In an attempt to get game developers to switch to “native ads” for mobile games, NativeX is offering to boost in-app game revenue by 30 percent or more after 30 days — or it will pay developers $30,000.
Native ads are ads that are displayed inside a game and are consistent with its theme or characters. A native ad might take the form of a pop-up where a game characters asks if the player wants to buy a special power-up. Such ads can bring in important revenue at a time when two out of three game developers aren’t breaking even.
Justin Mauldin, director of marketing communications at Minnesota-based NativeX, said that the offer reflects NativeX’s confidence in its native ad platform, which is available now in the form of its software development kit (SDK). The platform allows game developers to get creative with their ads, offering rewards, high-definition video, expandable icons, multi-offer, custom rich media, and small, medium, and large-sized interstitials.
“Most ad networks are making exaggerated claims,” Mauldin said. “We are willing to back it up with tangible results. We are all fed up with the B.S. in the market.”
An example of a native ad appears in CSR Racing, where a car drives onto the screen and spits up a lot of dust. When the dust clears, the player sees an offer for a free app.
NativeX is trying to reduce “SDK bloat” by offering a variety of ads in a single platform.
“We’ve been longtime partners of NativeX. These guys not only deliver, they stand behind their word,” said Ben Vu, CEO of SkyVu. “Our entire monetization team was thrilled when they noticed our ad revenue had increased by 52 percent with NativeX’s new native ad formats. And this isn’t just about revenue, it’s about loyal fans and making sure that ads are relevant and interesting to players.”
NativeX has been arguing that older forms of mobile advertising are broken because of poor quality. No one clicks on banner ads, and much of the industry has turned toward video ads.
Mauldin said that beta testing with leading mobile game publishers has shown a 50 percent increase in ad-based revenue and as much as a 600 percent increase.
The SDK uses machine learning and big data science techniques to optimize ads based on contextual and behavioral data. It shows the right ad to the right person.
Early mobile ads have failed to capture the attention of users, but data on native ads, or those built into gameplay, consistently outperform other kinds of traditional ads in mobile games.
Developers have to implement their ads by March 1 to take advantage of the offer.
NativeX was founded as W3i in 2000 by three brothers, Rob, Ryan, and Aaron Weber. It has been profitable for years and has driven more than 1 billion app downloads to date. The company changed its name to NativeX last year.