Feature Article

September 05, 2013

How Mobile Ads Inside of Apps Can Actually Increase User Engagement

Most developers are hesitant to implement monetization solutions, fearing that they will alienate their users and decrease both rates of engagement and retention.

However, when ads are presented as targeted and individualized, they can actually positively impact user experience and engagement. Below, I will share some data that illustrates a positive correlation between how the implementation of such ads had a positive effect on overall user engagement.

In order to provide some context, PaeDae is an ad network that leverages a "reward ad spec" to assist app developers with monetization. One of our identifying characteristics is our commitment to ensuring that these ads appear native to the games or apps in which they are featured, and do not detract from overall user experience.

Recently, while gathering engagement data from our network, we conducted a “split test” around the usage of rewards and their effects on engagement. We utilized two different cohorts - one was shown rewards upon reaching specific milestones, while the other was not shown any rewards during the app’s life cycle.

First of all, we observed a 90 percent overall increase in minutes played by users who were shown at least one reward. Secondly, we found a 61 percent increase in overall retention, or instances in which a user played multiple sessions after the install. Finally, there was a 21 percent increase in overall plays per install when a user was shown a reward. These statistics demonstrate that effectively targeted rewards will motivate a user to invest more of his or her time and resources into a particular app.

The takeaway here is that with proper user testing, rewards and other types of native, branded ads can improve overall user engagement rates and generate incremental revenue and not hinder them like widely assumed.

This case study aims to shed some light on monetization as a legitimate means to enhance user engagement rather than detract from it. Understanding and making use of this type of advertising allows the developer an opportunity to strengthen its connection with users and earn their loyalty as well as generate revenue. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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