Game design has shifted a great deal in recent years. Originally, apps were purely “pay to play”. The user would purchase the app, download it to their device, and play it. Then came the age of “free to play”, with app monetization primarily focused on in-app sales.

That trend has largely faded away. Consumers don’t always find much value in in-app sales, so as a monetization solution for game design, it doesn’t work all that well. Reward video ads are the most recent solution, and they outperform other app monetization options by quite a bit. However, you’ll need to know a few things in order to get the most money and traction out of your reward video ads.

  1. Focus on App Monetization and Rewarded Video Early

It can be tempting to relegate your rewarded video ads for later in the game. For instance, once a new player has “gotten the hang” of things. However, you should actually focus on it early in the gameplay experience. This gives your player a taste of what is possible, including with in-app purchases, and makes it more likely that they’ll part with their own money down the line.

2.  Make Rewarded Video Worth Their Time

This app monetization tip should be a “no brainer”, but we’re going to say it anyway. Make the rewards worth your players’ time. There’s nothing quite so dissatisfying as being offered a reward for watching a video, only to find out that the reward wasn’t worth the time it took to sit through the ad. If you don’t make it worth their time, you’ll start to notice that your player base is eroding, as they defect to games where they can earn decent rewards.

3.  Choose the Right Side to Boost Monetization

When it comes to reward video ads, the side you choose to focus on matters. We’re talking about client-side rewarding versus server-side rewarding. Both work, but they offer different levels of security and varying amounts of success. For instance, client-side rewarding is best done when you have superficial or generic rewards – generic in-game cash, or an extra life, for instance. Server-side rewards are better suited for more complex needs, such as working with a complicated in-game economy.

4.  Work with Plenty of Partners

You’ll find that putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to video ads is a bad idea. If your players routinely have to sit through the same slew of videos, play session after play session, you can bet they’re going to get bored, and then they’re going to get frustrated. By working with a wide pool of video ad partners, you ensure variety. Not only does that help prevent disconnecting with your players, but it also ensures that there’s more likely to be “something for everyone” – at least one ad that appeals to each player.

5.  Match Your Bestselling IAPs

While in-app purchases might be less popular than they once were, they’re still important app monetization tools. You can actually use reward video ads to boost the chance that your players will spend their own money on an IAP. For instance, if you match your bestselling IAPs with a video ad reward, and then slowly reduce the frequency with which you offer the reward, your players will be primed to purchase the IAP instead.

6.  Personalize Your Rewards

Finally, try to personalize your rewards. The notion that all gamers are the same is patently absurd. They don’t play the same way, and they don’t all value the same things. Personalizing your rewards adds an extra layer of attraction, and helps not only retain existing players, but encourage new ones to download the app.

There you have them – six of the most important tips for boosting app monetization using reward video ads.

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