In-game advertising & ads in games

Monetize your game with in-game ads that drive maximum revenue, boost user engagement, and improve retention. In-game advertising with ironSource’s mobile game ad network offers game developers a wide range of ad units that fit right into your game loop and complement your in-game economy.
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What is in-game advertising?

In-game advertising is a monetization strategy that game developers use to boost their game’s revenue. Game developers earn money and get paid by showing mobile game ads to their users. 73% of gamers are happy with the ad-based model of games today.

There are many different types of mobile game advertising strategies and ad formats that developers can integrate into their games to drive mobile game ad revenue, such as rewarded video ads, offerwall ads, and interstitial ads.

The ads that perform best and deliver the highest eCPMs are the ones which are integrated directly into the game loop and complement the in-game economy – in other words, ads that work as a component of your game. This way, the ads become a part of the user experience and can help improve app engagement and retention rates.

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Why mobile game advertising

Generate more mobile game ad revenue

Unfortunately, most gamers don’t pay to play. But mobile game advertising is a great monetization strategy developers can use in addition to in-app purchases. Games with great ad placements can generate $50-$100 eCPMs utilizing mobile game advertising.

Increase in-app purchases

In-game ads coupled with the proper mobile game strategy can actually boost in-app purchases by 6x. Ad units that work as a part of your in-game economy, like rewarded video ads, give users a taste of the IAPs you offer and show them the value of in-game goods. Soon, gamers end up paying for IAPs rather than engaging with the rewarded video.

Enhance the user experience

Ad units that are incorporated into your game loop create a best experience for your users. For example, you can offer users free rewards like coins in exchange for watching or interacting with ads at specific points in the game. In fact, 71% of gamers said watching video ads is their preferred way to ‘pay’ for in-game content.

Boost game engagement and retention

You can use mobile game ads as a retention tool to encourage users to come back to your game, by giving them rewards for engaging with ads. You can also use ads an engagement tool by prompting users to engage with a rewarded ad unit that gives them the exact number of coins they need to continue playing the game.

Popular in-game ads

Playable ads

Playable ads are mini-games users can try out before they decide to install. They’re always enjoyable, make for a good user experience, and deliver the highest eCPMs in the industry.

Rewarded video ads

Rewarded video ads give users a clear value exchange – users watch a video ad and receive rewards in return. They’re opt-in, boost in-app purchases, and encourage users to return.


Offerwalls act as a mini-store in your app, which lists out tasks users can complete in exchange for receiving in in-app reward. They’re entirely user-initiated, significantly extend session length, and deliver industry leading eCPMs.


Interstitial ads engage users with rich, customizable, and appealing static or in app video ads at natural pauses in an app’s flow, ensuring minimum disruption to user experience.

Mobile game advertising strategy & how to advertise on mobile games

Monetize early

Don’t leave monetization until the end. It’s important to think about mobile game monetization as you’re designing your game. This way, you can incorporate your ad units into the game loop, which will improve ad engagement and therefore drive the most in-game advertising revenue possible.

Experiment and A/B test ad placements

You should always be changing your ad strategy to see how to best balance user experience and mobile game ad revenue. Focus on placement, frequency and capping, and even interchange different kinds of ad units. ironSource’s game advertising network offers tools to tweak your strategy.

Choose the right ad units for your game

There are several types of ad units for games. For example, offerwalls are great for strategy games, while rewarded videos are great for match-3 and puzzle games. Consider which ad units fit your game best.

Segment your users

You can use segments to tailor the ad experience to different kinds of users. For example, you can serve fewer ads to users who consistently make IAPs, or you could serve ads within the first 3 minutes to users who only play for 5 minutes.

In-game advertising examples:
How top developers are monetizing with ironSource

PickCrafter boosts revenue by 165% with ironSource rewarded video

“ironSource offered a fast and seamless placement implementation within PickCrafter and the addition of rewarded video ads placements yielded significant engagement and revenue growth. From ad execution to reporting, ironSource has been a true and steady game monetization partner in every sense.”

– Chris Lewis, Co-Founder at Fiveamp

Read the case study

Earn to Die 2 boosts engagement rate by 38% with ironSource rewarded video

“We always knew rewarded video mediation would be a smart way to approach monetization. We had to offer a variable reward that increased depending on the strength of the vehicle in the game, otherwise watching the video wouldn’t be worth our users’ time.”

– Jason Daskalopoulos, Senior Business and Marketing Manager at Not Doppler

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Big Fish doubles revenue with ironSource rewarded video

“After implementing rewarded video with ironSource, we saw double digit increase in revenue – both gross revenue across the entire game and also revenue coming directly from players who are engaging with IAPs. We saw those players actually choosing to spend more while they’re also experiencing rewarded video.”

– Jon Grande, Senior Director of Product Management at Big Fish

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Dots users ask for ironSource rewarded video ad unit

“We did a test where we actually took out ironSource’s rewarded video ad unit. But then we saw a lot of negative reviews in the Google Play Store. So we knew that users were very happy with the ad unit and it was incorporated well into the game.”

– Chris Calderon, Former VP of Marketing and Revenue at Dots

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Looking for an in-game advertising company?

Integrating mobile game ads with the best in-game advertising network: ironSource’s game ad network

Android game ads

Follow the instructions here to monetize your Android game.

iOS game ads

Follow the instructions here to monetize your iOS game.