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Interview: AdColony On App Promotion In a Post-PPI World

With pay-per-install campaigns no longer available to iOS developers, Jirbo CEO Will Kassoy says mobile ads need to pique consumers' interests with quality content, rather than with the promise of virtual rewards.
While Apple's April crackdown on Pay-Per-Install advertisements put significant restrictions on how iOS developers promote their games, Jirbo-owned mobile ad network AdColony believes other, more effective strategies still exist for developers. Speaking to Gamasutra, Jirbo CEO Will Kassoy said that without incentivized downloads, developers need to focus more on making their own content and ads more interesting to consumers. "Now that PPI is gone, it puts more weight on driving discovery through a more qualified and targeted advertising vehicle. You can't just buy a download; you need to invoke that call of action from a consumer and draw them in via the appeal of your concept and the appeal of your ad," he said. "I think that what people found [with the PPI model] is that it basically encouraged people to download an app, get whatever the currency was, and then delete it off their device. So it would cause all these false downloads of people who really weren't interested in the app," he continued. With its AdColony network, Jirbo aims to attract consumers who actually are interested in downloading new apps with high-definition video ads placed within another developer's game. With these video ads, Kassoy says developers can pique consumers' interests with quality content, rather than with the promise of virtual rewards. "The core difference with video or other types of true advertising is that the content of what you can promote is tied to something that someone might be interested in, and if that person is interested, then they can take that next step and say, 'Oh, that's cool!'" he says. Of course, full-screen video ads in any medium can prove intrusive if they eat too much of a consumer's time, and AdColony says it made sure its technology would deliver these videos to consumers without long buffer times. Kassoy says that with a "hybrid of a local client plus server side technology," AdColony loads its videos "in about a second flat, no matter what your connection speed is." It's this speed, Kassoy says, that makes users all the more willing to watch a video ad to completion. "The industry standard is to charge the advertiser on the load. We're the only mobile network that only charge advertisers on completed video view. And part of that is because we have the only technology that loads so quickly, we have 97 percent completion rates on all our videos," he said. At the end of each video, AdColony displays buttons for users to click through and buy the advertised app or product, and so far, Kassoy says this format of advertising has attracted a very engaged audience. "We're getting engagement rates on this end-screen anywhere from 2 to 14 percent. If you're familiar with the banner ad world, if you get like .5 percent, that's a huge win," Kassoy said. "We're getting massive engagement rates off this because we're talking to a very qualified user, and I think video just presents them as a more compelling message than a static banner ever could." Kassoy added that since AdColony's debut in March of this year, the network has reached more than 25 million mobile devices. Looking at the mobile market at large, Kassoy concluded by noting that when promoting an app, developers should keep in mind exactly who their audience is, and tailor their advertising campaigns accordingly. "At the end of the day, when it comes to promoting, it's about how you get your game out there, and get people who are truly interested in your game."

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