Whats the secret of top growing mobile apps? TV advertising, says VAB


The top growing mobile apps are boosted by TV advertising. That’s according to a new study from the Video Advertisign Bureau (VAB). A 77% correlation between TV ads and traffic to 60 popular mobile apps was found as part of the research, totaling almost $1bn in TV ad spend.

Mobile app TV ad spend

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Source: thevab.com

The What’s App’ning report examined TV ad spend in relation to app traffic across 60 mobile apps in 10 categories, including games, eCommerce, media, sports, technology/telcos, financial, restaurants, travel, music and education using comScore, Nielsen and Think Gaming data.

In 2015, mobile app ads were shown across over 120 national TV networks and includes sub-genres for live sports, talk and variety, drama, comedy, film, kids, news and documentaries.

Mobile app ads across networks 2011-2015

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Source: thevab.com

Games are undoubtedly the top grossing mobile app category. Despite a lead in daily revenue, Game of War saw a drop in unique visitors of 25% from 2.5m to 2m when its TV adverts weren’t running. The game spends an average $9m per month on TV adverts.

Pet Rescue Saga noted a 40% difference to 2.5m unique visitors when it spent $1.1m/month on TV ads, but dropped sharply to 1.8m visitors when ads weren’t on.

Similarly, Clash of Clans, which averages $4.5m in monthly TV ads lost 17% of unique visitors when it was off the air.

Top games in terms of daily revenue

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Source: thevab.com

Overall, a 20% drop in unique visitors was noted across mobile apps that went off the air, compared to a 25% increase in unique visitors for those with an average TV budget of $2m.

On and Off the air rise and drop in unique monthly visitors

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Source: thevab.com

Without a doubt, TV advertising brings in the big bucks. Comparing ad spend with monthly revenues, the VAB found that the top 10 games generated revenues higher than their ad spend, or at the very least leveled out. However, let’s bear in mind that the below revenues are only for the US.

Monthly TV ad spend versus monthly US revenues

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Source: thevab.com

Sean Cunningham, President & CEO of the VAB, summarises:


“TV is the light switch for digital traffic. Time and again, across categories, we find that digital products and platforms rely on TV advertising to deliver customers in real scale. And the return in sales is always exponentially greater than the ad spending.”

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