Monetization, User Acquisition

6 Steps to Boost App Ad Revenue This Holiday Season

Tony Deane
Oct 19, 2023

Q4 for many mobile-based businesses has a history of seeing significant surges through in-app engagement, app ad revenue, and ad spend. In fact, ad revenue is projected to reach $363 billion by the end of 2023.  It presents a huge opportunity for app publishers to take advantage of this time of year and drive success into 2024.

By following the tips below, you can position yourself for continued app ad revenue growth into the Q4 holiday peak and beyond.

1. Demand diversification

Activating more demand for your inventory increases competition for every impression, which leads to higher eCPMs. Start adding new ad partners into your stack; consider adding brand-heavy networks such as Ogury, HyperMX, MobileFuse (for US and Canada-based campaigns), and DT Exchange this holiday season to take advantage of increased advertiser budgets.

If you’re a publisher who uses MAX — our industry-leading mediation platform — you’ll benefit from the largest unified auction in our industry with 25+ networks — including 20+ bidders — and AppLovin’s premium demand sources: the AppLovin Network and the AppLovin Exchange (ALX)

2. Implement app-ads.txt

Make sure you’re getting the most out of demand from DSPs by ensuring your app-ads.txt file is up to date. Many of the 100+ DSPs that are available to bid on your inventory via the AppLovin Exchange only bid on inventory verified using app-ads.txt.

Learn how to increase your eCPMs by implenting a valid app-ads.txt

3. New ad formats

Open your app to additional revenue opportunities by increasing the number of ad formats you support. Two of the more popular formats include:

  • Interstitials – Interstitial ads sport a rich, interactive canvas that supports multiple creative formats, yielding higher-than-average CPMs. 
  • Rewarded video – Rewarded ads include utility in the form of in-app/in-game items, provide additional fullscreen video opportunities that don’t interrupt app experiences, and are highly engaging for your users. They pay out well due to their fullscreen aspect, high completion rates, and the fact that they are opted into by users directly.

You are likely using one or both of these formats ads already, so test to find which works best for you. 

4. A/B test, measure, and move

It’s important to measure the ARPDAU impact of changes to your monetization stack with A/B testing. We advise doing this before rolling out major changes across the board, and to fully understand what’s driving the lift so you can take full advantage of success metrics that surface during that research. 

With MAX, it’s easy to A/B test additional networks, waterfall configurations, pricing, and ad frequency to drive positive results. Be sure to use MAX’s ad unit management API to automate your A/B testing across waterfalls. We also now have the A/B test wizard for Google bidding, which allows publishers to bulk-create A/B tests and get Google bidding up and running across multiple waterfalls.

Here’s how to set up an A/B test

Insiders Tip: To prepare for revenue declines associated with Q1 of next year, advertisers should proactively initiate A/B tests in December, This allows you to switfly promote changes in January to mitigate eCPM and ARPDAU drops. .

5. Re-invest revenue gains in smart acquisition

The saying “you have to spend money to make money” rings true in the app industry. Be ready to create a flywheel of growth during the holidays this year. Increased revenue gives you more to invest in UA, which in turn gives you more users and ad impression opportunities to drive further revenue into 2024. 

Using mediation that is connected to a strong acquisition network, like AppLovin’s MAX and AppDiscovery, enables you to interpret the monetization value of users more accurately and bid based on the determined value to fully power that growth opportunity. AppDiscovery’s automated Ad ROAS and Total ROAS campaigns use monetization data from MAX and AI-powered UA to hit ROAS targets with extreme precision on a global scale. 

Learn how recent enhancements to AppLovin’s AI advertising engine enabled Mode Mobile to run global campaigns and acquire high-value users while successfully hitting ROAS targets and lowering acquisition costs.

6. Positive Ad Experiences = Positive App Ad Revenue

Getting users to your app is hard, keeping them is even harder. A bad ad experience can cause high churn levels in your apps – luckily, it’s an easy one to fix. This step will not only help you during Q4, it will also help keep your users around longer and continue growth into 2023. 

Publishers need to manage the ad experience for end users, put a stop to risky ads immediately, and monitor competitors that are advertising in their apps. MAX Ad Review’s innovative User Journey allows publishers to simply enter a user’s unique ID to see a timeline of ads shown to quickly identify and eliminate inappropriate ads. 

Learn how to use Ad Review and implement your own custom rules for the type of content you consider to be risky.

What’s next?

What else? There’s never been a better time to start using these revenue-boosting tips, so sign up for MAX today to get started!

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