This is a guest post by Will Hackett, Marketing Director at inBrain.

As the mobile app market sees slowing advertising growth and new economic realities, app monetization efficiency will be key for publisher growth and profitability.

Over the last 15 years, app publishers have been able to rely on advertising and in-app purchases as primary methods for app monetization. Currently, however, there are a confluence of events that are greatly changing the global economy. This is forcing publishers to rethink the ways that apps monetize. 

With this economic shift, companies all over the world are doing everything they can to properly map out a new path forward. One of the largest ways they are doing so is by spending more money on market research in an effort to determine how consumer sentiments and spending habits have changed, and what they can do to ensure continued success despite the new challenges.

However, it’s not necessarily a “bad” thing that publishers are being forced to rethink their monetization strategies. In fact, more often than not, in order to stay relevant, publishers must adopt new monetization methods.

Read on to learn more about how combining traditional ad monetization and survey monetization methods can help increase overall revenue in this post by inBrain Marketing Director, Will Hackett.

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The Complete Ad Revenue Resource Center

What is Happening to Ad Revenue in 2023?

In the final months of 2022, Google reported a decline in ad revenue for only the second time since going public in 2004. 

While Google Ads are only one part of the digital advertising ecosystem, it does serve as a viable industry benchmark considering Google is one of the most well-known and effective ad management platforms on the market. And, well, it’s Google. 

But, not only are ads on Google seeing a drop, growth for U.S. based advertising overall is expected to decrease from the previously predicted 5.8% growth to only a 4.3% growth, per Magna.

What is Causing Ad Revenue to Decline in 2023?

Why is this happening? Inflation is very much here and very much affecting every consumer-based industry. In an effort to combat inflation, interest rates continue to rise, thus increasing debt for both businesses and households. An increase in debt means much tighter budgets and less spending that might be deemed “unnecessary”.

Further, reduced income for consumers means lower average return for publishers that are typically reliant on in-app purchases and advertising to monetize their applications.

It’s simple, when consumers have less money to spend on non-essential items, publishers often see in-app purchases take a major hit. A drop in in-app purchases means revenue generation, which leads to declines in brand ad spend, all of which leads to even less revenue for publishers.

Related: It’s important to note that rather than really “declining,” ad revenue is returning to pre-covid levels. Watch our recent ad revenue trends webinar to learn more about what that means.

How Can Publishers Fight Back?

While traditional revenue streams are expected to continue to see less growth for the early part of 2023, there is one monetization method that is currently on the incline: Survey Monetization. 

As previously mentioned, global brands are investing more resources to understand consumer behaviors more clearly, which is where a method known as survey monetization comes into play.

Companies like inBrain have made survey monetization easy for mobile apps to include in their monetization mix, and there is certainly no better time than now to mix things up in an effort to shift the revenue dial back to a north-facing position.

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Read the publishers' guide to ad revenue.

How Do Surveys Help Publishers Monetize?

Survey Monetization is a method that app publishers can add into their monetization mix to help offset revenue gaps due to declining advertising growth. Companies all over the world are working to improve their understanding of how consumer behaviors and spending habits are changing. Survey monetization gives publishers the ability to monetize the huge sums of market research dollars that brands are allocating in 2023. 

As an example, imagine that FritoLay wants advice on the next flavor of Doritos. inBrain puts a survey in your app and, as users give their opinions, they are rewarded with your in-app currency and you get paid for each survey completion.

Brands get the answers they are looking for through survey responses and you, the publisher, earn more revenue. Everyone wins.

So, while traditional revenue streams like in-app purchases are taking a hit, brands are dishing out more money for market research. Companies like inBrain give publishers an easy way to capture these dollars for their mobile or web apps. 

What are the Benefits of Survey Monetization When Combined with Traditional Monetization Methods?

First and foremost, by implementing various monetization sources, app publishers give users more options to earn in-app currency and/or rewards. And, more often than not, apps that have multiple monetization methods implemented are able to drive more revenue compared to apps that put all of their eggs into one monetization basket. 

Surveys are also completed in exchange for a user’s time, rather than their money, which is very important in today’s expensive environment.  

Here are some additional ways in which survey monetization differs from more traditional methods:

  • It’s way more affordable to create a high-value survey (keeping in mind that at their core, surveys are merely text) than a video ad. These per unit cost savings directly lead to higher eCPMs for app publishers that integrate surveys into their app monetization strategy. 
  • The survey experience is entirely opt-in, which gives users choices they like as well as makes monetization non-invasive when compared to some more traditional methods. 
  • Surveys aren’t reliant on IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) to be effective in determining which surveys are most relevant to users. 
  • Integrations are engineered to give app publishers a controlled environment through which users can take surveys that interest them.  

Meet survey monetization partner, inBrain

Who and what is inBrain? Allow us to formally introduce ourselves.

inBrain is a people-based insights technology that gives app publishers an additional form of app monetization using first-party rewarded surveys. Available as an SDK and API, inBrain integrations are built with an intense focus on user experience and engineered for effortless survey monetization.

inBrain is uniquely positioned (through its parent company Dynata) to work with some of the world’s largest brands. Those relationships gives inBrain surveys a direct-from-source advantage that only inBrain integrations can provide.

Using proprietary AI, inBrain’s technology is built with efficiency and simplicity in mind and that’s exactly what publishers can expect when integrating it into their app(s).  

inBrain is dialed into the nuts and bolts of what is most important for creating a clean survey environment and procured user experience so publishers can always bank on as a viable revenue generator for their mobile (and desktop) apps.

Combining Survey Monetization with Ad Monetization is a No Brainer

For all of the discussion surrounding ad revenue concerns so far in 2023, there are still about 362 billion reasons for mobile app publishers to keep advertising as a key component of their monetization mix. 

The trick is for whomever will succeed in the coming years to be more efficient both with time and resources. As mentioned above, publishers can add inBrain to increase revenue efficiency generated by surveys. In the advertising space, Playwire helps publishers increase revenue with their Revenue Amplification Management Platform (RAMP).

In Playwire’s words, “By curating an end-to-end mobile advertising solution, Playwire brings the best of ad tech into a single platform.” And, similarly to inBrain, Playwire’s technology continually gets smarter and more efficient (through its proprietary Revenue Intelligence [RI} algorithm), which again saves both time and resources. 

RAMP brings together a host of bidding environments that maximize yield for publishers - which is ever important considering the slow start the advertising market has had in 2023. Not to mention, Playwire has access to invaluable premium demand through established relationships with some of the most premier brands on the planet.

Much like inBrain is a direct source of first-party surveys from global brands, Playwire works directly with some of the world’s most trusted and recognizable brands, which can and will accelerate your path to more revenue. 

On top of that, Playwire offers a variety of custom, premium video and display ad formats that are most likely to convert, which cuts down on wasted spending.

The Name of the App Monetization Game in 2023 is Efficiency

At their respective cores, inBrain and Playwire have both constructed unique technologies that help app publishers monetize more efficiently. And, while advertising remains a behemoth in terms of total dollars spent, market research holds its own, especially in a time when consumers' habits and sentiments are changing so rapidly. 

What’s more is that inBrain pays out even for partial-completions, which means a minimum $20.00 eCPM on every survey attempt. And, as advanced as some survey monetization technology is, implementation and overall functionality are simple compared to traditional monetization methods, making it easy for publishers at any technical level to use.

And, the best part? inBrain’s AI works to match surveys with users based on their specific interests. This leads to an improved user-experience and cuts down on wasted spend on impressions that don’t convert. 

The mobile app market is changing faster than ever. Thus, being even marginally more efficient will put your monetization strategy and business ahead of the game. The good thing is that while your margins will increase, inBrain and Playwire are much more than marginal tools for more efficient monetization. They’re game changers.

So, while ad agencies, advertisers, demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, and ad networks try to figure out how to better run their respective operations, Playwire provides immunity from industry upheaval and gives publishers a variety of ways to continue monetizing with advertising as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Similarly, inBrain gives publishers a way to tap into those same businesses trying to figure out how the landscape is, in fact, changing.

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