Amplify Berlin 2022: Some of Our Favorite Moments
AppLovin recently hosted its exclusive Amplify event in the heart of Berlin, Germany. This was a special event for a couple of reasons: 1) It was our first in-person Amplify since COVID, and 2) Incredible publishers and industry leaders attended and took part in this exclusive event, where sessions and conversations revolved around the past, present, and especially the future of mobile ad mediation, advertising, user acquisition, and marketing.
The event was titled “Amplify Berlin – The Future of Mobile: Drive Your Growth.” All of the sessions gave a fair nod to previous and current states of affairs in the mobile apps business. But the majority of our time was spent speaking about what’s next, and how AppLovin is helping shape it.
So without further ado, let’s get into some of our favorite moments from Amplify Berlin 2022.
Adam Foroughi & Idil Canal open with important messages
AppLovin’s CEO, Adam Foroughi, opened the event with some sobering remarks about the current state of mobile. Namely, that the pandemic as well as changes in the industry itself — particularly in data collection — are propelling necessary change. As such, what we need to do as a community is work with one another. We must share as much information and as many ideas as we possibly can. We will do so “to try and help inspire and create innovation in this sector that pushes us [all] forward.”
Idil Canal, GM of Ad Tech, went on to say that as we all collectively move forward into this new paradigm, transparency, directness, and openness of conversations will shape the way we build our business and help you build yours. AppLovin has indeed been building steadily over these past few years (acquisition of MoPub, acquisition and integration of SafeDK, etc.). We want to bring all of our users with us.
She closed out with some sincere sentiments: App devs are at the core of all we do. Economic downturns have historically produced some of the most successful companies ever. We will continue innovating, executing, and keeping our customers at the center of our mission.
Ad creatives are changing, thanks to your users
In this Amplify session, Sparklabs Design Director Chris Turner had a conversation with Madbox CEO Maxime Demeure. They spoke about how the ad creative market is evolving, and how that evolution is following emerging user trends. They talk about taking a more holistic approach to ad creatives based on user behavior. Finally, they discuss how overall market trend-led relevance is much more important in this new, more privacy-restrictive world.
We heard about 2D vs 3D ads – namely, how they both work, but are largely dependent on how they are conceptualized. Using aspirational and urgency-based elements – like timers, meters, hearts, bombs, filling quotas, etc. — are a few examples of concepts and techniques that will resonate with users. Playables are a consistently hot topic, and advice was given on testing durations of playable ads and finding just the right amount of play time to connect with your audience. It was also said that users have grown accustomed to certain experiences. With that as the case, there’s never been a better time to test both with AND against those expected experiences.
We also learned to focus more on narrative, to help better engage users that have been disrupted by an ad experience. A quick, compelling story is effective and can make all the difference to ad engagement. Also, be sure to keep your narrative abundantly clear – focus on 1 or 2 key aspects of the game, not everything in the app. Finally, experiment with social elements like influencer-led videos and social media-type ads to help users feel familiarity within your app.
Mobile ad mediation is complicated — stay competitive
In the world of mobile ad mediation, there’s still plenty of room to innovate. AppLovin VP of Global Business Development Daniel Tchernahovsky co-hosted a session with Easybrain’s Head of Ads Monetization Kate Savitskaya to talk through how the new mobile landscape is treating mediation as a whole, and how to be able to roll with the punches as our industry continues to evolve.
The economic downturn that has affected the industry since the pandemic has obviously impacted CPMs, even while user bases remain stable. Kate let us know that Easybrain has also had to face these downward trajectories, particularly with banner ads because of the brand spend decrease, though other ad formats got affected as well.
Even while we can expect flat growth in 2023, how do we adjust for trends like this long-term? What must be done is to try and find tricks for each ad format; phases like the cycle we’re currently in are fantastic for spurring innovation. It forces us to be creative. One such way Easybrain is innovating is launching a/b tests with adaptive banners — meaning their size changes based on the display that they’re showing up on.
Other format tests they’re performing include:
Interstitials – Great ad format to experiment with – finding nice uplifts in revenue. Continue running tests across apps since they perform differently based on game/app type. They’re trying different trigger points and timers as well.
Segmentation – besides general set up for the entire app, they’re testing segmenting of different cohorts and building different ad set ups for different clusters of users.
As long as you keep up with new policies and continue experimenting, you will stay competitive in this constantly-evolving world of ad mediation.
Monetizing mobile games with NFTs
Rafael Vivas, GM of New Initiatives at AppLovin, talked to us about the future of monetization. But first, he took us through the past: over the last two decades — from 1999 all the way to 2016 — we went from the first static mobile ad to playable mobile ads, and the innovation continues. Now, we find ourselves in the realm of mobile monetization with NFTs. This year, our industry saw $120bn in ad spend. We are now poised to add digital goods to that spend block, and we have.
AppLovin tested NFT monetization on one of its games — Lion Studios’ Match 3D — to see how different test segments of its million-plus, 45-year-old, largely female audience would respond. Specifically, a LiveOps play-to-earn event was run where users could score an NFT badge. The value of the badge was two-fold in-game: they’d get a shiny badge that displayed their “pro” status, and they could get the same rewards at the end of a level that a rewarded video would normally give them, only without having to watch the ad. And outside of the game, they were also able to sell the badge back to AppLovin, or sell it on Vessel, our marketplace, for a price they themselves could set.
The results were fascinating:
- The badge itself began selling at higher-than-market value.
- Match 3D, an already highly popular title, saw an immediate and considerable ARPDAU lift; engagement grew, and session length also increased.
The community embraced the NFT! This shows that they are a legitimate and enjoyable way to monetize a game. They work, and if there ever was a time to give them a shot, it’s now.
Our most favorite moment: spending time in-person again with you
Amplify Berlin primarily gave us time to welcome old and new attendees back to in-person AppLovin events. Our time was full of Informative sessions and fireside chats, incredible meals, and the sights and sounds of Berlin Germany. We couldn’t have asked for a better time as we discussed our collective future in the mobile app business.
We’d like to thank you for attending if you were able to do so. We’d also like to thank our guest panelists, as well as our amazing moderators and AppLovin events team. We can’t wait to host more Amplify events in the future (we do them all over the world)! And if you couldn’t make it this time, we certainly hope you can the next time.