In the ads versus in-app purchase revenue battle, ads are falling behind in 2016


The average revenue earned from ads over in-app purchases in mobile games has fallen in 2016, according to research by game marketers DeltaDNA. Only 38% consider ads to be an important monetisation opportunity, and more than 50% of game developers consider ads to be a necessary evil.

Revenue from ads is falling in 2016, compared to in-app purchases

ad revenue

Game developers were asked to estimate the revenue split between ads and in-app purchases for their most popular free-to-play game, and based on the results, DeltaDNA found ads made up 35% of revenue in 2016, a number lower than 2015’s 38% average.

It’s part of the company’s 2016 In-Game Advertising Survey, which also looked at developer’s attitudes to advertising. When asked to describe how they felt about ads, 38% said they are an important monetisation opportunity, and 29% said the potential is there to monetise non-payers. However, 51% called advertising a necessary evil, while many considered them an “engagement blocker,” and may “scare off players.”

Ads are seen as a necessary evil, and not used as a way to engage players

ad sentiment

The response that stood out to DeltaDNA is that only 11% see ads as a way to enhance player progress, and just 17% say in-game ads are worth using. “Advertising has to be integrated into the game as a vital part of the experience,” states the report, if developers are to see these figures change.

The complete report can be accessed here.

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