Key Points

  • Rewarded video ads give game players access to exclusive features in exchange for watching a short video advertisement.
  • Rewarded ads lead to higher engagement and better user experience than other ad types, such as banner ads.
  • Following key best practices will make your rewarded video ads more effective, less intrusive, and better suited to your unique platform.

Maybe you've heard of rewarded video ads. Maybe you know everything about them but aren't convinced they're right for your game or audience. 

We're here to tell you that rewarded video advertising is the ultimate game monetization strategy by any measure. But before we get up on our rewarded video soapbox, let's start with the basics of what rewarded video ads are, how they work, and how to implement them into your game monetization strategy. 

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Web Rewarded Video Ads PillarRewarded Video Ads: The Complete Guide to Using Rewarded Video on Web, App, and More

What Are Rewarded Video Ads

Rewarded video ads are an ad format that offers users a reward to watch a short video advertisement.


In gaming, this reward can include anything from an extra life or power-up to in-game currency. Rewarded video ads are becoming increasingly popular as a way to increase ad revenue in mobile games because they enhance user experience and give publishers a source of revenue that doesn't come directly from players. 

Rewarded video ads also offer flexibility for previewing premium features and other benefits for players and publishers.

In fact, studies have shown that people are more likely to engage with rewarded video ads than with other types of mobile game ads. As a result, rewarded video ads offer a highly effective way for developers to monetize their gaming apps.

How Do Rewarded Video Ads Work?

Rewarded video ads work by offering a transactional agreement between you and the player. You're making them an offer: "I'll give you X in exchange for watching this ad." The reward you offer should be enticing for your players and clearly communicated in your messaging. If you can nail that balance, rewarded video ads can outperform just about every other ad format. 


Ultimately, why are rewarded video ads so effective? Because players feel that they're in control of their experience, which makes them more receptive to advertiser messaging and more likely to report a positive user experience. That adds up to more time spent playing your game, more exposure to advertising messages, and more revenue straight to you.

But rewarded video ads can also do more than just generate ad revenue. They can also be used to promote premium products within your game. 

Using Rewarded Video Ads to Blend Revenue Models

Let's say you have a free-to-play app with a premium version available as an in-game purchase. This paid version might offer additional levels, an ad-free experience, or custom power-ups for players. But how do players know that a premium experience is worth the money?

You can offer your users the chance to watch a rewarded video ad in exchange for a preview of that premium experience. They'll be more likely to pay for features they've tried out and confirmed are worth paying for. Once they've tried out that killer exclusive weapon or seen the beautiful new levels, they won't want to give them up at the end of their trial.

How to Use Rewarded Video Ads in Gaming

The basic principles of rewarded video ads apply to a wide range of use cases, from mobile gaming to wifi network access. But using rewarded video effectively in the gaming world brings a range of opportunities. It's all about the rewards you offer your players. It's similar to the art of game design itself- make your rewards too weak, and players won't find them worthwhile. Make your rewards too powerful, and overpowered players will get bored by a game that's suddenly become too easy.

Here are some examples of how game developers use rewarded video to give their players something of real value for their gaming experience.

  • Extra lives, giving players the chance to keep playing after they've "died"
  • In-game currency to use however they like within the game
  • Power-ups such as weapons, armor, or extra HP (hit points)
  • Premium experiences, such as temporary access to an ad-free version of the game
  • Additional levels, or the opportunity to switch freely between levels rather than having to earn their way through to the next one

You'll notice how all of these rewards tie back directly to the game experience itself, ensuring that rewarded video ads make users feel they're benefiting themselves - rather than just benefitting your bottom line.

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Game Monetization Guide

Game Monetization Guide: Monetizing with In-Game Advertising


Best Practices for Rewarded Video Ads

If you want your rewarded video ads to yield results, there are some basic principles you should follow. They can and will make the difference between a significant boost in revenue and a bunch of frustrated, annoyed players who check out of your game completely.

Choose the Right Rewards

Choosing the wrong rewards can have a significant impact on both the user experience and the revenue generated by your app. The most important thing to keep in mind is that rewarded video ad rewards should be seen as a bonus - users should never feel like they are being forced to watch an ad in order to progress in the game. 

That said, rewards should be relevant to the game and appealing to the users. Offering too small of a reward will fail to entice users to watch the ad, while offering too high of a reward may undermine the game's in-app economy. 

Finding the right balance is essential for maximizing both revenue and user experience.

Communicate the Process Clearly

If users don't understand how the rewarded ad process works, one of two things will happen (and neither one is good). Either they simply won't watch the ad because they don't know what they get in return, or they'll watch the ad and feel cheated when the reward isn't what they thought.

Test Your Ads

Testing allows you to remove the guesswork and ensure your rewarded video ads are both high-quality and provide a good user experience. It also allows you to identify any potential issues with the ads before they're released to the public. 

Choose the Right Partner

If you're thinking about incorporating rewarded video ads into your app or game, it's important to choose the right ad tech partner. Rewarded video ads are a great way to generate revenue, but they can also be intrusive and annoying if not executed properly. 

A good ad tech partner will work with you to ensure that your rewarded video ads are set up for success. They'll also have a deep understanding of the rewarded video ad market and will be able to help you access competitive bidders, monetize difficult-to-monetize platforms, and optimize your campaigns for maximum ROI. 

In short, choosing the right ad tech partner is essential to getting the most out of rewarded video ads.

Relevance is Key

While rewarded video ads are generally more engaging than other ad types, that doesn't mean you can show players any advertisement and expect them to be tuned in. Make sure you partner with an ad tech platform that will present relevant, appropriate ads for your players.

Platform Matters

Mobile and web-based gaming lend themselves easily to rewarded video, but what if you have a desktop-based gaming app? 

Advertising on desktop apps is much more challenging. In fact, Playwire is one of the only game monetization partners to offer features like rewarded video on desktop. Our deep demand partner relationships and unique RAMP platform make it possible.

Playwire: The Leader in Rewarded Video Ads for Game Monetization

So, who is the right ad tech partner? We're so glad you asked.

From our revolutionary ad monetization platform to our proprietary Revenue Intelligence {RI} algorithm, the Playwire team has been helping publishers monetize their games for more than  fifteen years. 

We're passionate about gaming and helping talented developers earn more revenue from their premium content and creations.

Ready to learn more? 

Contact Us