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IAP the least popular form of monetisation among players

Even premium was more popular than in-app purchasing in Unity survey, but video ads were by far the favourite choice

A new survey from Unity has found in-app purchases to be the least popular form of monetisation among players, behind two forms of video advertising and premium pricing.

When asked about preferred monetisation methods, 54 per cent of surveyed players chose rewarded video ads, with another 17 per cent opting for interstitial video ads. That combined 71 per cent made video advertising by far the most popular form of monetisation among players.

Further to that, the survey indicated that, with rewarded video ads, 62 per cent of mobile players will engage with the advert to receive an in-game reward.

However, what's more surprising is how relatively unpopular in-app purchases proved to be, with just 11 per cent of players selecting IAP as their preferred method of paying for a game. Even premium pricing - now a rarity among mobile games - received 18 per cent of the vote.

Video advertising proved very attractive to the developers who took part in the survey, with 74 per cent preferring to recommend the format over static picture ads. This may be down to how well video ads monetise, with 52 per cent of developers reporting higher revenue-per-user versus any other form of advertising. And rewarded video also seems to work in conjunction with other forms of monetisation; 86 per cent of surveyed developers said that IAP revenue was unaffected by the integration of rewarded video advertising.

Unity's data was pulled from a survey of more than 2,000 developers and players, encompassing games on all mobile platforms, made with any choice of engine or middleware.

There is a great deal more in Unity's whitepaper, which you can access via this link.

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Latest comments (6)

Hugo Trepanier Senior Game Designer, Ludia5 years ago
There appears to be a discrepancy between what people say they like (as in this survey) and what they actually consume in F2P mobile games (top grossing is still filled with a majority of IAP-supported titles).
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Casey Anderson Product Manager, Big Fish Games5 years ago
Considering the average successful F2P game only sees ~10% of their audience ever monetize, the 11% of players who favor IAPs seems reasonable to me.
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Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire5 years ago
10%? More like 2%. It's why it's a volume of audience game.
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Show all comments (6)
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 5 years ago
Let's be honest. Suppose you got the list and had to pick something. So you remove the PR and bullshit science layer from it. The list now reads:

(1) Pay money after getting stuck in some way
(2) Pay up front
(3) Get interrupted by ads while playing
(4) Click on a button, put the phone down, meander off doing something else, get a reward when returning.

If you ask me, it is no surprise how rewarded video ads won this. Also, even if your game made $10 millions per day, by means of video ads, I doubt it would rank high in the list of top grossing app store games, because I doubt that revenue would get tracked to begin with. Good luck though finding advertisement partners in all markets and cat-hearding them.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development5 years ago
Every January waves of people say they are going to commit to some really important new year's resolutions, which on average lasts the better part of 7 days, give or take 5 or 6. No, people are terrible judges of their behavior just on that basis alone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th April 2016 11:55pm

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Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania5 years ago
There's a few games where conversion rates hover around 10%(+-), some (WoT) can reach ~25% if you skew the numbers the right way. However, even for those games, 2% of the players are probably still 80% of revenues.

Players preferring it, unfortunately, does not make it a good monetization technique. 3rd party ad revenue is still much, much lower when comparing it to any form of IAP ( in most cases,aka, for some games IAP just does not make sense ).

If you could somehow afford to build the necessary infrastructure and both implement your own ad-serving unit and manage your own contracts ( preferably at a high volume ) then maybe, just maybe, they would be profitable.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 9th April 2016 6:41am

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