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Mobile Monday: Mobile Game Spending Grows 10% in June, Rewarded Video Ads Generate Highest eCPMs for Apps

Posted Jul 18, 2021

In several places around the world, lockdown restrictions are being lifted as vaccines are being distributed. Although many people are starting to resume life outside of the home, they are still playing mobile games and spending a ton of money on them. New data show that spending in mobile games last month was up 10% from the previous year. Meanwhile, a report reveals that rewarded video still reigns supreme in gaming apps but is on the rise in non-gaming apps as well. Learn about these reports in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Mobile Game Spend Hits $7.3 billion in June 2021

Despite COVID-19 restrictions easing in some regions, mobile games show no signs of slowing down and made $7.3 billion in June 2021. This figure is across the App Store and Google Play and represents a 10% increase year-over-year. Sensor Tower recently released this data and also indicated that the top 10 grossing titles generated approximately $1.4 billion of user spending. Each of these games accumulated more than $100 million individually, setting a record number of titles to cross this milestone in a single month.

Honor of Kings came out on top by reaching $277 million, holding that top spot for the fourth consecutive month. The Tencent game grew 21% year-over-year with almost 96% of its revenue coming from China.  Another Tencent title, PUBG Mobile, took the second-highest spot for the month and earned $213.8 million. Most of this revenue comes from its localized version in China called Game for Peace which contributed to 53% of overall revenue. Other titles that made the top five include Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds (NetMarble), Roblox (Roblox Corporation), and Candy Crush Saga (King).

Rewarded Video Ads Generate the Highest eCPMs for Gaming and Non-gaming Apps

To produce their 2021 In-App Ad Placement Revenue Report, Vungle (a fellow Post-IDFA Alliance member) analyzed more than 6.3 billion ad impressions across formats and categorized them into 14 placement styles to learn which combinations drive the most revenue for publishers. According to their data, the highest eCPMs came from rewarded ads placed in the context of engagement loops. This type of placement generated 2.5x higher eCPMs than those in menus or in-app storefronts. Interstitials served at the end of the level also had a high eCPM score while rewarded ads placed at the end of gameplay were also deemed valuable. With these results, Vungle suggests integrating contextually relevant rewarded ads like virtual currency, activating upgrades, and providing relief from in-game difficulty. These types illustrate clear and immediate value to the player.

The report also demonstrates that rewarded ads are no longer just effective in mobile games. Rewarded ads in non-gaming apps generated 2x higher eCPMs than interstitials and 3x more than display ads. Interstitials, the second-highest for non-gaming apps, were most profitable when served at the end of content. Additionally, banners and MRECs generated anywhere from 1-30% as much revenue per impression compared to rewarded ads. Despite earning 2x the eCPM of the next leading format, rewarded ads remain relatively untapped in non-gaming titles. Vungle advises app publishers to experiment with rewarded ad placements that can be used to promote engagement within the app.

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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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