We believe that adtech should be simple, that’s why we strive to keep our integration process as silky smooth and stress-free as possible — but what exactly goes into ad integration? How do developers choose which games fit which ads? What about the best ad format to use? Or how about where the ad banner should be placed in-game?
Fortunately, we have a not-so-secret weapon ready to support our clients through the integration period. Get ready to meet our Developer Relations team who provide our game developers with invaluable support every step of the way.
Who are Dev Rels and what do they do?
Our Developer Relations team is headed up by our superstar duo Hayden Killinger and Kareem Buckley. Together they play a crucial role in providing support throughout the integration period and helping to strengthen our ties with the talented game developers we work with.
(Left) Kareem Buckley. (Right) Hayden Killinger.
In short, Developer Relations are our integration gurus. They’re a certified resource that game devs can use to troubleshoot potential issues, learn more about our technology and how it interacts with their games, and ultimately find an advertising solution that works for them.
Our Developer Relations team doesn't just sit on the sidelines either; when they're not out in the field providing devs with expert support, you can find them testing out mobile games against our tech to make sure everything is running smoothly (and maybe break a new high-score or two along the way).
How's the in-game ad sausage made?
Near the start of the integration process, our Developer Relations team will break down the goals and target audience of the game and developer in question. This includes evaluating how ads have been incorporated into the game so far. Existing advertising integrations, such as in-game video ads, are largely left untouched. The beauty of our non-intrusive audio ad solution is that it works in tandem with existing integrations.
Beyond that, audio ads can be used in ways that other ad solutions can’t, e.g. giving an in-game powerup or a tip that’s only active for the duration of the ad. This makes ads feel less like a bolted-on feature and more like a natural part of the gameplay experience.
The next step in the process is to establish the best format to use for each game being integrated. Currently, we serve three premium ad solutions: Skippable ads, Rewarded ads, and User-initiated ads. When we asked Hayden about the process for selecting the best format, he went on to say:
“For determining which ad format our devs should use, we analyze the behavior of the game’s current player base. We break this analysis into three criteria: the average length of game time per session, the average length of the game’s level, and the overall gameplay mechanics. By looking at the core gameplay loop, we can usually find a format that fits organically. For example, Rewarded ads, which provide players with in-game rewards, can tie in quite nicely with an existing gameplay mechanic that gives players in-game items”.
Other factors involve developer preference, such as how frequently they want ads to run. If a developer wanted ads to play every three minutes then a skippable ad format would be more appropriate. Skippable ads (as the name would imply) allow players to skip ads after a cool-down period. This prevents players from potentially feeling negatively impacted by engaging with ads more frequently.
Developer Relations in action: Lockwood Publishing
In July 2023, we partnered with Lockwood Publishing on their leading metaverse platform Avakin Life. Based on Lockwood’s needs and goals, our Developer Relations team worked with them to integrate both Rewarded and Skippable ads. Rewarded ads in particular were chosen due to prior player feedback asking for a similar in-game reward feature.
Integrating Rewarded and Skippable ads saw a 10% uplift in revenue for Lockwood Publishing, as well as positive feedback from players on forums and app store reviews. Dedicated players even used VPNs to switch to regions where our rewarded ads are available, so they could claim their in-game rewards.
By working closely with Lockwood, our Dev rel team was able to advise them and troubleshoot issues to build the ideal gaming environment while successfully adding a new incremental revenue stream. Without the hard work of our Dev rel team fewer developers would be willing to delve in and discover the true potential of monetizing through audio ads.