In just a few short years, mobile devices have become a huge driver of video ad growth as people increasingly tune into their smartphones and tablets. In fact, Forrester estimates that mobile will account for 59% of online video advertising spend by 2023. As the only external video supply-side partner for Unity, we spoke with Agatha Bochenek, their Global Head of Advertising Sales, about the untapped opportunities that lie in mobile in-app video and what’s coming up for the company.
Can you describe what Unity is from a mobile development standpoint and also how advertising ties into the business?
Unity is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, that gives developers around the world the tools to create rich, interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. In fact, over 50% of all new mobile games are built on Unity. In addition to providing development tools for our developers, Unity also helps developers build a business around their apps through advertising. Unity offers tools and services to drive user retention via in-app promotions and ads, seamlessly integrating into any game through the Unity development platform or standalone SDK. Examples of mobile games built and monetized on Unity include Zynga’s CSR Racing and Uken Games’ Jeopardy.
What makes Unity different than other mobile in-app publishers?
Unity sits somewhere between a publisher and a platform of apps. We do not produce any apps, but as the development platform on which they’re built, we have deep technical and personal relationships with our publishers. Additionally, by monetizing with Unity, advertisers have access to our massive scale – we reach 1.5 billion global devices each month – which sets us apart from regular publishers.
People tend to associate “gamers” with young white males but how has mobile gaming changed that?
Today’s gamer is different than who you might have thought of a decade ago. Mobile gamers today skew female and we’re seeing a large majority (over 80%) are parents who play mobile games. As such a massive platform, Unity reaches all types of audiences. We apply contextual targeting to curated lists of apps, so advertisers always reach the consumer that they’re intending to reach.
How can mobile developers incorporate advertising into their apps while still preserving a great user experience?
According to Millward Brown, the most favorable advertising experience to consumers is the “mobile app opt-in.” This is the native format in games where users get a value exchange by watching ads in the form of a longer or upgraded game session (i.e. an extra life). By utilizing this format, developers can ensure lifts in key KPIs like retention and player satisfaction. Eighty-six percent of developers saw in-app purchases remain unaffected, or even climb, after integrating rewarded ads into a game.
How does video advertising in mobile in-app differ from mobile-web?
Mobile in-app sessions are longer and less prone to multi-tasking compared to mobile web and they often lead to higher engagement and higher completion rates. The two things to keep in mind are tracking and caching. When it comes to targeting and tracking, all creative has to be optimized for mobile in-app, which a lot of DSPs still don’t fully support. Also, mobile apps pre-cache ads so wins almost never equal impressions. The average show rate is 15-20%, with Unity coming in around 7%. However, savvy advertisers who choose to run in mobile in-app open up a world of high-performing video! This is important to remember when considering mobile in-app.
Why did you choose Telaria as your only external video supply-side partner?
In the programmatic space, very few partners are really dedicated to supporting and promoting mobile in-app video. Telaria not only supports this format but truly has the features and marketplace to do it well – from PMPs to troubleshooting to real-time reporting. We love our partnership with the Telaria team and look forward to growing it more.
What exciting things can players expect from Unity in 2019?
The world is going real-time and immersive and so are we! We’re focusing our features on augmented and virtual reality with various pieces built on Unity, making festival runs, and winning prestigious awards. As a matter of fact, 60% of of content at Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Immersive was made with Unity and 70% of all interactive content at Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier was made with Unity.
What’s your favorite/most used Unity app?
My favorite game is Two Dots!