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Developing Monetization Strategies at AdColony Space 2017

Posted Jul 20, 2017

Last week, our team in Korea invited mobile game developers and publishers to our 2nd annual event, AdColony Space 2017. This event was prepared for developers who are interested in monetization but concerned about the impact on user experience, IAP revenue, and their games’ identity.

AdColony Space 2017 wasn’t just about promoting ad monetization, but to help developers improve their in-app economies overall. In addition to our own monetization experts, we also invited leaders from large publishers as guest speakers to inspire the others.

As game publishing environment continues to evolve, app economies that rely solely on IAP (in-app-purchase) are a concern for many game publishers regardless of size. Global publishers often implement ad monetization as an additional source of revenue. Ad monetization in Korea, however, has remained lower than global rates due to the country’s traditionally high IAP purchase rates — however, those rates are slowing and Korean publishers are eager to learn best practices for ad monetization.

AdColony Space 2017 was prepared to share why the big publishers decided to start ad monetization, how they persuaded the internal teams, and what they did to elevate their monetization.

We held this year’s AdColony Space in the middle of Gangnam district in Seoul, greeting attendees with a cup of Starbucks coffee, hand-made macarons, and an AdColony Ad Showroom zone where people were able to experience our new ads in the palm of their hands.

In the Ad Showroom zone, attendees were able to experience the next-generation of mobile video ads powered by the AdColony SDK. For many in attendance, this was the first time seeing Aurora™ HD Video ad units and reactions were overwhelmingly positive.


There were 4 sessions with three guest speakers, covering the all the bases of monetization strategy, and logic.

  • Why Ad Monetization? — with Minki Kim, Shot Online M team leader in Webzen
  • How to monetize with ads —  with Seungkyu Kim, Manager at PlaydogSoft
  • What should developers monetize? — Alvin Kim, Sales at Director at AdColony Korea
  • A panel discussion on running a healthy in-app economy.

Why Ad Monetization?
When his team members were pessimistic about the ad monetization, Minki Kim was the man to ask them in return, “Why not ad monetization?” Kim recommended that publishers initially focus on retention before turning to monetization, and not expect to make a fortune right out of the gate. It takes time to build trust in users. His remarks were very practical and helpful for the publishers in consideration of the ad monetization.

How to Monetize with Ads
Seungkyu Kim, a manager in PlaydogSoft is an expert in monetization, explaining in depth over the course of his session what he did to optimize monetization for several apps.

He shared how he tripled the ad monetization revenue compared to the beginning of this year:

  • A more flexible view of the user experience. “Users don’t hate watching ads as much as developers tend to think,” he said.
  • Multiple A/B tests for optimizing ad monetization strategy.
  • Consideration of the ad monetization at the planning stage of an app, instead of adding it in after the fact.

He emphasized that he became confident about the ad monetization when the ARPDAU didn’t drop, but actually increased after ads were added to his apps.

What should developers monetize?
Following the great guest speakers’ sessions, Alvin Kim from AdColony Korea used his expertise to advise attendees on what exactly to monetize. “Money follows if you understand the advertiser and advertising products,” he said. Kim also shared the trend of the mobile advertising market and products along with long-term predictions; the mobile advertising market will continuously grow and surpass TV and PC online advertising globally. Brand advertisers’ interest becomes even higher especially on video specialized ad products within mobile, and developers should be ready to capitalize on that advertiser interest.

Last but not the least, all the speakers participated in a panel discussion with a moderator, Sungkon Kim, CEO of Springcomes. Based on his rich experience in the game industry from PC to mobile games, from start-ups to big publishers, he shared both his personal insights and guided discussion and knowledge from the panelists.

We can’t wait to see what our many attendees do with the knowledge they soaked up during AdColony Space this year. We’ll be keeping an eye on them and perhaps invite some of them to speak next year at AdColony Space 2018!

Join the Conversation
What’s your big monetization tip? Did you attend AdColony Space this year? Tweet us at @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

Yoohyun (Karen) Kim
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