Category Archives: AdMob Blog

News, tips, and information on the AdMob developer platform

A beginners guide to implementing AdMob rewarded ads

With faster devices and more bandwidth come richer apps with more immersive ads. AdMob has cutting-edge formats to help you deliver high quality ads that load fast. AdMob can help you build audiences by integrating rewarded ad formats into your app mechanics. Using the right technology you could earn money and enhance your user experience. Here’s a quick guide to help get you started, it’s easy – we promise.

Before you get started, make sure your SDKs are updated (Android v9.0 or higher and iOS v7.9.1 or higher), then…

  1. Sign in to your AdMob account
  2. Create a new AdMob rewarded interstitial ad unit
  3. Configure your ad unit settings (this is where you can tinker with the reward amount, the reward itself, and set an ad frequency cap to ensure your users don’t see the same ad too many times).
  4. Implement the rewarded interstitial ad unit and ad unit ID where the ad will be shown in the app. Take a look at our Android implementation guide and iOS implementation guide for help.
  5. Optionally integrate the SDKs of third-party demand sources


That’s it! Once your ads are fully integrated, we recommend experimenting with Firebase Analytics to analyse the effectiveness of your rewarded ads. Experimentation and understanding what resonates with your high value users is key to the success with rewarded. With Firebase, A/B testing is simple and can ensure you are getting the most out of your exchange with the user: optimizing reward value, frequency of ads, and ad placement in app all contribute to a successful reward strategy.

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Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

The AdMob Team

Source: Inside AdMob


Rewarded 101: Important things you need to know about rewarded video

Rewarded video is changing the way publishers monetize their content. We’ve seen advertising evolve to become mutually beneficial to both the user and the publisher, while also providing a better, richer experience. This is a huge potential opportunity for app developers, but how can you use rewarded video to augment your user experience and monetize your app?  Here’s a quick overview of what rewarded advertising is, and some of its important features.

What’s rewarded? Rewarded video is a non-intrusive, short-form video that creates a value exchange between a publisher and a user: user’s voluntarily give their time to watch an ad in exchange for a reward, or in-app currency.

Rewarded video isn’t a new thing. Gaming publishers have been taking advantage of user opt-in video for several years, but we’ve recently seen rewarded video gaining traction across several different verticals. Publishers are exploring the potential of leveraging premium features, exclusive content, or upgraded services to incorporate Rewarded video ads seamlessly into their apps.

Focus on the user and all else will follow. A positive user experience is key to the success of rewarded video. Each ad should complement the user experience by appearing at an appropriate time offering a valuable reward (like gaining an extra life in your favorite game instead of the level ending, or an hour of uninterrupted listening time when streaming music) in exchange for watching a video. With AdMob, the user controls their experience by choosing to watch a video and receive the reward, or to not watch the video and forfeit the reward. It’s also easy to set a frequency cap to ensure that a user doesn’t see the same ad too many times.

You can earn more by doing less with AdMob mediation. Our ad unit level configuration allows you to try different advertising networks, network order, and reward settings at different points in your app. Our ad network also automatically fetches CPM values from these networks, and optimizes accordingly: expect high fill rates and maximum revenue. The best part? Thanks to our server-side settings you can keep tinkering in the background until you’ve got your reward settings nailed, minus the hassle of changing your code or re-releasing your app.

The most important thing to remember about rewarded video? When done well, it adds value to all parties. Users explicitly choose to opt-in and engage with an ad that complements their game or app in exchange for a reward. Publishers benefit from a non-interruptive high CPM monetisation format, increased retention, and potentially more ARPU (rewarded users play more and spend more). And advertisers reach valuable, engaged users that are more likely to complete an ad view. Everyone’s a winner!

Integrating rewarded ads into your apps is easy. Follow these simple steps to get started...
  1. Create a new AdMob Rewarded interstitial ad unit
    1. Make sure your SDKs are updated (Android v9.0 or higher and iOS v7.9.1 or higher)
    2. Implement the rewarded interstitial ad unit and ad unit ID where the ad will be shown in the app. Take a look at our Android implementation guide and iOS implementation guide for help.
    3. Optionally integrate the SDKs of third-party demand sources

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    Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.
    The AdMob team


    Source: Inside AdMob


    Native Express Video

    Cross posted from the Google Ads Developer Blog.

    If you've created a Native Express ad unit recently, you may have noticed a new template format alongside App Install and Content: Video App Install. In the past few weeks, AdMob has rolled out support for video assets in Native Ads Express, giving publishers a new way to create more engaging presentations for their users.

    How to get started

    Enabling video demand for a Native Express ad unit is easy. Just open the ad unit's settings in the AdMob console, and look for the Ad type checkboxes at the top of the editor:

    Check the checkbox marked "Video app install," and save the change. In a short while, your ad unit will start serving video creatives alongside the other two formats, with no code changes to your app required. That means you can update your existing apps to display this new format without redeploying to the Play Store or App Store.

    An important thing to note is that video creatives are only available for ad units using the Large template size. The video player needs a certain amount of space, and the Large template ensures that it's available.

    Customizing the experience

    While there's no mobile code required to take advantage of Native Express Video, AdMob has introduced some new features to the API that allow publishers to customize the user experience. In particular, a new video options class (VideoOptions on Android, and GADVideoOptions on iOS) gives publishers a way to influence how the ads behave.

    For example, the following code will cause video ads appearing in an Android NativeExpressAdView to begin playing with their audio on:


    mAdView = (NativeExpressAdView) findViewById(R.id.adView);
    mAdView.setVideoOptions(new VideoOptions.Builder()
    .setStartMuted(false)
    .build());

    Staying in the know

    App publishers can retrieve information about the video assets in their ads through the use of a video controller object (VideoController on Android, GADVideoController on iOS). The ad view classes for native express have been updated to include video controller properties that apps can grab and query for info like whether a video is present in the ad, and what its aspect ratio is. Even if the ad doesn't contain an video asset (or no ad has been loaded at all), you'll always get a valid reference to the ad view's video controller.

    For example, here's a Swift snippet that shows how to check if an ad that just loaded contains a video asset:


    func nativeExpressAdViewDidReceiveAd(_ nativeExpressAdView: GADNativeExpressAdView)
    {
    if nativeExpressAdView.videoController.hasVideoContent() {
    print("Received an ad with a video asset.")
    } else {
    print("Received an ad without a video asset.")
    }
    }

    More Info

    Native Express is designed to make implementing native ads easy, but if you have questions about how to get up and running or how you can best put it to use in your apps, stop by our support forum. The Mobile Ads Garage recently released an episode covering Native Express Video as well, with feature details and screencasts for iOS and Android:

    Source: Inside AdMob


    Detecting and eliminating Chamois, a fraud botnet on Android

    A more technical version was cross posted on the Android Developers blog

    Google works hard to protect users across a variety of devices and environments. Part of this work involves defending users against Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs), an effort that gives us the opportunity to observe various types of threats targeting our ecosystem. For example, our security teams recently discovered and defended users of our ads and Android systems against a new PHA family we’ve named Chamois.


    Chamois is an Android PHA family capable of:

    • Generating invalid traffic through UI overlays that pop up with ads having deceptive graphics inside the ad
    • Performing artificial app promotion by automatically installing apps in the background
    • Performing telephony fraud by sending premium text messages
    • Downloading and executing additional plugins

    Interference with the ads ecosystem
    We detected Chamois during a routine ad traffic quality evaluation. We analyzed several malicious apps based on Chamois, and found that they employed several methods to avoid detection and tried to trick users into clicking ads by displaying deceptive graphics. This sometimes resulted in downloading of other apps that commit SMS fraud. So we blocked the Chamois app family using Verify Apps and also kicked out bad actors who were trying to game our ad systems.

    Our previous experience with ad fraud apps like this one enabled our teams to swiftly take action to protect both our advertisers and Android users. Because the malicious app didn’t appear in the device’s app list, most users wouldn’t have seen or known to uninstall the unwanted app. This is why Google’s Verify Apps is so valuable, as it helps users discover PHAs and delete them.

    Google's approach to fighting PHAs
    Verify Apps protects users from known PHAs by warning them when they are downloading an app that is determined to be a PHA, and it also enables users to uninstall the app if it has already been installed. Additionally, Verify Apps monitors the state of the Android ecosystem for anomalies and investigates the ones that it finds. It also helps finding unknown PHAs through behavior analysis on devices. For example, many apps downloaded by Chamois were highly ranked by the DOI scorer. We have implemented rules in Verify Apps to protect users against Herole.

    Google continues to significantly invest in its counter-abuse technologies for Android and its ad systems, and we’re proud of the work that many teams do behind the scenes to fight PHAs like Chamois.

    We hope this summary provides insight into the growing complexity of Android botnets. To learn more about Google’s anti-PHA efforts and further ameliorate the risks they pose to users, devices, and ad systems, keep an eye open for the upcoming “Android Security 2016 Year In Review” report.

    Posted by Security Software Engineers—Bernhard Grill, Megan Ruthven, and Xin Zhao

    Source: Inside AdMob


    AdMob is “leveling up” your business with new app monetization innovations

    Yesterday, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), we announced important updates to AdMob that could help you unlock new business with rewarded video formats and free, unlimited and real-time analytics reporting. These features will help you monetize your games more effectively by helping you keep your players engaged with more immersive ads and by giving you a faster understanding of how they are interacting with your game.


    Over the last year, developers embraced AdMob’s platform to mediate rewarded video ads to nine leading rewarded networks, including TapJoy which we announced yesterday. And we’re not stopping there. AdMob developers around the world now have access to Google’s own video advertising demand from Google AdWords, significantly increasing the breadth and scale of rewarded demand available. That means AdMob now offers a single platform solution including mediation, demand, and reservations. And for those publishers currently using either IronSource or Mopub, adaptors are now available to add Google demand.

    Our native ads have also seen tremendous growth over the last year as a way for developers to deliver rich, immersive ad experiences. For developers building their games in Unity, a popular gaming engine, we will shortly be releasing a plugin that supports native ads and native ad mediation on both iOS and Android. This will expand AdMob’s platform and network support for Unity developers beyond banner, interstitial, and rewarded ads available today.

    We are also investing in better measurement tools for developers by bringing the power of Firebase Analytics to more game developers with a generally available C++ SDK and an SDK for Unity.

    C++ and Unity developers can access Firebase Analytics stream view for real-time player insights
    Here’s what developers have to say about rewarded ads in AdMob:
    "Implementing AdMob rewarded ads helped us not just monetize non-spending users but increase overall revenue of the game, including IAP revenue. Also, AdMob mediation made it easy to compare our ad performance across ad networks." - Somin Oh, Ad Monetization Manager @ JoyCity
    If you haven’t tried AdMob rewarded ads yet, here’s how you can get started. We’re hosting a series of Hangouts on Air around rewarded demand and mediation. During these session we will share best practices to implement and optimize the format and highlight key areas that AdMob rewarded can help you be successful in, including:

    • Access the scale of Google’s video demand: With AdWords’ global presence and advertiser base, AdMob publishers will benefit from geographically diverse demand.
    • Diversified demand with rewarded mediation: Help ensure that there’s always an ad available to show, and that the ad shown is the most valuable to you.
    • User-friendly ad formats: Clear guidance to users at all touch points, including opt-out option for full user control over ad experience.
    • Great User Experiences: AdMob provides highly engaged ads such as landscape and portrait video formats in rewarded ads where there is no incentivization of the download giving a clear value exchange for the user.
    • Popular Game Engine Support: New integrations with Cocos2d-x and Unity game engines allow you to seamlessly support rewarded ads in your games. 

    It’s been a privilege to meet so many of you at GDC and learn about the amazing games that you’re all building. We are committed to continuing on this journey with you to build a smart monetization platform for you to grow long-term gaming businesses.

    Make sure to stay connected on all things AdMob, follow our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

    The AdMob Team

    Source: Inside AdMob


    “Level up” your gaming business with new innovations for apps

    Mobile games mean more than just fun. They mean business. Big business. According to App Annie, game developers should capture almost half of the $189B global market for in-app purchases and advertising by 20201.

    Later today, at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, I look forward to sharing a series of new innovations across ad formats, monetization tools and measurement insights for apps.

    • New playable and video ad formats to get more people into your game
    • Integrations to help you create better monetization experiences 
    • Measurement tools that provide insights about how players are interacting with your game
    Let more users try your game with a playable ad format

    There’s no better way for a new user to experience your game than to actually play it. So today, we introduced playables, an interactive ad format in Universal App Campaigns that allows users to play a lightweight version of your game, right when they see it in any of the 1M+ apps in the Google Display Network.

    Jam City’s playable ad for Cookie Jam

    Playables help you get more qualified installs from users who tried your game in the ad and made the choice to download it for more play time. By attracting already-engaged users into your app, playables help you drive the long-term outcomes you care about — rounds played, levels beat, trophies won, purchases made and more.

    "Jam City wants to put our games in the hands of more potential players as quickly as possible. Playables get new users into the game right from the ad, which we've found drives more engagement and long-term customer value." Josh Yguado, President & COO Jam City, maker of Panda Pop and Cookie Jam.

    Playables will be available for developers through Universal App Campaigns in the coming months, and will be compatible with HTML5 creatives built through Google Web Designer or third-party agencies.

    Improve the video experience with ads designed for mobile viewing

    Most mobile video ad views on the Google Display Network are watched on devices held vertically2. This can create a poor experience when users encounter video ad creatives built for horizontal viewing.

    Developers using Universal App Campaigns will soon be able to use an auto-flip feature that automatically orients your video ads to match the way users are holding their phones. If you upload a horizontal video creative in AdWords, we will automatically create a second, vertical version for you.

    Cookie Jam horizontal video and vertical-optimized video created through auto-flip technology

    The auto-flip feature uses Google's machine learning technology to identify the most important objects in every frame of your horizontal video creative. It then produces an optimized, vertical version of your video ad that highlights those important components of your original asset. Early tests show that click-through rates are about 20% higher on these dynamically-generated vertical videos than on horizontal video ads watched vertically3.

    Unlock new business with rewarded video formats, and free, unlimited reporting

    Developers have embraced AdMob's platform to mediate rewarded video ads as a way to let users watch ads in exchange for an in-app reward. Today, we are delighted to announce that we are bringing Google’s video app install advertising demand from AdWords to AdMob, significantly increasing rewarded demand available to developers. Advertisers that use Universal App Campaigns can seamlessly reach this engaged, game-playing audience using your existing video creatives.

    We are also investing in better measurement tools for developers by bringing the power of Firebase Analytics to more game developers with a generally available C++ SDK and an SDK for Unity, a leading gaming engine.

    C++ and Unity developers can now access Firebase Analytics for real-time player insights

    With Firebase Analytics, C++ and Unity developers can now capture billions of daily events — like level completes and play time — to get more nuanced player insights and gain a deeper understanding of metrics like daily active users, average revenue per user and player lifetime value.

    This is an exciting time to be a game developer. It’s been a privilege to meet so many of you at GDC 2017 and learn about the amazing games that you’re all building. We hope the innovations we announced today help you grow long-term gaming businesses and we look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

    Until next year, GDC!

    Posted by: Sissie Hsiao, Product Director, Mobile Advertising, Google
    Last played Fire Emblem Heroes for Android
    1 - App Monetization Report, November 2016, App Annie
    2 - More than 80% of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are from devices held vertically video, Google Internal Data
    3 - Google Internal Data

    Source: Inside AdMob


    Meet The AdMob Team at Game Developers Conference (GDC) Next Week

    The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is less than one week away in San Francisco. We’re excited to give you a glimpse into how we are helping mobile game developers build businesses and improve user experiences, while monetizing successfully.

    Our Google Developer Day will take place in Room 2020 of the West Hall of Moscone Center on Monday, February 27. We'll share how new devices, platforms, and tools are helping developers grow successful businesses and push the limits of mobile gaming. Then stay with us for a diverse set of lightning talks and panels covering topics including virtual reality, machine learning, monetization and more. Here’s a look at the schedule:

    • Opening Keynote || 10AM: We’ll kick off the day by sharing how Google is ramping up efforts to help game developers grow their businesses and make Android a great platform for games. From Play store updates optimized for discovery and engagement, to performance upgrades making high fidelity gaming come to life on Android devices, 2017 will be another year full of exciting gaming experiences.
    • Lightning Talks || 11:10AM: Stay with us for a variety of 5-minute talks covering all the latest to know to develop great games using Google's technological edge with Machine Learning, VR for everyone, Cloud Gaming, Firebase and more... and learn how to make them profitable.
    • 3 x Panels || 2:00PM: After lunch, we'll host panels to hear from developers first-hand about their experiences launching mobile games, building thriving communities, and navigating the successes and challenges of being an indie developer.

    Our main keynote will take place in Room 3009 in the West Hall of Moscone Center on Wednesday, March 1.

    • Smarter Growth, powered by Google's Machine Learning || 9:30AM: Join Jane Butler, Sissie Hsiao and Brendon Kraham, where we’ll discuss how the mobile games industry is becoming more sophisticated as technology, player demographics, motivations and community participation becomes more diverse. As a result, marketers are tasked with finding smarter and more efficient ways to engage high-value users. Using over a decade of machine learning technology, Google is driving innovations in growth and monetization across the player lifecycle. Hear from Google app promotion specialists on how to combine the power of data and technology to drive profitable growth for your games business.

    We’ll also be hosting two additional ads focused workshops on Thursday, March 2.

    • Find Your Biggest Fans with Google's Machine Learning || 2:00PM: Join this session, hosted by Mark Heneghan, Analytical Lead, to learn how Google can help you grow both your game and profitability with a little help from machine learning.
    • Earn more revenue from Rewarded and the AdMob platform || 3:00PM: This talk will be hosted by Apoorva Sharma, AdMob Account Manager and in this advanced session, the AdMob team will provide a technical deep dive into how the right ad technology helps you earn money and enhance user experience. 

    See all the details about our Google Developer Day here and check out all the other Google talks here.

    For more information on our presence at GDC, including a full list of our talks and speaker details, click here. Remember, these events are part of the official Game Developer's Conference, so you will need a pass to attend. For those who can't make it in person, watch the live stream on YouTube starting at 10am PST on Monday, February 27th.

    We’ll also be live tweeting on Twitter and sharing on Google+ and LinkedIn, so stay in the loop with what’s happening with #Google #GDC17.

    Posted by the Google AdMob Team.

    Source: Inside AdMob


    Preloading Interstitial Ads

    In today’s topic, we’re exploring how you can help stay compliant with AdMob policies when using the AdMob interstitial ad format. If you have ever received a policy message for “Layout encourages accidental clicks - Interstitial Ads”, or have had trouble with implementing interstitials to trigger on time, read ahead for our best practices.

    App layouts that encourage accidental clicks are a common policy issue for publishers. When implementing interstitial ads within a mobile app, there may be a slight delay in when the ad gets triggered after a user selects an action. In the example below we can see that an interstitial ad launches unexpectedly with a delay on the second screen after the page has already loaded. This delay can occur due to carrier latency when requesting the interstitial ad.

    Carrier Latency causing a delay in the interstitial ad

    Pre-loading your interstitial ads will allow you to avoid latency when the ad is displayed to the user.
    In the corrected example below, the user now clicks on a transitional button and an interstitial ad is shown immediately on action. Once the user closes the interstitial ad they will now be on the next loaded page.

    Pre-loading the interstitial ad to trigger on action

    To learn more about how to preload your interstitial ads, please follow the AdMob Interstitial Ad developer guidelines for apps developed for Android and iOS.

    Implementing these ads in the right way is better for your users, advertisers and for you. AdMob policies are designed to create a positive user experience. For further tips on AdMob Interstitial Ads and Best Practices, check out our official best practices video.

    Remember to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

    Posted by: Zac Campbell, AdMob Publisher Quality Team

    Source: Inside AdMob


    Optimizing App Monetization with Google AdMob

    All views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, and not that of Google. This guest post is from Sreeraman Thiagarajan, a Google Developers Expert in the app marketing and monetization space and a published author on the Economic Times. Sreeraman is featured as our guest blogger to share insights and tips from his experience to help AdMob developers grow their earnings. If you’re new to AdMob, be sure to sign up here.

    In the introductory post we saw how AdMob lets app developers take control of monetizing their apps - here’s the second part on optimization and measuring.

    Optimizing revenue and volume: A counter question I often get goes like this “But other networks offer better eCPM (more dollar for every one thousand impressions served), why must I choose AdMob?” Answer for this lies in understanding two metrics and the two respective fundamentals behind each of these metrics.

    The first metric is ‘fill rate’ which means how many relevant ads can the ad network fulfill as requested by your app? A simple demand-supply equation is the fundamental behind this metric, because there are a lot of advertisers on Google, nearly 1million plus advertisers who want to show their ads (demand) to a potential audience who could be using your app (supply). This equation generates a very high amount of ‘ad requests’ of 200 billion per month, globally. With AdMob on your app, you can join the supply side.

    The second metric of eCPM is how much money per thousand impression your app can earn? eCPM differs from network to network, however a simple multiplication of eCPM with fill rate answers this question. If network A offers $1 at a fill rate of 85% then you get 85 cents revenue per thousand ad request (aka RPM). Now if network B offers twice as much at $2 but with a lower fill rate of 30% then you only get 60 cents of RPM. That’s a 25% loss on potential earnings.

    Choosing the type of ads to show: There a few standard types of ads, namely Banners, Interstitials, Rewarded, and Native. There’s no fixed formula for which type of banner to use, but one principle developers must strongly adhere to is to ‘preserve user experience’ by integrating ads as unobtrusively and as natively as possible.

    Game developers have an advantage in using rewarded ads, this a form of interstitial ad units that enables you to reward users with in-app items such as an extra life, a level jump, a feature unlock, etc., for watching video ads.

    Native ads is a boon for publishers and content based apps. It is a component based ad format that matches the look and feel of the app where the ad is being displayed. This makes the ads look like they  are  a part of the app and reduces obtrusiveness. A simple example of this is a promoted tweet on Twitter or a promoted post on Facebook. It is essentially a tweet or post like any other, but an identified sponsor has paid to promote it.

    Banners and interstitials are pretty standard formats. Apps can choose to display banners at fixed positions on screen like the top or bottom. The full-screen ads are called interstitials, these are displayed at natural transition points in the user journey such as between two levels in a game, between two news articles, etc.

    Stop guessing and start testing: App developers often suffer from the curse of knowledge, that is, they assume their users know and use the app the way it was meant to be. But more often than not, this is not true and building the app’s advertising strategy on gut feel is bad for business. Optimal monetization happens when users’ journey from acquisition to retention is deeply understood. Thanks to the integration of Google Firebase with AdMob, app developers can use Firebase’s free & unlimited analytics solution for deploying intelligent ad monetization strategies.

    Importing Firebase SDK into apps requires no complicated coding. Once integrated, developers can get details like sessions, demographics of users, revenue from in-app purchases, etc., from Firebase Analytics. Besides this, AdMob’s own reports will give you a ringside view on how revenue is generated.

    To optimize monetization, it is imperative developers inculcate a habit of continuous testing and tweaking their product strategy based on data and hard insights.

    In conclusion, ads are above fifty percent of total revenue generated by apps. According to data point by App Annie and IDC, in-app ads are projected to grow at 3.2X in next two years1. As stated by Gartner, this year, over 268 billion apps are expected to be downloaded worldwide2; apps have no boundary and you never know audience from which country maybe your biggest fans.

    Successful app monetization happens when there’s a mind-set of growth. Grow your audience base, preserve user experience, integrate AdMob, and ad revenue will start taking care of itself. Thus giving developers bandwidth to build more products or enhance existing features.

    Google has made a lot of resources available on AdMob and if you are a developer with apps that has over 100,000 downloads you can request a free consultation. Both the resources are free of cost. Godspeed and love to see India rise up in charts for generating app revenue.

    1 - https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.appannie.com/reports/App-Annie-IDC-Mobile-App-Advertising-Monetization-Trends-2013-2018-EN.pdf 
    2 - http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2654115 

    Source: Inside AdMob