How Much Money Do Mobile Games Make Per Ad? -

How Much Money Do Mobile Games Make Per Ad?

In the past few years, the mobile gaming industry has soared to unprecedented heights, capturing the attention of millions of players worldwide. And the question is, “How much money do mobile games make per ad?”

The mobile gaming industry has evolved beyond the realm of entertainment to become a lucrative business. Today, we’ll explore mobile game ad monetization to uncover the secrets behind their earnings. Let’s take a look at the world of in-game advertising, decipher the key metrics that determine ad revenue, and analyze the factors that influence mobile game advertising success.

The Landscape of Mobile Game Advertising

The key to effective mobile game advertising is variety. Different ad types appeal to different audiences, making the landscape diverse and exciting. Here are some of the most common ad formats in mobile games:

  • Interstitial Ads: These ads appear at natural breaks in the gameplay, often between levels or at specific checkpoints. They are typically full-screen ads that grab the player’s attention but are designed not to disrupt the gaming experience too much. Interstitial ads can promote other games, products, or services. On average, interstitial ads can yield around $1 to $5 per thousand impressions (eCPM). However, this can vary significantly depending on the game’s user base and engagement.
  • Rewarded Video Ads: Rewarded video ads are a player’s best friend. Instead of feeling intrusive, these ads reward you with extra lives, power-ups, or virtual currency for watching short videos. These ads are engaging for players because they see a direct benefit. In general, they can generate eCPMs between $10 and $50. Depending on the game’s engagement and ad network, the exact amount will vary.
  • Banner Ads: A banner ad occupies only a small area of the screen. It is usually located at the top or bottom of the page. While they are less attention-grabbing than interstitials or video ads, they can be strategically used throughout gameplay to maintain a consistent presence. Typically, banner ads at the top or bottom of the screen have lower eCPMs, often in the range of $0.10 to $1 per thousand impressions.
  • Playable Ads: Playable ads are the most interactive ad format. Users can experience a mini-version of the advertised game within their own game. A taste of the gameplay will encourage players to download the full game if they like it. This format offers a “try before you buy” experience and t is possible for eCPMs to range from $20 to $100 or more. Ads like these are highly engaging and often result in higher user interaction.

Key Metrics in Mobile Game Ad Revenue

eCPM (Effective Cost Per Mille/Thousand Impressions)

eCPM is a fundamental metric in mobile game ad revenue. It measures the earnings generated per thousand ad impressions. Optimizing ad strategies and maximizing revenue requires a thorough understanding of eCPM.

eCPC (Effective Cost Per Click)

eCPC, on the other hand, measures the cost of a click on an ad. It is important for developers to know the eCPC in order to evaluate campaign performance, optimize their spending, and measure the return on investment. This ensures they acquire users in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

eCPA (Effective Cost Per Action)

In eCPA, the cost of a specific user action is tracked, such as installing an advertised app or making an in-app purchase.It’s an essential metric for assessing ad campaigns’ profitability.

Factors Influencing Ad Revenue in Mobile Games

Ad Frequency

Ad Frequency refers to how often ads are displayed to players within a specific time frame. Ad frequency can have a profound impact both on player experience and ad revenue. It is crucial to strike the right balance. If ads are displayed too frequently, users might become annoyed and disengaged, leading to ad fatigue and player churn. In contrast, too few ads might limit your revenue.

User engagement rates 

High user engagement and retention rates lead to more ad views and, ultimately, increased ad revenue. Keeping players engaged with your game to boost ad revenue is critical. For example, offering rewards or bonuses for completing certain levels or adding new features to the game that make it more interesting can help to keep users engaged and, in turn, increase ad revenue.

Geographic location of players

A player’s location can have a significant impact on ad revenue. Advertisers may pay more for users in certain countries, so understanding the player base’s geographic distribution is essential.

Seasonality and special events

Ad revenue can be affected greatly by certain times of the year, such as holidays and in-game events. Developers can maximize their earnings by being prepared for these fluctuations.

How Much Money Do Mobile Games Make Per Ad?

How Much Money Do Mobile Games Make Per Ad?

Case Studies: Top Earning Mobile Games

Subway Surfers (by Kiloo): An example of an effective ad-supported game is Subway Surfers. Players can watch ads for in-game rewards such as coins or revival tokens. The ads are not intrusive and provide value for the player.

Wordscapes (by PeopleFun): Wordscapes incorporates interstitial ads between puzzle levels, with the option to watch an ad for extra in-game currency. The ads are well-timed and don’t interfere with the game’s flow.

Coin Master (by Moon Active): With Coin Master, players can watch ads to earn extra spins by spinning the wheel. The purpose of this is to incentivize ad views without making them a requirement for progression.

Strategies to Optimize Ad Revenue in Mobile Games

Now that we’ve covered the different ad formats and the factors influencing ad revenue, let’s dive into some key strategies to optimize ad revenue in mobile games. These strategies are essential for developers looking to maximize their earnings while ensuring that players continue to enjoy their gaming experience.

Importance of Ad Placement and Timing

Ad placement and timing are crucial for balancing ad revenue and user engagement. Best practices include:

  • Non-Disruptive Placement: Make sure that ads don’t interfere with gameplay, like in the middle of an action sequence. Choose moments between levels or during natural breaks instead.
  • Reward-Based Ads: Rewarded video ads can be effective in moments of frustration, such as after failing a level. In-game rewards can facilitate a positive ad experience as they immediately benefit players.
  • Strategic Banner Placement: When using banner ads, ensure they don’t obstruct critical gameplay elements. Ads placed at the top or bottom of the screen are less intrusive and maintain a continuous presence.
  • Frequency Capping: Using frequency capping, limit the number of ads a player sees within a certain time frame. This prevents ad fatigue and ensures players are not overwhelmed by ads.
  • User Feedback: Assess player feedback and adjust ad placement and timing accordingly. It is possible to improve your ad strategies if you have a good relationship with your player community.

Utilizing Ad Mediation and Optimization Platforms

Ad mediation platforms assist developers in managing and optimizing their ad networks. Using them can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Multiple Ad Networks: You can work with multiple ad networks simultaneously with ad mediation platforms.Diversifying your ad sources increases your chances of getting higher eCPMs.
  • Real-Time Optimization: You can track ad performance in real-time using these platforms. They can automatically allocate ad requests to the network offering the highest eCPM at that moment.
  • A/B Testing: A/B testing on ad mediation platforms lets you experiment with different ad strategies and measure their impact on revenue.
  • Efficiency: By automating much of the ad network management process, these platforms save you time and resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of game development.

Balancing In-App Purchases with Ad Displays

Ad displays and in-app purchases (IAPs) must be balanced. To achieve that delicate balance, follow these steps:

  • Offer Choice: Provide players with options. Offer them the option to play your game ad-supported or ad-free with the option of making in-app purchases. Some players prefer one-time purchases over ads, while others happilyengage with ads to access content.
  • Targeted Ads: Make sure that the ads you show are relevant to your players’ interests. Targeted ads are more likely to be well-received. Choose ad networks that offer ad targeting options.
  • Value Exchange: Focus on the value exchange when implementing ads in your game. Consider rewarding players with in-game currency or power-ups for viewing ads. In this way, players are clearly rewarded for engaging with ads.

Encouraging Repeat Gameplay to Increase Ad Views

Encouraging players to return to your game is not only great for retaining users but also for increasing ad views. Here are some tips on how to keep players coming back:

  • Daily Rewards: Provide daily rewards or login bonuses to encourage players to open the game regularly. There are many rewards to choose from, including in-game currency, power-ups, and other enticing items.
  • Events and Challenges: Create in-game challenges and events that provide special rewards. Limited-time events create a sense of urgency and excitement for your players, motivating them to return and participate.
  • Social Features: Add social features like leaderboards, multiplayer modes, or sharing achievements with friends. Playing this game fosters a sense of community and competition that motivates players to return.
  • Content Updates: Regularly release new content, such as levels, characters, and storylines. This keeps the gameplay fresh and offers players new challenges to tackle.

The Future of Mobile Game Advertising

Emerging Ad Formats (e.g., AR and VR Ads):

AR and VR Ads:

AR and VR advertising in mobile games present exciting possibilities. These immersive ad formats can offer players a more engaging and interactive experience, blurring the line between in-game content and advertising. An example of this would be the ability for players to experience branded mini-games or test out products in a virtual environment.
AR and VR ads can potentially enhance ad engagement and brand interactions significantly. However, their success will depend on seamlessly integrating these formats into games and ensuring they add value to the player experience.

New Technologies and Ad Revenue:

  • 5G and Improved Device Capabilities: 5G networks and more powerful mobile devices can revolutionize Ad monetization in mobile games. As data speeds improve and latency decreases, ad experiences will become more immersive and of higher quality. Additionally, better device capabilities make ads look more appealing by supporting advanced graphics.

In the near future, these technological advancements may lead to more dynamic and interactive ad formats, such as high-quality video ads, AR/VR experiences, and real-time multiplayer ad games. The result would be higher ad engagement and, consequently, higher ad revenue.

Trends in Player Behavior and Preferences:

  • Personalization: Advertising content that is personalized and aligned with player interests is becoming increasingly popular among players. Ads must be tailored to individual players based on data-driven insights.
  • Reward-Based Advertising: Rewarding players with in-game items, currency, or even real-world money for engaging with dynamic tasks or playtime will likely continue to be a prominent trend. Check out AppSamurai for Games to see amazing results:


Having a comprehensive understanding of the mobile game ad landscape is necessary to tap into the substantial earnings from ads in mobile games. Developers can maximize their earnings and continue to thrive in mobile game advertising by utilizing key metrics, optimizing ad strategies, and staying on top of emerging trends. Our goal is to help all game developers achieve full financial success by leveraging ads effectively. As the mobile gaming industry continues to flourish, there has never been a better time to explore the vast opportunities mobile game ad monetization presents.


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