist in finding the most suitable ad space for mobile advertising initiatives, which is usually either interest or location-based. Additionally, these networks enable advertisers to run more precise ad campaigns and help app developers to monetize their goods.
Do you want to know where to obtain devoted, active, and monetizable players for your mobile game? In this article, we will discuss in-game advertising, its importance, and some of the best ad networks you can use.
Have you ever seen intriguing images or puzzles that pop up amid your gaming, which as you click on them, land you on an advertisement? These game demos are excellent instances of in-game advertising on mobile devices.
Gamers are the primary target population for mobile game advertising, which brings in profits for both app publishers and advertisers. The most effective time to show in-game advertisements is when gamers are in-between stages, have paused the game, or are gaining new lives.
In order to hold the audience's interest during the advertisement, different ad styles are shown. These ad networks serve as middlemen, streamlining the process of mobile advertising by connecting companies and apps.
As a highly popular and successful option for advertising campaigns, in-game ad networks can increase purchase intent by up to 12 percent. In fact, the majority of media buyers in the US and the UK believe that in-game advertising spending will rise significantly in the coming years.
To offer a successful ad network for games, it's essential to consider the features that app developers and users would like to see in a mobile ad network. Some of these include:
In-game ad is a type of sales growth that involves marketers buying ad space within a game created by a developer. These ad networks can be seen as standard banner ads you're used to, or as ones that are embedded deeply into the game.
In this functional method, developers are able to provide a free user experience while offering the content they want. What's more, in order to attract new customers for their goods, services, or other apps, advertisers have a very effective technique to engage people with these adverts.
Payments and transactions are facilitated by ad networks. In the absence of in-game advertisements, developers would have to negotiate deals with each advertiser separately.
Advertisements are formatted based on how they appear and where they are placed on an app. As a result, the ad stands out from the rest of the game's visuals, which catches the attention of the users rather than blending in.
For this reason, a gaming app can provide its non-paying users with additional monetization options. Some of the most common in-game ad formats are:
The term interstitial Ads refers to ads that cover the interface of the main application on which they are displayed. In addition to being highly customizable, interstitial ads have the benefit of engaging a diverse range of mobile app users, as they are an unavoidable part of the experience.
This format intends to increase ad impressions to the maximum. When users switch between different activities in a mobile game, interstitial ads appear.
Much like web banner advertising, native banner ads blend perfectly into the background of where they are placed, offering an inconspicuous ad experience. These popular formats of in-game advertisements are well-integrated into the content itself, and thus are less intrusive.
Spending on native advertising is predicted to increase to $400 billion by 2025. Further technological advancement, including in-feed native advertisements that are completely interwoven with content, is the main reason beyond the rise in ad expenditure for this particular ad kind.
In-game playable ads use aesthetically appealing and interactive material to draw in and keep players' attention. With this type of advertisement, a brief video provides a sneak peek or sample of a game.
The purpose of these ads is to capture the user's attention who is looking for new experiences and to encourage them to download the suggested app.
Players receive contextual ads based on the condition in which the ad is presented. Advertisers submit predetermined subjects and keyword lists to their digital media providers, which employ algorithms to pair the ad with relevant text, photos, and other content.
Recent privacy laws have altered the types of data that advertisers can collect, leading to a notable increase in contextual advertising's popularity.
Here are some of the top in-game advertising networks in 2023 to gain loyal users:
This ad network enables Unity mobile game developers to display native ads. That said, banner and interstitial ads are also used to reach Unity users.
In addition to looking for players who are most likely to offer better lifetime value, Unity ad uses machine learning to help developers acquire more players. Simply put, this network connects mobile advertising to gamers’ interests.
Unity ad network had great success with a variety of mobile gaming genres. It came in first place for racing games and second place for hyper-casual, action, arcade, and adventure games.
It shouldn't be surprising that the Unity Advertising network performs so highly in keeping gamers since it focuses on mobile game advertising mainly. One of the primary characteristics of this network is its ability to target people interested in a particular genre of games.
For everyone familiar with in-game advertisements, Google Ads is the shining star at keeping customers on Android. This software giant has clearly succeeded in reaching the target audience thanks to its focus on the app campaigns tool, continuous updates, and machine learning.
Using App Campaigns, your mobile in-game ad network can appear across all of Google's properties including Google Play, Google Display Network, Google Search, YouTube, and AdMob.
Google supports all of the popular in-app ad formats, including banner ads, interstitial ads, native ads, and rewarded ads. Game advertisers may monetize games most efficiently and attract the right consumers by selecting the proper ad format.
Media.net is the name of a well-known global advertising ad network. As part of its quality advertising campaigns, Media.net promotes authorized products and premium display advertisements in partnership with famous publishers and ad tech companies.
A display-to-search (D2S) ad type created by Media.net combines past search history with potential keywords. This procedure involves showing pre-approved ads on multiple platforms such as mobile games.
By opting for Media.net, customers can customize the ad layout and ad units. On top of that, Media.net can display advertisements in gaming apps even when a player's screen is moving.
A suite of tools included with IronSource automates bid optimization across multiple categories. Additionally, as one of the best ad networks for games, it enables you to insert several ad forms as offer walls, interstitial advertisements, and videos.
That said, since the previous Retention Index, this ad network has suffered a minor setback, falling one position on Android.
With Chartboost, you can directly manage ad campaigns in your game and provide users with control over their advertising space. Depending on the type of ad that you choose, you will be able to decide if the particular ad will be updated and how often.
Mobile game studio Zynga owns Chartboost, which offers different ad formats for gaming apps. Typically, the revenue share provided to game developers is 90% on average. CPI is one of the payment models offered by this company.
One of the best ad networks for games that consistently tops different lists is Facebook. Over the years, Meta has excelled at keeping users in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, South America, and North America.
This is primarily because of its superior targeting options, which include location, demographics, interests, platforms, services, and connections. All of these elements, from identifying the proper audiences to providing the correct ad format at the right time, contribute to user retention on Meta.
In order to build strong industry relationships, game developers are looking for advertising networks with a proven track record in the industry.
AdColony, one of the best ad networks for games, works with top companies, namely ABC News and Walmart to monetize high-definition videos through video advertising campaigns. Additionally, by tweaking the color palettes and fonts of the ads, game publishers can enjoy more personalized options.
The AdColony system offers programmatic ad buying through a number of different channels such as Instant-Play video technology, Aurora HD spatial design, and minimal ad spending. This network offers both CPI and CPC payment models, showing how mobile ad customs have improved.
Searching for a "smart" platform for your mobile game advertising? Look no further! Mintegral is an advertising platform with Asian roots and a significant global presence. Today, this platform collaborates with over 26,000 app developers and is a member of over 20 international ad exchanges across the world.
Looking at the previous Retention ranking, Mitegral wasn't even in the top 15. Nonetheless, it has now earned a spot among the top 5 mobile ad networks. During the last few years, Mintegral excelled notably, placing first across six regions in three different categories including music, simulation, and mid-core.
Through InMobi, you can take your marketing campaigns to a whole new level, promote brands with a greater appeal, and drive action from the user’s end (ad impressions).
The main objective of InMobi is to maximize return on investment by offering mobile gamers HD visuals on the digital platform. Through the use of an appographic targeting strategy, InMobi has become one of the most popular advertising networks for app owners.
With appographic targeting, you can target a specific audience range that uses a particular app. Once this process is complete, HD mobile ads are created that are most relevant to the user.
The last Retention Index included Mistplay as one of the best ad networks for games. There is nothing typical about Mistplay as an advertising network. Initially, this platform was designed to reward mobile game players. Later, the app was enhanced with social features, including chat, following, and other functionality.
Through Mistplay, users are able to play games and earn points to exchange for vouchers and coupons. Playing free games offers users the opportunity to select games from a list, browse deals in their area, talk with other users, and get prizes simply by having fun.
In most rankings, TikTok for Business has maintained its position as one of the best ad networks for games. That said, this platform is especially successful when it comes to apps that are not gaming-related.
With the TikTok advertising network, you have the option of designing a campaign with a lifetime or daily budget.
Additionally, it offers demographic and interest targeting as the majority of ad networks do. To locate players who are likely to download your app, you may also develop custom and lookalike audiences.
What's more, to attract users, TikTok offers a selection of ad formats to pick from. This includes brand takeover ads, hashtag challenges, branded AR content, in-feed video ads, and influencer content.
In the world of mobile advertising, AppLovin is one of the most sought-after ad networks. From native ads to playable ads, this network includes all types of ad formats.
Rather than using one single format, AppLovin employs a fusion of multiple ad styles to create a widespread advertising community. A CPI-based or CPC-based campaign is available through AppLovin.
In-game advertising networks such as NitroPay excel at connecting brands with gamers in a way that promotes their product or service. Advertisers can target ads based on game genre, demographics, and other factors to take advantage of a highly granular approach to advertising.
Additionally, NitroPay offers thorough data to assist brands in evaluating the success of each advertising campaign.
As one of the best ad networks for games, MOLCO is a monetization, engagement, and user acquisition platform. The growth rate of this advertising network was quite impressive in 2020, and it succeeded in remaining its position in the first half of 2021.
The MOLOCO network provides apps with billions of impressions per day through programmatic bidding on ad exchanges. Additionally, this platform offers AI-driven retargeting for mobile apps.
Vungle is one of the best ad networks for games and has been able to hold onto its top-ten ranking from the previous Performance Index. This platform has a few things that set it apart from other mobile ad networks. For one thing, ads are limited to a single type - video ads.
Moreover, Vungle is accessible on a number of operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Amazon. It also offers opportunities for customized targeting for game developers, and CPA, CPM, CPC, and CPI as bidding models.
Although Snapchat stands out for its user retention in gaming apps, it's shown even better results for non-gaming apps. If you want to reach a young audience through your mobile game, Snapchat ads are the best choice. As of today, over 38 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
In addition to targeting based on interests and behaviors, Snapchat also offers demographics, location, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences. In total, Snapchat offers six different ad formats, some of which are exclusive to this app like Snap Ads, Filters, Story Ads, and Lens.
Start.io, formerly known as StartApp, is a platform designed to monetize apps by placing ads embedded directly in the games. In addition to interstitial ads, app walls, native ads, and video commercials, it offers video campaigns as well.
To maximize revenue for app publishers, this ad network uses CPM to manage ad campaigns. Through search advertising on mobile devices, Start.io helps game developers monetize their free apps.
The last few years have been a turning point in mobile game advertising. Adapting to the new situation was a challenge for ad networks, and some were more successful than others. As there are many ways of monetizing ad inventory, choosing the best ad networks for games is crucial to maximizing the return on your investment.
Considering how the mobile game advertising landscape is changing rapidly, ad networks with the ability to adapt will offer better click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per mille than others.
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We deliver compelling video, engaging kids content, and the power to reach younger audiences using COPPA-compliant networks. Contact us and your message will be safely and responsibly delivered at scale across casual games on mobile, tablet, and desktop across the largest COPPA-compliant network in the world.