How to balance monetisation and increase retention

Oct 21, 2021

For free-to-play games, the two primary methods of monetisation are in-app purchases (IAPs) or in-app advertisements (IAAs).

Facebook Audience Network strategic partner managers Antonio Manuel Ribeiro and Yuthida Hun discussed how to balance a game’s monetisation mix across both IAPs and IAAS at PGC Digital.

All we have known that a balanced approach to hybrid monetisation can have a positive effect on a game’s retention rates; contrary to the belief that increased monetisation in games can drive players away. So how a mixed monetisation approach can help both retention and revenue.

Firstly, diversified monetisation can increase profitability and the lifetime value of players. By implementing in-app advertising, developers can scale beyond smaller in-game purchasing groups and increase the exposure of the ads.

Facebook conducted consumer research has found that 51 percent of users play longer because of rewarded ads. As rewarded ads provide players with an increased incentive to stay in the game, it provides an opportunity to boost ad exposure by showing them more ads in that additional time. Moreover, 71 percent of hardcore and midcore users responded that they “like” or are “okay with” rewarded video ads that players can opt in to.

The research also found that players spent more time in games that had an ad SDK installed. The research suggested that playtimes increased 3 months after ad integration, highlighting that if done successfully, ad integration does not affect player retention.

Less than 5 percent of players pay for IAPs, therefore more publishers are utilising a mixed monetisation approach.

The pair concluded that by integrating IAPS and utilising a mixed approach developers can diversify revenue streams, increase time spent in-game, avoid leaving money on the table, and enhance the overall player experience.