Ad Monetization 5 min read  - November 11, 2021

What is the “Impression Period” between Rewarded Video Ads? [Use Case]

Too many ads in a row can reduce your user retention. But fewer ads mean lower-income... What’s the perfect balance? The optimal Impressions Period between Rewarded Video Ads?

A few weeks ago, one of our blog readers approached me on LinkedIn about this article on “Essential Metrics for Mobile Ad Revenue Success”.

As an App Developer, he’s developing a new mobile game, a true masterpiece that we will talk about in future articles, and he’s trusting Appodeal for his Ad Monetization Strategy.

We talked for hours about ad metrics, potential ad incomes, monetization algorithms, and logic. One of the critical points of his monetization plan is to integrate Rewarded Video Ads. And then he asked me these two questions:

  • How do I account for the “time that a user spends watching a Rewarded Video Ad” in my “User Session Length” metric?
  • And how can I find the “Impression Period” between two Rewarded Video Ads to neither destroy my retention rates nor lose ad revenues?

At that moment, I realized that the referred article was focused on Banner & Interstitial ads, which isn’t bad. But it needed a minor update to aboard this topic, specifically on Rewarded Video Ads.

Surely, that some of you had the same doubts when building the ad monetization strategy of your mobile apps & games. For this reason, I’ve spent some time collecting the most valuable thoughts on that conversation: This is the article that summarizes all that knowledge.

As usual, let’s start with the basics.

Two ways to Calculate the Impression Period in Rewarded Ads

When calculating metrics & setting in-app ad strategies, App Developers tend to go in the two following directions:

  1. Those who love to calculate the user behavior metrics and tweak their apps as tight as a Swiss clock.
  2. And those who rely on automation algorithms to monetize their games.

In this article, we’ll aboard both approaches and find a convenient answer. So, no matter which group you identify yourself with, we have a solution for you.

User Session Length, with Ad Impressions included

Usually, when game developers calculate the “Average User Session Length,” the users’ time watching ads is included in that value.

In this article there’s a list of all the Key Retention Metrics for your Mobile Games, Session Length included.

Bear in mind that, depending on the Ad Type, some impressions can happen at the same time as the user plays/interacts with the app:

  1. Banners: static pictures that (may) stay indefinitely on the screen definitively occur when users interact with the app.
  2. Interstitials (& video interstitials): users can skip it usually in less than 5 seconds.
  3. Only rewarded videos require full attention from the user for several seconds (from 15 to 30 sec) and pause all in-app/in-game activity.

In the two first ad types, your User Session Length metric should be more than acceptable.

There’s no added time in banners, and with skippable Interstitials, the margin of error is negligible. Therefore, the “Average Session Length” will already include the “time impression” in it.

User Session Length with Rewarded Video Ads

For the third ad type, Rewarded Video Ads, things are a bit more complex.

User Session Length includes not only the time the user has spent interacting with your app or game but also includes the time the user has spent watching ads.

Impression period with Rewarded Ads calculation

When using Appodeal, you will always get “time user has spent watching the video ad” included in your User Session Length. We can’t remove the time the users have spent watching videos from your User Session Length. Otherwise, Average Impressions per User would always be zero.

But let’s say you may want to know the “pure” In-App Session Length, with time spent watching ads excluded. In this case, there are a few other metrics you should gather first, such as:

  • Average Time per Impression: Average duration of your rewarded video ads, which can go from 5 sec up to 35 sec. Your ad network gives you that.
  • Average Ad Impressions per User: Self-explanatory. This will depend on how many rewarded ad units a user can request in your game, ad inventory limitations, and your monetization strategy.

Then, you only need to apply this simple mathematic equation:

Impression period with Rewarded Ads User Length 2

The “Impressions Period” between Rewarded Video Ads

You may have heard that too many ads in a row can reduce your user retention. On the other side of the coin, fewer ads mean lower income. Then, what’s the perfect balance? How can we calculate the optimal Impressions Period between Rewarded Video Ads?

We’ve been talking a lot about formulas. To make things easier, let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario to use all we’ve learned in the previous sections of this article. Imagine you have the following metrics:

  • Average Session Length: 10 min
  • Average Time (the user has spent) per Impression: 15 seconds
  • Ad Impressions per User: 4 impressions
  • Impression Period: ??

First, divide the Average Session Length (rewarded video ads included) between the Impressions per User. And to that number, you withdraw the “Average Time per Impression.”

Impression period with Rewarded Ads calculation

That’ gives you an average Impression Period of 2’15”. And now you can use that time to limit the delivery of every Rewarded Video Ad.

The easiest way for Devs who Automatize their Ad Monetization Strategy

Bear in mind that all these Impression Periods are just averages. You must always consider profiling your users, segmenting them, and watching their behavior. You may find that some of your players want to log in to get all the Rewarded Video Ads in a row. Some others may need a lower amount of ads to feel engaged.

Unless you’re a marketing geek like me, all this jargon and talk about metrics may sound highly tedious for an App or Game Developer like you.

A lot of people that work with Appodeal are designers, programmers, or artists. Passionate people who enjoy designing games, creating stories, coding features, and building masterpieces. Topics such as Monetization, User Acquisition, App Store Optimization are things they instead automate or trust algorithms and publishers.

If you’re one of those devs who instead get your monetization automated, then a reliable and robust Growth Intelligence tool is your ally here. The Appodeal Growth Intelligence tool will allow you to track your in-app metrics, tweak your ad optimization, align it with your user acquisition campaigns, and all that marketing stuff.

Once you integrate the Appodeal SDK into your app, and our Automated Algorithm starts collecting some data, you’ll be able to set your Impression Period between your Rewarded Ads.

At any moment, you can decide if you want to set your Impressions Period manually or if you want to rely on our automated algorithm. Manually setup may adapt better to parallel strategies you may have in mind for your app. However, with the automated option, you may spend your time with tasks that bring you the most value.

All in all, we can’t develop your app for you, but we can take some of the heavyweight of your growth needs.

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Thank you all for taking the time to read this article and send your valuable feedback. Articles like this can only happen when you approach us. Do you have any more concerns or topics you want to share with us? Just say it, and we will do our best to deliver!

Marc Llobet
Product Marketing & Growth @ Appodeal

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