This year, our exclusive industry summit Gamefest became Appfest. 140 of the top decision makers and innovators from the App Economy united in Israel for 3 days of content, networking, and fun. With 21 expert speakers joining us, we covered everything from creatives, to influencer marketing, metaverse, web3 and beyond. With content this good, it feels wrong not to share - so here’s a quick roundup of each session:
Welcome to Appfest
Tomer Bar Zeev, CEO at ironSource
Tomer set the scene for the event and explained how our annual Gamefest summit became Appfest. Games have long been at the cutting-edge of the App Economy, building sophisticated business models, and operations - but those strategies are now beginning to be adopted more widely by apps across every genre. Appfest is the place where people who are growing the App Economy get together as a community so we can learn from each other and pave the way forward.
ironSource Overview and Innovation Highlights
Omer Kaplan, CRO at ironSource
Omer filled us in on the ways ironSource helps to power the App Economy and debunked some myths about how we do it, before covering ironSource’s approach to innovation, and then handing over to the people actually building innovative products in our platform.
Innovation From App Launch to Growth
Nimrod Zuta, SVP Product at ironSource Sonic
Nimrod gave us a quick overview of some of the innovative, first-to-market products his team built into ironSource LevelPlay which have now become the industry standard. He zoomed in on two products and how and why we built them: marketability testing and cross promotion.
Innovation in Apple Search Ads
Ellie Yutcis, Director of Product at ironSource Luna
Ellie introduced ironSource Luna’s solution for Apple Search Ads - explaining why Luna’s decided to go all in on building these products for marketers and four ways Luna solutions can help scale Apple Search Ads efficiently and profitably.
Innovation in Web3 Games
Gal Fisheloviz, Director of Business Stratey at ironSource Astra
Gal gave us a lesson on the impact web3 can have on a game business and announced ironSource Astra - ironSource’s new comprehensive solution for building and scaling Web3 games. It’s comprised of three products: Astra Platform, which lets you create, manage, and distribute NFTs all in one place - no smart contracts or coding required; Astra Wallet, which makes it easy for every user to get started on web3; and Astra Marketplace, which lets you build and customize a dedicated space for players to buy, sell, and trade assets.
The State of the App Economy through Data
Sam Yang, CRO at data.ai
Sam reviewed the state of the App Economy as told by data - diving into time spent on apps, money spent in apps, and more. He also shared useful recommendations for app developers to avoid troughs’ in the data and ‘find the crests’.
Bucking the Recession: Stories from the Game Industry
Michail Katkoff, MD at Savage Game Studios
Michail walked through the current state of the mobile game industry, what it takes to become a top publisher in mobile, and the return of IP licensing deals in a post-IDFA world. He shared who’s bucking the trends and how to take advantage of the opportunities of leveraging IP and finding growth pockets.
Yuval Lotan, Head of Platform Growth at ironSource
Yuval introduced us to his friend Pareto and showed us that though most publishers focus 80% of their efforts on waterfall optimization, it’s actually ad placement strategy that’s got the highest potential to drive growth.
[Wo]Man vs Machine: 3 Ways You Can Impact Growth
Maytal Shaul, VP Business Growth at ironSource Sonic
Anna Popereko, Game Design Consultant at ironSource Sonic
Maytal explained that instead of going against “the machine”, we need to join forces and combine automation with manual efforts. She covered three big areas of growth opportunities for app developers to focus on: custom product pages, A/B testing, and ad placements. For ad placements, she handed the mic to Anna to give in-depth tips on how to build an ad placement strategy that drives revenue all while keeping the player experience in mind.
Telcos and Apps
Giancarlo Fasalo, EVP Product Marketing and Strategy at ironSource Aura
Giancarlo talked about how on-device placements help apps cut through the noise, but also how the level of privilege and trust we get on-device allows for smart targeting and an excellent user experience.
Breaking Past Sci Fi: Defining the Metaverse
John Riccitello, CEO at Unity
John defined the Metaverse as the next generation of the internet - a real time, mostly social, mostly persistent, mostly 3D, and mostly interactive platform. What this translates to is access to a digital world where instead of watching the next PPV on your couch, you’ll be wearing the gloves of your favorite boxer, right there in the ring, with each swing. The next time you remodel your home, you won’t be looking at blueprints but picking the spigots standing in a fully realized digital recreation of your new kitchen.
Hyper-casual in 2022 and Beyond
Nadav Ashkenazy, SVP at ironSource Supersonic
Nadav checked in on the growth of hyper-casual. He went through the evolution of hyper-casual over the years - from new genres, to new business models, and mechanics. He dove into the data behind the growth, and ended with the future of hyper-casual.
Reinventing Mobile Ad Measurement
Eric Seufert, Founder at Mobile Dev Memo
Eric took us through the history of measurement - covering four different measurement models: deterministic attribution, probabilistic attribution, media mix models, and incrementality measurement. Finally, Eric ended off with what he sees as the future of platforms: content fortresses.
Ad Monetization in IAP Games
Noelia Lopez, Senior Monetization Manager at Tilting Point
Noelia shared how her team at Tilting Point monetizes the 97% of non-payers: ad monetization. She walked through common misconceptions about monetizing with ads in midcore games, and then walked us through her ad monetization workflow - from the prototyping stage, to soft launch, global launch, and ad ops.
Going off Autopilot in Ad Monetization
Samantha Benjamin, Director of Growth at ironSource Supersonic
Sam encouraged the crowd to get off autopilot mode, running the same ad placements over and over, and start getting creative. She explained that creative ad monetization strategies is where incremental growth lies, and offered 4 tips on how to do it.
Structuring a Centralized Growth Team
Ketty Slonimsky, Chief Growth Officer at Palta (Flo)
Ketty showed us what it takes to build a centralized growth team, like she has at Palta. She walked through the different knowledge domains that make up the team, tips on how to build it, and tips on how to get everyone to collaborate. Then Ketty explained how a centralized growth team works in practice - with the example of mobile web onboarding.
Offerwall 2.0: The Transaction Economy
Jeff Drobick, GM Sonic and Tapjoy at ironSource
Jeff explained the importance of leveraging value-exchange advertising to generate revenue - namely offerwalls. He used data to debunk common misconceptions around offerwalls’ impact on retention and churn, and introduced us to new innovations the offerwall team is working on.
Sen Sun, SVP Advertising at Scopely
Sen walked us through his teams’ strategy for monetizing with offerwalls, and shared a case study on its impact on revenue metrics.
Influencer Marketing: The Missing Ingredient in Your Performance Marketing Mix
Ryan Silberman, CEO at Webfluential
Ryan explained how influencer marketing can become a performance-based channel and shared a few tips on how to do it. He took a deep dive into influencer marketing’s latest trend: nano-influencers, and how advertisers can take advantage of the medium to generate profit.
Dan Greenberg, Chief Creative Officer at ironSource
Comparing the state of creatives to the last time he talked at Gamefest in 2019, Dan discussed tips for building creatives that generate mass appeal, new creative types advertisers should be paying attention to, and what great app marketing teams today. Finally, he looked to the future with AI generated creatives … but let’s just say, we have a long way to go.