The advertising industry has come a long way from blinking banner ads. Increasingly, we’re seeing mobile advertisers moving on to ads that take full advantage of the intimacy and engagement that the mobile medium enables, creating ads that are designed with user engagement and enjoyment in mind.

The latest and greatest ad unit is what the app advertising industry is calling “playable ads.” Instead of cluttering ad space with irrelevant or intrusive ads, advertisers can give mobile users what they really want — high-quality advertisements they can play and interact with.

What better way to advertise an app than to offer an interactive snippet of the in-app experience that grabs attention and pulls the user in?

What are playable ads?

Playable ads are app advertisements – most often used by game advertisers – which offer users a snippet of interactive gameplay, ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute.

Once the snapshot of the game ends, the ad includes a call to action (CTA) to install the advertised game. Most of the ads are completely opt-in, meaning users can choose whether or not they want to interact with the advertisement, and ensuring high-engagement.

The most attractive part of in-app playable ads, however, are the incredible conversion rates advertisers are enjoying, and the promise of high eCPMs and therefore increased revenue for publishers.

What should advertisers know about playable ads?

Data shows that playable ads see conversion rates up to 7x higher than video ads — which are already quite high to begin with. In contrast to video ads, which typically do a great job of illustrating gameplay experience to users, since playable ads are interactive, users are actually able to tell whether they’d enjoy the game or not.

Because playable ads are true to the spirit of the game despite being so short, those 15 seconds or so are often enough to convince users to install the advertised game.

By letting users try out the app before installing, playable mobile ads also reduce app uninstall rates — which are as high as 90% after two or three months — and which represent wasted advertising spend on the advertiser’s part.

Once converted, a user who interacted with a playable ad is also much more likely to be a high-quality user, who will continue to play the game in the future. In fact, data shows that user retention rates of playable ads are about double that of traditional video advertisements.

You might like…
Mix & Match: What’s the Perfect Balance of Ads for Your App?
Everything You Need to Know About Video Ads in 5 Minutes
Best Practices: Where to Place an Interstitial in Your App

What should publishers know about playable ads?

On the other side of the coin, playable mobile ads provide app publishers with great revenue opportunities. The more successful the ad is for the advertiser, the more money publishers generate for their app.

In addition to improved app monetization, playable ads can help boost publisher reputation as well. If users know that they’ll find enjoyable playable ads in the apps of particular publishers, they’ll keep coming back hoping to find more.

In fact, we saw that one of our own clients who stopped serving rewarded videos actually faced backlash from users. They had come to expect rewarded videos in their playing experience, valuing the exchange it represented. As playable mobile ads become just as common in the near future, it’s not impossible to imagine the same sort of reaction.

Today, with users increasingly blocking all but the most valuable, relevant or enjoyable advertisements, the mobile advertising industry is shifting accordingly — and playable ads are simply the next step in the evolution towards a more balanced value exchange.

In addition to improving user experience, user-initiated playable ads and even rewarded videos are being championed for solving viewability and ad blocking concerns, since users have to click to accept the advertisement. Moving forward, we can expect to see more mobile ad units continue to follow in the path today’s playable ads are paving.  

Click here to learn more about playable ads

ironSource Blog

The Source

ironSource Named Top 20 Most Secure Network by Singular

Yevgeny Peres is the VP Growth at ironSource. In recent years, mobile ad fraud has become an industry-wide issue which affects every advertiser - their budgets, their reputation, and mainly their effectiveness in achieving sustainable growth. That’s why we’re excited..


Best Practices for Launching Your Mobile Gaming App: Pt. 2, Worldwide Launch

Warren Woodward is the Director of User Acquisition at NEXON M, the San Francisco division of Korea’s largest mobile gaming company and one of the ten largest gaming companies in the world. Their hugely popular games include DomiNations, Titanfall: Assault, and Battlejack. This is the second part in a three part series. To read part..


What is Mobile Ad Mediation and How Does it Help App Developers?

If you’re looking to monetize your app through ads, you’ve likely come across the term "mobile ad mediation." But while the term is thrown around quite often, it can be hard to understand whether or not the solution is right for your app. Let’s take a look at what it means, who it’s best for,..


What the Hell is K Factor and How Can You Boost It?

Every app developer wants to understand how their app’s user base is growing, and how viral the app is. For this, look no further than your app’s K Factor. But what exactly does K Factor tell you about your app’s growth? And how can you work yours out? What is  K Factor?  K Factor is..


ironSource CEO Tomer Bar-Zeev Among 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2017 Builders + Innovators Summit

Goldman Sachs is recognizing ironSource CEO and Co-Founder Tomer Bar-Zeev again as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California. Goldman Sachs selected Bar-Zeev as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. A technology veteran, Bar Zeev..


Trends and Challenges in User Acquisition: Q&A with Playrix’s Artur Grigorjan

Artur is Head of Growth Marketing and is charged with the mission of finding unique opportunities to grow and improve the marketing efforts of Playrix - one of the biggest game developers in the world. They’re the team behind the wildly popular, and top-grossing titles of Township, Gardenscapes and Fishdom. Artur knows a thing or..


What the Hell is ARPDAU and How Can You Boost It?

For an app developer wanting to understand more about the health of their app, there’s a whole load of metrics to choose from. Some give insight into the day-to-day, others take a longer view.   ARPDAU is a staple day-to-day metric developers should be using - but what exactly does it tell you about your..


ironSource Launches ‘World’s First’ Augmented Reality Ads for Mobile Games

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat.  Augmented reality is set to become more mainstream thanks to Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore development platforms, marking the birth of a new marketing channel. And as with all shiny new objects, marketers are keen to start leveraging AR. Today ironSource — the mobile monetization and marketing company —  announced the launch..


Best Practices for Launching Your Mobile Gaming App: Pt. 1, Soft Launch

Warren Woodward is the Director of User Acquisition at NEXON M, the San Francisco division of Korea’s largest mobile gaming company and one of the ten largest gaming companies in the world. Their hugely popular games include DomiNations, Titanfall: Assault, and Battlejack. In mobile gaming, the soft launch is critical - especially with oversaturated app..


The Secret to Great Creative Optimization: Q&A with Kongregate’s Linh Tijan

As Senior Marketing Manager handling user acquisition at leading game publisher Kongregate, Linh Tijan has a huge amount of experience in how to optimize UA campaigns. Kongregate is behind hugely popular games such as AdVenture Capitalist, Animation Throwdown and Pocket Politics. Their online games are played by tens of millions of players each month, and..

Interested in becoming an ironSource partner?

We’d love to hear from you.