Scheduled and dynamic events beat user-generated content when it comes to keeping users engaged, according to mobile-ad firm AdColony‘s Summer 2017 Mobile Publishing Survey.

AdColony recently surveyed publishers who have an average of 3 million monthly active users.

Above: Playable and video ads are becoming more popular.

Image Credit: AdColony

The survey said 86 percent of publishers believe rewarded video ads provide a positive user experience. Eighty percent of publishers use video and display ads in their apps. Ads account for 55 percent of publisher revenue. For non-gaming apps, ads are 76 percent of revenue.

Publishers said they are most excited about playable ads (where people can tap on an ad and begin playing a game) and immersive ads, but only 48 percent of them are using playables now. And playable ads are viewed as a positive experience by only 25 percent now. This suggests that even though some uncertainty exists regarding the impact of playables on the user experience, the new format has promise.

Outside of ads, in-app purchases are the most effective monetization.

Pre-roll video has the worst impact on the user experience while rewarded video has the best impact. In-app purchases have the best impact on the user experience, while subscriptions have the worst. User retention, in-app behavior, and session duration are the best indicators of user quality.

While top mobile publishers have more than 50 employees, only one to three of those employees are dedicated to monetization. Of monetization methods, publishers rank rewarded video ads as No. 1. Rewarded video, in-app purchases, and interstitial video are considered highly effective.

Above: AdColony says ads are the dominant form of monetization for all apps.

Image Credit: AdColony

About 71 percent of publishers use three or more engagement methods to retain users. Achievements, push notifications, and value exchange ads are the most popular means of engaging users. Seventy percent of publishers say that push notifications are effective. Rewarding users through VIP tiers is effective for 65 percent of publishers in driving engagement.

Respondents primarily represented mobile game developers (90 percent), with a minority making non-gaming apps (18 percent). A small number (8 percent) represented mobile publishers who make both gaming and non-gaming apps. The survey had global distribution.

Above: Rewarded video is still very popular.

Image Credit: AdColony