Friday, 3 February 2017

Foreman: 7 App Advertising Models

As the mobile advertising market was predicted to hit $100 billion in 2016, numerous mobile ad companies have sprouted up, wooing developers with various advertising models that can easily be integrated into an app with their software development kit (SDK). Here's a list of seven mobile ad models.

1. Banner Ads

This is what most people think mobile ads are. They typically will occupy the real estate at the top or bottom of an app. If the user taps the ad, all sorts of possibilities open up, from watching a video to the option of downloading an app. I personally think this is a pretty ineffective method of advertising and cheapens your app. Users have become blind to banner ads. The dominant players for banner ads are Google’s AdMob and Chartboost.

2. Interstitial Ads

These are inserted at transition points in an app, like right before an app starts or in the case of a game after a level is complete. It’s like watching a commercial on television. It’s typically a video that can drop the user off to the advertiser’s desired URL or to download another app. Some of the mobile advertisers that use this model include TapJoyRevMob and Flurry.

3. Rewards Ads

They are my favorite because it’s a win for all involved. The reward is triggered by some event in the app like getting an achievement. The user will see a pop-up where they will get a discount, gift card, coupon, etc. The owner of the app will also get compensated too, making everyone a winner. Players in this space are Kiip and Avocarrot.

4. Offer Walls

These are typically used in games where virtual goods are sold for real currency. The offer wall gives the player the option of earning virtual goods by performing some action on the wall. For example, a player can earn virtual gold by signing up for a trial Netflix account. Mobile advertisers that support Offer Walls are TapJoyStartApp and Fiksu.

5. Notification Ads

I’m not a big fan of notification ads. Apps that support notification ads act like a Trojan horse (to be fair, users have to opt in), with the ability to push notification ads even when the app is dormant. Notification ads are only supported on Android. My theory is that the reason this type of ad is not supported on iOS is because Apple rejects its Trojan-like nature. AirPush and LeadBolt offer this mechanism.

6. Native Advertising

This is used for apps that are content based and typically show up in the apps’ news feed. Facebook adopted native advertising and has done exceptionally well. This ad model is probably the most effective way to generate revenue. Mobile advertisers that offer native advertising include AdRollSharethrough and PubNative.

 7. Data Collection

When I originally wrote this article, I listed six mobile ad models. Recently, I met the team at Beacons in Space that developed a new revenue model, which essentially collects data about users near beacons. As such, I had to update this article with a new model that I’m calling Data Collection. Essentially, the model passively collects data about the user. Specifically in the case of Beacons in Space, the developer integrates their SDK into their app. After the user downloads the app, it will track when users are near a beacon and rewards the developer accordingly. The biggest downside is that the app will ask the user to enable location-based services for the app. It’s not a big deal if the app already uses location services, but if it doesn’t, it may set up a red flag for the user. The upside is that this model doesn’t change the user experience.

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