Video Ads Most Effective for Driving App Installs says AdColony

Video is the most effective and popular ad format for driving app installs, according to research by mobile ad platform AdColony released today. Trends in app install campaigns show advertisers moving away from older media like print and radio, and into more effective mobile formats, of which video is the most popular. While video is the top choice for now, app owners seem enthusiastic about playable ads (mobile ads for games that let players experience part of the game within the ad itself) , though are still only cautiously allocating budgets to this format for now.

AdColony’s survey, of what they describe as the top 100 grossing app developers, asked where developers are allocating their marketing budgets and which formats they find to be most effective.

The survey showed that developers see video ads as the most effective format for ad campaigns focused on driving app installs. Of the 15 ad formats respondents were asked to judge, video ad formats took three of the top four spots for effectiveness. Social video was rated most effective of all, with 82 percent of those surveyed awarding it a ‘top two box response’ in terms of achieving campaign objectives, followed by full-screen video at 77 percent and in-feed video at 45 percent.

Developers don’t measure campaign effectiveness by just blunt install numbers, but by the quality of the users the ads attract. Retention and in-app purchases are considered the two key indicators of a high quality user in all markets surveyed, suggesting that video ads are most effective for attracting users who keep engaging with an app, and spend money on it via in-app purchases.

Money has kept gravitating towards video as a result. Over three-quarters of developers said their campaigns have moved towards video to some extent in 2017. Full-screen video is the most popular format for app install campaigns, used by 98 percent of respondents, followed in second place by social video which is used by 91 percent of developers. In-feed video lagged behind at 58 percent.

Video combined accounts for 57 percent of app install ad spend, with full-screen on its own accounting for 27 percent. The vast majority of this spending goes to mobile video specifically, which accounts for 56 percent of all app instal campaign spend.

Video remains dominant for now, though playable ads could catch up. Playable advertising, a format which streamlines well with app installs given that 81 percent of those survey were mobile games developers, was listed as the format advertisers are most excited for. It’s increasingly seen as effective at drawing in quality users too, with 71 percent of developers describing it as effective compared to 51 percent last year. There’s a way to go before it challenges video though, as currently playable ads only account for 6 percent of app install campaign budgets.

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