The vast majority of mobile developers think ads are critical for successful monetization, with 93% of developers using ads in-game as part of their monetization mix.

Using Meta Audience Network, IDC surveyed 514 gaming enthusiasts in 17 countries. All of the respondents acted like manager, director or lead level and experienced in development, monetization and/or acquisition of mobile games.

The aim was to figure out the aftermath of a global emphasis on privacy on advertising targeting with its App Tracking Transparency iOS 14.5, which was released in the spring of 2021. The study aimed to find out how mobile gaming companies can diversify their revenue streams, what role should in-app ads play in game creators monetization mix, that ad formats and placements will help achieve average weekly active user (DPAU) and retention targets, and how mobile gaming companies should plan on expanding their revenue streams.

Key findings

Approximately 62% of developers surveyed believe in combining advertising and buying into app purchases is the best strategy to meet ARPDAU and retention targets at game launch. 33% even saw a lifetime value increase after introducing a virtual world player to their virtual game.

As of the beginning, 67% of gaming decision makers are building games with a unified user acquisition and monetization strategy.

And 83% of developers found IAA effective in acquiring players for other games in their portfolio, especially in part due to a suite of UA solutions.

In addition to using ads in the app, more than half of those surveyed said they’re working together with social media influencers and content creators. They also said they are creating social communities and networks outside the game and they are using a social/viral uptake tool that is built directly into their games.