The Pivot Stuck: Video Ads Dominate App Revenue

Digital marketing journalists touted the pivot to video so incessantly that mention of it after a certain point sparked obligatory mea culpas. Redundant as the proclamations may have proved, fresh data from mobile ad firm AdColony suggests those who heralded video as the future of digital advertising have been vindicated.

A whopping 89% of more than 100 mobile app publishers surveyed by AdColony last year said video ads figure into their revenue generation strategies. In-app purchases (68%) and display ads (35%) were the second and third most common revenue-generating tactics.

As far as app publishers can tell, video continues to yield results. They ranked rewarded video ads the most effective of all monetization methods and named interstitial video ads second. Interstitial display ads followed.

More surprisingly, the enthusiasm for video hasn’t dimmed any since it emerged as a key tool in the digital advertising arsenal. More than half of publishers named video ads the monetization method that spurs the most excitement. A distant second was display advertising. Subscriptions, which also made quite the media splash, only excite 3% of app publishers.

Another cutting-edge strategy making inroads with most publishers is programmatic. Forty-three percent said they already use programmatic. Another 34% said they were planning to incorporate the automated ad delivery approach.

For ad tech companies hoping to earn spend from app publishers, trust is paramount. Thirty-four percent of publishers named trust the most important quality in an ad monetization partner, more than double the rate at which any other one trait was named.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.