Monetisation in mobile games – POKKT’s perspective

Since the inception of gaming industry the success of game development was acknowledge through the game’s popularity and its sales. One of the key factors which helps in the success of a property is advertising revenue. There are various types of advertisements, considering today’s market visual campaigns impact more on audience and it results to profitable business. Today maximum smartphone users are consuming content online and it has opened opportunities for video ad campaigns as it engages even the laziest buyers. Video marketing can capture a wide audience, and it works on many levels and there are no exceptions for gaming business. In conversation with Animationxpress, Pokkt co-founder and COO Vaibhav Odhekar expressed how their mobile ad platform helping game developers to reach their monetisation goals. Here is the excerpt: Could you share a brief about POKKT? POKKT is a leading mobile video ad platform driven by big data and artificial intelligence. It’s number one in APAC, Japan and Mena for brand video ads in mobile gaming. It has 700 mn+ registered devices and 30 bn+ ad requested per month on the POKKT platform. 85 members strong team across 7 countries. How POKKT helps game developers? POKKT brings a powerful Ad SDK that helps monetise non-paying users using a highly evolved monetisation platform built around the gaming ecosystem. How does POKKT promote a brand in a game? By Integrating POKKT’s SDK (software development kit), developers in the district can monetise their non-paying clients and expand eCPMs (effective cost per mille) through being targeted on brand video Ads inside their apps. What is the ad revenue percentage a developer receives utilising the platform? For a developer, POKKT is a specialised brand advertising platform. Since most other ad-networks show “app install” videos, there is an inherent fear that their users would move away to the new app that is being promoted. So there is a feeling of “safe” “brand” ads that POKKT shows. How it is different from Google ads program for the developer? Google and other ad platforms are looked at as a “high fill rate, low cpm” partner. Basically back fill all the inventory. POKKT is looked at as a “high rate, low fill” premium monetising partner. What are the procedures for collaboration? POKKT has an open SDK that can be downloaded from the site. There is a comprehensive Wiki document that gives a step by step guide about how to integrate the SDK and more . So technically it’s very standard and straight forward. We focus on working with the developer and be his guide towards monetisation. We have a team, which largely consists of ex-game developers / publishers, who understand the ecosystem really well. Once the value proposition is clear, we do a commercial discussion and start working together. What are the challenges you have faced in the Indian gaming industry?
  • Today the only model for successful games in the app ecosystem is freemium.
  • However, games on a standalone basis, cannot survive by just ad revenues. In-app purchases or users paying has to kick in. The industry today has resolved infrastructure challenges, which hitherto was the biggest challenge. We now need to fix the monetisation challenge.
  • The biggest trap a publisher faces is, he / she is hesitant to spend marketing dollars for user acquisition, if he is unsure that the user will eventually pay, making return on investment (ROI) as the biggest question .
  • This doesn’t mean, the core issue of content isn’t important. We definitely need international quality content to come from the domestic developers. User today is exposed to global gaming content, so compromise there isn’t acceptable.
  • In my opinion, everything else (user acquisition models, funding, retention and more) is resolved / at least templatised. There are set methods to be followed.
  • Content and monetisation are the two big challenges.
What usually brand marketers aim to receive after the campaign. Typically they would expect report highlighting the below: o Impressions o Unique users o Completed views (for videos) o Click through rate (CTR) Up the curve advertisers also measure: o Viewability o In-Target o All numbers reported daily for the duration of the campaign. What are the changes in the ad revenue you have witnessed in 2019? We have seen good growth in revenue / ad-spends on POKKT. We also believe a lot of it is because POKKT focuses on o Mobile In-app o Video o Gaming These three have been the growth drivers for the industry as a whole. POKKT being positioned to focus on all these three, probably helped. What is your goal for 2020? We would like to maintain our revenue growth trajectory. We are investing a lot behind our machine learning (ML) and analytics engine. We hope this product will mature significantly this year. We would like to open two more countries / geographies this year.