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Mobile Monday: Chrome to Block Intrusive Video Ads, GameClub Brings Subscription Service to Android

Posted Feb 17, 2020

In the past few years, the subscription service model has spread rapidly across several industries including mobile gaming. After Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass, another company is bringing premium games to subscribers. Starting in March, Android users will have access to exclusive games through GameClub’s service. Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome browser will start blocking intrusive ads in video content on apps, mobile web, and desktop. Learn more in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Chrome’s Ad Blocker Will Target Intrusive Video Ads
Google has announced that its Chrome browser will be blocking specific ad formats within short-form videos. In compliance with new standards from the Coalition for Better Ads, the change will apply to videos that are eight minutes or less across desktop, mobile web, and in-app. This new standard will be enforced starting August 5. The Chromium Blog specifies three ad experiences that will be blocked:

  • Long, non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds.
  • Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience.
  • Image or text ads that appear on top of a playing video and are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20% of the video content.

These restrictions were created based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide. This announcement comes on the heels of Google also phasing out third-party cookies. While the killing of cookies is due to privacy demands, the adblocking standard is intended to improve user experience. Matt Barash, our head of strategy and business development, spoke to The Drum about the change. “Certain adtech companies that go out and tout browser-based, high-impact, non-standard formats will be penalized by this announcement,” he said.

GameClub to Launch Its Subscription Service for Android in March
Android Central reported that GameClub will bring its premium subscription service to Android devices in March. GameClub’s service will cost $5 per month and offer exclusive titles that are not available on Google’s Play Pass. The announcement comes months after the service hit iOS devices with 100 games including Super Crate Box, Hook Champ, MiniSquadron and Plunderland.

While most games rely on ads and in-app purchases, GameClub is putting its faith in its exclusive titles to make its revenue solely from subscription fees. The company’s vice president of business development Eli Hodapp told Android Central, “Microsoft’s Game Pass is probably the best example of the amazing things that can happen in games with subscription, as it has become the default add-on that people with an Xbox spring for, and for good reason.” The mobile gaming industry will be watching GameClub along with Play Pass and Apple Arcade to see if the subscription model will prove to be a strong monetization method.

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Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?   

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