Google App campaigns expand to Discover feeds, AdMob testing ads on app loading screens
Google announced new inventory sources and monetization tools for app advertisers and publishers.
Mobile gaming is a $68.5 billion market, with 80% or $54.9 billion coming from smartphone games and $13.6 billion coming from gaming on tablets, according to a Newzoo’s latest Global Games Market Report. In other words, it’s big business.
Google has been focused on advertising opportunities for mobile games specifically and apps generally for several years. The company is announcing new inventory and features for app publishers and advertisers at Think Games at ChinaJoy, a giant conference for game developers in Shanghai this week.
For App campaign advertisers
App campaigns (formerly Universal App Campaigns) are automated campaigns that run across Google Search (as of this month, on iOS browser searches as well), Play, YouTube and Google’s mobile display network. Now, three more inventory sources are opening up to this campaign type.
Discover inventory. App campaign ads are now eligible to show in Discover, the feed that appears on the Google home page on mobile and Chrome. Google first announced ads in Discover at Google Marketing Live in June. App ads will
App ads will begin to show in Discover feeds in the U.S. now and will be available in Malaysia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Indonesia “in the coming months” with plans to make the inventory available globally by the end of the year.
YouTube Search ads inventory. App campaigns are also gaining access to YouTube search results on mobile devices.
Display in-stream ads inventory. These are skippable video ads that run before, during or after a video on a site or app in Google’s mobile display network.
For AdMob publishers
On the publisher side, new announcements for developers using AdMob to serve Google ads in their apps include new ad placement test, smart segmentation expansion
Ads on app loading pages. Google is running a test, currently in early alpha stage, to show ads while users are waiting for their apps to load when they first open them. The app’s branding will appear in the bottom 15% of the page to help orient users, and an ad shows in the rest of screen. If you’re interested in joining the test, contact your AdMob account manager.
Smart segmentation on rewarded ads. Google created smart segmentation for developers that monetize their apps with a mix of ads and in-app purchases. Just 4% of users will make in-app purchases, according to an earlier Google study. Smart segmentation is designed to keep ads from showing to that segment of users deemed likely to make in-app purchases and only show ads to those who are unlikely to make purchases. Google debuted smart segmentation for interstitial ads earlier this year. Now smart segmentation can also be applied to rewarded ads. That means players that appear likely to make an in-app purchase to advance in a game or power-up will not be served rewarded ads.
AdMob dashboard insights. Google is beta testing showing more alerts in the AdMob dashboard when its system detects anomalies in a publisher’s key metrics such as eCPM, impressions and revenue.
Why we should care
App advertisers don’t have control over where their ads appear. If you’re running App campaigns, keep an eye on your performance metrics as this new inventory comes into play — you’ll likely see impressions (and hopefully conversion actions) rise.
While the announcements Wednesday apply to app advertisers and developers globally, it’s notable that Google is making them in China. “This is a strategic event for us,” said Sissie Hsiao, VP of product for mobile app advertising at Google, by phone Tuesday. Apps developed in China