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Mobile Monday: Mobile Game Performance Remains Strong After AppTrackingTransparency, Mobile Gamers are Most Accepting of Rewarded Ads

Posted Aug 1, 2021

Most consumers, understandably, avoid digital ads. Ad blockers are often used due to data privacy concerns and to keep intrusive ads at bay. However, consumers can be receptive to ads if they are getting something in return. A report from eMarketer details consumer attitudes toward digital ads and mobile games in particular. Meanwhile, new data from Apptopia shows that AppTrackingTransparency might not have a negative effect on mobile game performance as previously predicted. For more on these reports, read this week’s Mobile Monday!

AppTrackingTransparency Does Not Seem to Impact Download or Monetization Performance

Despite initial predictions, AppTrackingTransparency does not have much of an effect on game download or monetization performance. When the privacy framework was announced, many assumed that there would be a sizable decline in iOS game performance due to the changes in ad targeting. According to Apptopia’s data, mobile game downloads and in-app purchase revenue of the biggest gaming subcategories have not deviated from their trend lines. Branch’s research says that iOS 14.5 adoption hit 75% on June 27th and looking at the charts, there is no dip in weekly iOS downloads. 

Apptopia cites a few possible reasons for the unchanged trend lines. Publishers could be spending more money on user acquisition to make up for losses but this could be unlikely this early. Also, UA marketers could be using a larger percentage of their budgets on native ads in other networks that still have efficient targeting systems. Lastly, Apptopia believes several large publishers have more effective targeting capabilities than smaller publishers and that could be keeping performance afloat. Time will tell if there will be an eventual downward trend but so far, mobile game performance is still strong.

Mobile Gamers Feel Most Positively Toward Rewarded Ads

In eMarketer’s report named Consumer Attitudes Toward Digital Advertising 2021, the market research company found that consumers are mostly ad avoidant but are receptive to a few ad experiences. People are more accepting of lighter, less intrusive ads like rewarded video ads. Specifically, in mobile games, players are least inclined to screen take over ads that have them watch or view an ad for a certain amount of time before it can be skipped. On the other end, rewarded ads (both video or display) are most positively received by mobile gamers.

According to a Toluna and Harris Interactive survey conducted in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Australia, 60% of mobile gamers were familiar with rewarded ads in mobile games. More than half (54%) said they liked these ads, while only 17% disliked them. When given the choice, most consumers would rather play free mobile games with ads than pay for in-app experiences. A May 2021 YouGov survey revealed that over half (51%) of US mobile gamers said they’d prefer to watch ads and play for free, versus 19% who would rather make in-app purchases than see ads. To keep consumers content, publishers can comply with Acceptable Ads or the Better Ads Standards to serve more enjoyable ad experiences. 

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