Mobile advertising: monetizing the gaming experience

Oct 11, 2023

The Emerging Sportech Opportunity


With a vast selection of over nine million mobile apps, making a mark in such a crowded marketplace can be a real challenges. For mobile game developers, consistent revenue is a concern. Thankfully, with the digital innovations available today, in-game advertising has emerged as a practical solution and a potent monetization strategy. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about monetizing the gaming experience to drive long-term success of your mobile products.

Understanding in-app advertising

Have you ever seen an ad appear after playing three Tetris games in a row? You have to watch a video before you can continue on your fourth game. That’s in-app advertising in action. In-app advertising, the process of embedding advertisements within video games, are commonly called pay-per-click (PPC) ads, creating a revenue stream for publishers each time a mobile gamer clicks on them.

Why? It’s one of the more successful mobile marketing strategies. Given that a substantial number of mobile games are offered free of charge, in-app advertising serves as a cornerstone of the revenue model for many publishers in the industry. When combined with in-game purchases, this advertising approach helps cover the high development costs in the mobile gaming world and increases profitability.

While in-game purchases often appeal to dedicated players, in-app advertising reaches a broader audience. While in-game purchases are usually more lucrative, these transactions are typically made by loyal players in the mobile gaming market. This model offers potential revenue even for newer apps that haven’t yet established a solid user base. For instance, games like Candy Crush Saga have generated substantial revenue, with $607 million in revenue (North America) in 2022, largely thanks to in-app ads.



Free-to-Play games? They also rely heavily on in-app advertising as a significant source of revenue. This monetization model allows game developers to offer games by increasing download rates while still earning revenue.

Although in-app advertising can be a lucrative option for developers, it isn’t a perfect monetization solution. Here are some pros and cons of using in-app ads for your mobile game:


– In-app ads only need minimal interaction to generate revenue for your game.

– Setting up these ads is a straightforward process.

– Potential for consistent daily profit based on exposure.


– In-app ads can be intrusive and disrupt a player’s gaming experience.

– Setting up too many ads can turn off players and damage your reputation.

– Enabling real-time responsiveness to customer actions and preferences.

– PPC platforms set different rates based on the mobile game you offer, so your game could earn less than others with less traffic.

How to master in-app advertising in 2023

Focus on delivering an enjoyable and secure user experience first: one of the challenges of mobile gaming is providing a secure and seamless user experience, especially regarding authentication and authorization.

Many mobile games, such as social media networks, cloud providers, or gaming consoles, rely on third-party services or platforms to handle these aspects.

However, integrating these services can be complex and risky, as each may have different authentication and authorization standards and protocols, but there are companies, like OAuth, that simplify the integration process, enhance the security and privacy of mobile games, and enable new features such as cross-platform gaming, social sharing, and personalized recommendations, allowing users to grant limited access to resources without exposing their credentials.



Interestingly, the mobile gaming trend, like in-game advertising, are influencing PC gaming. Recognizing this connection between mobile and PC gaming allows for a more comprehensive monetization approach and creates a unified gaming landscape.

And what about creating ads? People hate intrusive ads. Disruptive ads can interrupt players who simply want to enjoy a mobile game. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo implementing in-app ads all together.

Experimenting with ad format will have a different function, use case, and result for engaging your target audience. The most common types of in-app ads are interstitial, appearing at natural transition points, such as between activities or game levels, to capture the user’s attention; rich media, involving advanced features like video, text-to-speech, or other interactive elements, to deliver a more immersive and impactful ad experience than standard banner ads; rewarded video, a type of ad that rewards users in exchange for watching the entire video; native ads, matching the look, feel, and function of the media format they appear in, and banner ads; the most common forms of online advertising that usually contain a call to action to a target audience, linking to the advertiser’s website.

In-app advertising is an essential revenue generation strategy for mobile game developers and publishers. When executed successfully, it can ensure sustainable income while enhancing user experience. Adhering to best practices can optimize results and boost return on investment.

Thank you to Brandon Lee, a content marketing expert, for collaborating with our blog with such an interesting guide about the gaming experience and its monetization possibilities.


Stay tuned!