A recent survey by mobile publisher Ad Colony looked at the top-grossing app developers, and asked over 100 detailed questions and in a global survey directed towards mobile game developers (90%), with a minority making non-gaming apps (18%). A small number (8%) represented mobile publisher who make both gaming & non-gaming apps.
The survey was distributed globally, with the most respondents in EMEA (40%), followed by 34% in North America, 22% in APAC, and 4% in LATAM.
The Ad Colony report also looked at which behaviors are early indicators of user quality, publishers cited retention, in-app purchase behavior, and average session duration as key indicators. To engage these users, the majority of publishers (71%) use three or more strategies with publishers far more likely to make money through direct in-app purchases than they are from paid installs or subscriptions. In fact, in-app purchases was the single greatest individual revenue contributor cited, driving 39% of total publisher revenue.
A vast majority of publishers (87%) feel that rewarded video ad placements provide a positive user experience.
The next most favorable ad units were those that are well-integrated (native), short in duration (interstitial display), engaging (playable), or modest in stature (banner display). The least favorable ads were those that auto-played before (preroll) or amongst (in-feed) content.
When asked which monetization methods were most effective, publishers reported that rewarded video ads, in-app purchase systems, and interstitial video were all highly effective. As these methods account for a majority of publisher revenue and also rank well with respect to the user experience, this sentiment was not all too surprising.
The most popular engagement methods used by publishers were achievements, push notifications, value exchange ad integrations, and in-app events. This suggests that users must be rewarded & reminded while content must be refreshed.