Angry Birds Need More Than Bread Crumbs
Rovio will now focus on creating more custom, integrated & “native” advertising solutions.
To move appears to be a pivot away from (or an added layer to) their current ad monetization model which relies largely on opening up their apps to any ad network that cares to plug in an API.
There’s an Android app from Lookout that scans apps on your phone and shows what ad networks are integrated with apps you’ve downloaded. In any list, all of them will be in Angry Birds. Here’s screen shots from 3 of the 7 networks currently integrated with apps on my phone. There’s a common theme.
The amount of ad inventory the Angry Birds franchise generates would be staggering. Media dollars haven’t yet caught up to consumer behaviour so tapping as many revenue streams as possible makes sense here. But those networks are all competing for a slice of a finite pool of dollars, and taking a cut along the way, meaning the net income for the publisher is more of a trickle than flood.
For me, this announcement from Rovio highlights that while networks can play a useful role in monetizing unsold inventory, the real opportunity for premium publishers that have their own development, sales and ad operations resources is in offering equally premium advertising solutions for clients.
The challenges with the mobile banner are well documented - though I believe some, like the fat finger syndrome, are overstated. However, complementing commodity inventory management with unique or, to address advertiser concerns about scale, more naturally integrated ad opportunities, is the better way forward.
I advocate fewer, larger formats integrated in natural moments in the app - level transitions, load screens and other major interface changes. The added real estate and hypothesis that exposure at less in congruous moments are a better value proposition for both advertisers and audiences.
I’ve yet to see it done well enough to say it’s the shining light for mobile advertising. But, it’s an approach that yet to be properly realized and tested in the still nascent mobile advertising space and one worth close examination and concerted trial.