3 Minute Read

You can monetize an app in a variety of ways. Subscriptions, paid downloads and in-app sales are a few common app monetization methods. But the most common - and most profitable - way to monetize an app is through in-app ads.

Mobile app revenue approached $600 billion in 2020. Most apps are free to download, so it’s safe to assume that a large portion of that revenue came from in-app ads. It’s also safe to assume that mobile app ad revenue will continue to climb as smartphones become more common and people spend more time using them each day.

It’s not hard to see the revenue potential in in-app advertising. What may be more difficult for some publishers is getting from Point A (wanting to sell in-app ad inventory) to Point B (actually doing that in a profitable way). 

To help, the Playwire in-app ad revenue team has put together this brief guide on ways to monetize your app with ads. Read on to learn more, or contact the team to discuss your app revenue strategy.

Want to learn everything you need to know about monetizing an app? Download Playwire’s Complete Guide to App Monetization for Publishers.

-- Article Continues Below --

New call-to-action

Read the guide to learn everything there is to know about monetizing your app

Mobile Banner Ads

If you’ve used the internet in the past quarter century, you’ve seen these before. Banner ads commonly appear in headers, footers and sidebars on desktop websites. In apps, publishers designate areas where ad servers can place banner ads, taking care to place them in visible spots that won’t detract from the user experience (UX).

Native Ads Inside Your App

Native ads are meant to match the look and feel of your app. In a news app, for example, a native ad may look like another news story, but it’s actually ad content from an advertiser. These ads are often marked with a “sponsored” tag or similar descriptor.

Interstitial Ads Between App Use Phases

Publishers who would prefer to not have ads visible alongside their app’s content might find interstitial ads appealing. These ads cover the entire screen, so they’re highly visible, but they only appear in between phases of the app’s use. For example, in a mobile game, an interstitial ad could appear before a game starts, between levels or after a game ends. 

Rewarding App Users Who View an Ad

When they’re done right, rewarded ads can seriously boost ad metrics like video completion rate. That’s because app users get something in exchange for viewing the ad. Often, the reward is in-app currency, points, extra lives or exclusive items to use inside a mobile game.

New call-to-action

Learn how Letterboxd increased year-over-year app revenue by 2,433% using Playwire's RAMP for app platform.

Gamified In-App Ads

Playable mobile ads are a premium in-app ad offering you can only get with high-end ad partners. Put simply, a gamified ad is a mini-game advertising something else - most often a mobile game. This format works especially well in the app world because the vast majority of in-app ads are advertising other apps.

Removing Ads from Your App

This in-app ad monetization strategy works alongside any of the above advertising methods. Here’s the basic idea: you have ads on your app, but you offer an ad-free experience to app users who are willing to pay a one-time or recurring fee. Many users may be willing to pay to not see ads while using your app, but those who aren’t will still bring revenue through your other app advertising efforts.

New call-to-action

Browse our library of resources on app monetization.

How to Run Ads Inside Your App

The above app advertising strategies are exciting, but how do you actually place ads inside your app and make money from them? Even in the technology-first world of mobile apps, it is still possible - and sometimes beneficial - to do direct ad sales with a traditional sales team. These are the insertion order (IO) buys many publishers are used to.

However, if you plan to scale up and don’t want to rely solely on direct sales, you need to consider programmatic advertising as part of your app monetization strategy. The vast majority of digital ad dollars in the United States go through programmatic deals.

Programmatic advertising is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of digitized and automated ad sales, including standard programmatic, programmatic guaranteed, programmatic preferred, private marketplaces and open exchanges.

Implementing a programmatic ad sales strategy for your mobile app is a complicated and in-depth process (if you want to do it right). You’ll need to incorporate multiple software development kits (SDKs) for each mediation partner you want to include.

This can become a rather large effort, depending on the number of partners you want competing for your inventory. Choosing a monetization partner like Playwire allows you access to all partners in a single SDK integration, increases the competition between partners, and ultimately improves your yield.

Rev Up Your Mobile App’s Advertising Revenue with Playwire

At Playwire, we spend a lot of time - some might say too much time - thinking about how to bring in more revenue for app publishers. It’s a huge part of what we do, and we’re ready to make more in-app ad revenue a reality for you in 2021.

To get started, reach out to Playwire. Give us a call at 1-561-206-4621 or contact us online.

Apply Now