The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is less than one week away in San Francisco. We’re excited to give you a glimpse into how we are helping mobile game developers build businesses and improve user experiences, while monetizing successfully.
Our Google Developer Day will take place in Room 2020 of the West Hall of Moscone Center on Monday, February 27. We'll share how new devices, platforms, and tools are helping developers grow successful businesses and push the limits of mobile gaming. Then stay with us for a diverse set of lightning talks and panels covering topics including virtual reality, machine learning, monetization and more. Here’s a look at the schedule:
Our main keynote will take place in Room 3009 in the West Hall of Moscone Center on Wednesday, March 1.
We’ll also be hosting two additional ads focused workshops on Thursday, March 2.
See all the details about our Google Developer Day here and check out all the other Google talks here.
For more information on our presence at GDC, including a full list of our talks and speaker details, click here. Remember, these events are part of the official Game Developer's Conference, so you will need a pass to attend. For those who can't make it in person, watch the live stream on YouTube starting at 10am PST on Monday, February 27th.
We’ll also be live tweeting on Twitter and sharing on Google+ and LinkedIn, so stay in the loop with what’s happening with #Google #GDC17.
Posted by the Google AdMob Team.
In today’s topic, we’re exploring how you can help stay compliant with AdMob policies when using the AdMob interstitial ad format. If you have ever received a policy message for “Layout encourages accidental clicks - Interstitial Ads”, or have had trouble with implementing interstitials to trigger on time, read ahead for our best practices.
App layouts that encourage accidental clicks are a common policy issue for publishers. When implementing interstitial ads within a mobile app, there may be a slight delay in when the ad gets triggered after a user selects an action. In the example below we can see that an interstitial ad launches unexpectedly with a delay on the second screen after the page has already loaded. This delay can occur due to carrier latency when requesting the interstitial ad.
Carrier Latency causing a delay in the interstitial ad
Pre-loading your interstitial ads will allow you to avoid latency when the ad is displayed to the user.
In the corrected example below, the user now clicks on a transitional button and an interstitial ad is shown immediately on action. Once the user closes the interstitial ad they will now be on the next loaded page.
Pre-loading the interstitial ad to trigger on action
To learn more about how to preload your interstitial ads, please follow the AdMob Interstitial Ad developer guidelines for apps developed for Android and iOS.
Implementing these ads in the right way is better for your users, advertisers and for you. AdMob policies are designed to create a positive user experience. For further tips on AdMob Interstitial Ads and Best Practices, check out our official best practices video.
Remember to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.
Posted by: Zac Campbell, AdMob Publisher Quality Team
All views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, and not that of Google. This guest post is from Sreeraman Thiagarajan, a Google Developers Expert in the app marketing and monetization space and a published author on the Economic Times. Sreeraman is featured as our guest blogger to share insights and tips from his experience to help AdMob developers grow their earnings. If you’re new to AdMob, be sure to sign up here.
In the introductory post we saw how AdMob lets app developers take control of monetizing their apps - here’s the second part on optimization and measuring.
Optimizing revenue and volume: A counter question I often get goes like this “But other networks offer better eCPM (more dollar for every one thousand impressions served), why must I choose AdMob?” Answer for this lies in understanding two metrics and the two respective fundamentals behind each of these metrics.
The first metric is ‘fill rate’ which means how many relevant ads can the ad network fulfill as requested by your app? A simple demand-supply equation is the fundamental behind this metric, because there are a lot of advertisers on Google, nearly 1million plus advertisers who want to show their ads (demand) to a potential audience who could be using your app (supply). This equation generates a very high amount of ‘ad requests’ of 200 billion per month, globally. With AdMob on your app, you can join the supply side.
The second metric of eCPM is how much money per thousand impression your app can earn? eCPM differs from network to network, however a simple multiplication of eCPM with fill rate answers this question. If network A offers $1 at a fill rate of 85% then you get 85 cents revenue per thousand ad request (aka RPM). Now if network B offers twice as much at $2 but with a lower fill rate of 30% then you only get 60 cents of RPM. That’s a 25% loss on potential earnings.
Choosing the type of ads to show: There a few standard types of ads, namely Banners, Interstitials, Rewarded, and Native. There’s no fixed formula for which type of banner to use, but one principle developers must strongly adhere to is to ‘preserve user experience’ by integrating ads as unobtrusively and as natively as possible.
Game developers have an advantage in using rewarded ads, this a form of interstitial ad units that enables you to reward users with in-app items such as an extra life, a level jump, a feature unlock, etc., for watching video ads.
Native ads is a boon for publishers and content based apps. It is a component based ad format that matches the look and feel of the app where the ad is being displayed. This makes the ads look like they are a part of the app and reduces obtrusiveness. A simple example of this is a promoted tweet on Twitter or a promoted post on Facebook. It is essentially a tweet or post like any other, but an identified sponsor has paid to promote it.
Banners and interstitials are pretty standard formats. Apps can choose to display banners at fixed positions on screen like the top or bottom. The full-screen ads are called interstitials, these are displayed at natural transition points in the user journey such as between two levels in a game, between two news articles, etc.
Stop guessing and start testing: App developers often suffer from the curse of knowledge, that is, they assume their users know and use the app the way it was meant to be. But more often than not, this is not true and building the app’s advertising strategy on gut feel is bad for business. Optimal monetization happens when users’ journey from acquisition to retention is deeply understood. Thanks to the integration of Google Firebase with AdMob, app developers can use Firebase’s free & unlimited analytics solution for deploying intelligent ad monetization strategies.
Importing Firebase SDK into apps requires no complicated coding. Once integrated, developers can get details like sessions, demographics of users, revenue from in-app purchases, etc., from Firebase Analytics. Besides this, AdMob’s own reports will give you a ringside view on how revenue is generated.
To optimize monetization, it is imperative developers inculcate a habit of continuous testing and tweaking their product strategy based on data and hard insights.
In conclusion, ads are above fifty percent of total revenue generated by apps. According to data point by App Annie and IDC, in-app ads are projected to grow at 3.2X in next two years1. As stated by Gartner, this year, over 268 billion apps are expected to be downloaded worldwide2; apps have no boundary and you never know audience from which country maybe your biggest fans.
Successful app monetization happens when there’s a mind-set of growth. Grow your audience base, preserve user experience, integrate AdMob, and ad revenue will start taking care of itself. Thus giving developers bandwidth to build more products or enhance existing features.
Google has made a lot of resources available on AdMob and if you are a developer with apps that has over 100,000 downloads you can request a free consultation. Both the resources are free of cost. Godspeed and love to see India rise up in charts for generating app revenue.
All views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, and not Google. This guest post is from Sreeraman Thiagarajan, a Google Developers Expert in the app marketing and monetization space and a published author on the Economic Times. Sreeraman is featured as our guest blogger to share insights and tips from his experience to help AdMob developers grow their earnings. If you’re new to AdMob, be sure to sign up here.
There’s never been a better time to be an app developer in India. According to reports referenced in the Economic Times, app downloads on Google Play from India grew from 3.5 billion downloads in 2015 to 6.2 billion downloads in 20161. Based on this report, India now holds the top spot in the world for apps downloaded on Google Play, even outranking the US and Brazil.
As noted in a recent article by Quartz India, nearly 90% of India’s over 220 million smartphone users have Android smartphones, so the ~6 billion app download figures comes as no surprise2. However, from a revenue perspective, Times of India reported that India is far behind and does not feature as one of the top ten markets3. (According to Android Authority Japan, U.S, and South Korea rank highest4).
World over, an article in MarketWire states that iOS and Android app publishers earned over 89 billion dollars in 2016 as revenue from their app, which includes paid apps, in-app purchases (IAP), and of course ad revenue5.
Indian app developers are in need of proven app monetization techniques. When exploring revenue generation opportunities by deploying Google’s in-app advertising suite, AdMob is a great starting point.
Don’t be shy or scared of using in-app ads.
In my interaction with many startups and app developers, there’s a disturbing insight I’ve discovered. Many developers think using in-app ads are a clichéd way of generating revenue, and that they must come up with a unique and novel way of making money. Nope, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Ad supported businesses have been thriving for decades . Besides being a source of income for a publisher, advertising subsidizes the price of a product for consumers. For example, if not for ads in a local newspaper, we may have to pay 10x or more than its current selling price. The concept of freemium apps may never have picked up as well.
Many of the largest and most recognizable apps use advertising to support their business model. Rather than reinventing their revenue models, they constantly innovate to maximize the ad revenue. From major sporting events to longstanding publishing houses to new age tech-based content providers, every one of them smartly leverages the power of monetizing the massive eyeballs they receive by showing ads, without disrupting the user experience.
An app or game is no different than our above examples. These apps and games can generate money through ads if they can garner users at scale and engage them frequently (converting them into DAU’s or daily active users). Google’s AdMob can help developers immensely in building an ad-supported app and in diversifying revenue streams beyond paid subscriptions or in-app upgrades and purchases.
Picking the right in-app ad platform:
There are many options to chose from when picking an ad monetization platform. In fact, there are over 50 ad networks that app developers can choose from, or they can even build their own ad serving mechanism within the app to show ‘house ads’ - the ability to cross promote other apps or services of yours. Or one can also sell ad inventory (such as a masthead, a branded product placed within an app, or branded power-ups in games, etc.) through direct sales teams. However, building one’s own ad suite or depending largely on direct ads is not scalable, and warrants too much time and effort of developers and ad sales team alike to make this work profitably. This is where AdMob makes its biggest contribution in making life easy for both iOS and Android developers.
AdMob has a built-in mechanism that lets developers show ‘house ads’ to cross promote their portfolio of other apps for free. AdMob can also power your direct deals, which lets you run your own directly-negotiated ad deals with advertisers.
Another exciting feature of AdMob is ‘mediation’. Mediation is a technology which helps apps to maximize the number of ads shown in an app, and thus helps increase revenue. Through AdMob mediation, one can integrate nearly 40 different mobile ads networks and even engage in SDK-less mediation for a select set of networks. With mediation, apps can enjoy the benefit of dynamic bidding and direct integration with other ad networks, which allows automatic CPM updates. This eliminates time and effort taken to manually adjust bidding floors. In terms of in-app monetization, AdMob is one handy tool that has all you need to survive - and thrive.
Watch out for the part 2 in this series where we’ll discuss optimizing and measuring app monetization. Google has made a lot of resources available on AdMob here and if you are a developer with apps that has over 100,000 downloads you can request a free consultation here.
In today’s topic, we’re going to discuss a feature of the AdMob front-end interface that you may have overlooked in the past: archiving ad units in your apps. When you archive an ad unit, all ad serving and settings associated with the ad unit will be disabled and active campaigns linked to the ad unit may stop running. You’ll no longer be able to access the ad unit from the monetize tab in the AdMob user interface; however, you can still view historical reporting related to that ad unit. It should be noted that you’ll be unable to reverse this process. Once an ad unit has been archived, it will be archived permanently.
It may seem counterintuitive at first. Why archive an ad unit and disable ad serving to your own apps, potentially leaving money on the table? Well, if you're in control of a large portfolio of apps, things aren’t always so simple. Perhaps you no longer have access to your app’s source code, or you have so many apps that it can be difficult to keep track of them all. These “legacy apps” can make it hard to ensure that all of your apps remain compliant. Policy violations that go unfixed can lead to the temporary suspension of your AdMob account.
The easiest way to avoid this issue is to archive any ads in your legacy apps. If your apps aren’t showing ads to users or generating revenue, then they likely aren’t violating AdMob policies. You don’t need to make any changes to the source code in your app, as you can take care of everything in the AdMob front end by following the steps below.
In the AdMob user interface, navigate to “MONETIZE” in the top bar.
You’ll be able to find a list of the apps in your portfolio along the left side of the screen, and clicking on any of them will bring up the app’s ad units.
To archive any of these ad units, select the box beside the ad unit, and then click on “ARCHIVE”.
Once you’ve archived the ads, they’ll stop generating revenue and users will no longer see them. It is important to remember that this is a permanent solution, and archiving cannot be reversed.
Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.
Posted by: Tom Ambrose, AdMob Publisher Quality Team
Episode twelve of The Mobile Ads Garage is live on YouTube! If you haven't seen it before, The Mobile Ads Garage is a video tutorial series that covers how to use the Mobile Ads SDK to display ads from AdMob and DoubleClick for Publishers. Each episode covers one aspect of the SDK, breaks down the feature, and shows screencasts of real implementations on both Android and iOS – all in a friendly format.
With their customizable presentations and ability to be precached, Native Express ads fit right in with list-based user interfaces:
In this deep dive episode of the Mobile Ads Garage, you'll learn how to integrate Native Express ads into an iOS app that uses a UITableViewController for its primary UI. Along the way you'll get a detailed set of step and see screencasts of an implementation in Xcode. The episode also covers a handy technique for tapping into the ad lifecycle to load native express ads sequentially, from the top of the list to the bottom.
If you like the video, save the Mobile Ads Garage playlist to your YouTube Playlist collection and you'll never miss an episode.
We’d love to hear which AdMob features you’d like to learn more about. The comment sections for the videos are open, and you're welcome to toss out ideas for new episodes and examples you'd like to see. If you have a technical question relating to something discussed in one of the episodes, you can bring it to our support forum.
Thanks for your feedback on our recently launched The No-Nonsense Guide to Native Ads. We’re thrilled to announce that it’s now available in Spanish and Japanese.
For our Spanish and Japanese-speaking developer communities, we hope that this ebook will help you implement native ads, an ad format that effectively monetizes while preserving the user experience. Native ads match the look and feel of the content within your app and as spending on native ads is expected to grow to $21 billion in 2018, this presents a huge opportunity for publishers to enhance their user experience and tap into new revenues.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
Download your free copy of The No-Nonsense Guide to Native Ads in Spanish and Japanese today and learn practical tips and best practices for implementing native ads in your app.