Case Study

Socialpoint is a mobile gaming company based in Barcelona that develops action, social and strategy games. Their portfolio of mega-hits include Dragon City, Monster Legends, Tasty Town and World Chef.

Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization at Socialpoint, shares how she and her team worked with ironSource, utilizing products like impression level revenue and features like smart ad caching, to increase Monster Legends’ rewarded video engagement rate and ARPDAU. 

Low engagement rates

One of the rewarded video placements in Monster Legends is native to the game - it’s an island that's themed like a cinema, and it’s dedicated to watching videos and getting free items. When users enter the island, they see two traffic drivers, one for an offerwall and one for a rewarded video. The legacy idea was for users to watch as many videos as possible, so we made the videos almost unlimited, and to avoid an impact to the economy, we made the rewards represent just a small fraction of our typical rewards. 

However, as we learned, most users didn’t want to watch 15+ videos to finally receive a substantial reward. Only our more hardcore players were engaging, which was significantly lowering this placement’s engagement rate. 

Brainstorming a new placement strategy

Together with the product team, we started brainstorming new ways to improve the user experience around ads. How do we make low tenure users engage with ads? How do we make older tenures constantly feel surprised when watching ads so they keep coming back? After a few iterations and A/B tests, we completely changed how users interact with the placement. Instead of showing one rewarded video at a time, we started showing a strip of 5 videos that users have to watch, and in addition to getting smaller rewards for watching each video, at the end users would get a gacha roulette.

To help users better understand there are still more videos to watch, while giving them incentive to watch many in a row, we began displaying a checkmark next to every video they complete and added tooltips that show the dynamic progress of the video streak, reminding users about all the roulette prizes available. In the roulette, we started giving away massive prizes with a low probability, like 100 gems, which in Monster Legends is considered a big reward. 

The team at ironSource confirmed we were on the right track by providing us with some great insights and benchmarks about other casual games. ironSource’s expertise in ad monetization really helped solidify our new UI! 

"ironSource’s expertise in ad monetization really helped solidify our new UI."

- Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization at Socialpoint

Maintaining a fluid UX with high volume of rewarded videos

Behind the scenes, ironSource’s smart ad caching technology is what made it possible for our users to watch a high volume of rewarded videos in the same session, sometimes one after another, and still maintain a fluid and smooth user experience. Our players love that they can watch so many videos in a row. 

Making hard decisions with impression level revenue

Around the same time we were testing this new placement, ironSource released their impression level revenue tool. It was great timing, as the tool was a massive help in improving our monetization strategy. 

"By being able to measure ad revenue down to the device level ... for the first time, we could say with certainty that the test group was a success."

- Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization at Socialpoint

Before, we could never A/B test video ads, as we never knew how much revenue our ads were generating per test group. But by being able to measure ad revenue down to the device level, we could suddenly see in hard numbers that our control group generated less revenue than our test group. So even though we measured small cannibalization, for the first time ever, we could say with certainty that the test group was a success - which encouraged us to keep iterating on experience, frequencies, and cooldowns. 

After implementing this new ad placement, we saw our ARPDAU increase by 25%, and our engagement rate increase by 15%. 

And now, with ironSource’s impression-level ad revenue, which goes one level deeper, we can optimize our monetization strategy even further. 




Engagement rate

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