Novel way of making money...maybe?

Hi All,

I just wanted to throw this idea to the collective wisdom of the forums and see what you guys reckoned. Essentially I want to create a F2P game which is actually free - no money involved. Hear me out. I want to run IAP, but gamers never actually part with any cash. Instead, when people visit the in app store they are presented with (for example) a list of available items on the left and a corresponding list of video ads on the right. (This is just a rough concept.) The idea is if someone wants an upgrade/item/boost they click on the corresponding ad and at the end they get the item. The bigger/better the item the longer/more engaging the ad.

Now I am well aware that incentivised advertising/ value exchange advertising is far from a new concept, however I have yet to see someone implement it on such a fundamental scale. I must stress - people ONLY see the ads if they want to see them (in the store), they ONLY see the ads if they want an item from the store - no push advertising.

Essentially, I feel that the freemium model is broken for almost everyone except those who manage to make it into the limelight. What I am looking for is a way to better monetise the 98% of people who get the games for free, but don’t want to spend actual money in their apps. The vast majority of people have a justifiable psychological barrier about spending actual cold hard cash, but ironically even the most staunch miser will happily spend 15-30sec of their time in order to get a shiny new powerup - to them they still view it as getting something for “free” - even though we as a developer will make money off them doing this! Ultimately, the theory is, that the greater level of advertisement engagement and the money generated through that, will offset the money usually generated through more traditional paywalls/IAP resulting in a more lucrative strategy of monetisation for smaller developers with a smaller user-base (DAU & MAU.)

My questions to you:

Your initial impressions?
What other apps out there do this?
In your experience, does this sound like I could actually make money? Is it viable?
What ad-networks out there are capable of supporting this level of sophistication regarding the integration of their ads into a game in this manner?

OK, well that should do it for now! Thank you all who made it through this little essay, and I welcome your feedback.



This is essentially what all incentivied offerwalls are doing, so where’s the difference in your concept?

Exactly the same thing can be achieved and is implemented in thousands of apps in the same way via TapJoy (formerly even 1:1, when they still had their “virtual goods store” in the SDK) or aarki, flurry and others.
If you’re looking for video ads, adColony might be the way to go.

We’re running a few apps with the same model and it works relatively well and much better than IAP or advertising.

Adcolony and Vungle offer incentivized videos, so I don’t really see a difference in your offer. Besides, as a developer, I would much rather offer virtual currency than item by item incentives to my users.

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

Daywalker first - essentially that is exactly what I am suggesting - an incentivised offerwall. (Obviously incentivised to watch an ad, not to download another app directly! Thanks Apple!) BUT the problem is nowadays is that app users are becoming more and more reticent to engage with overt advertising gimmicks, even incentivized ones. People are immediately turned off by obvious advertising.
So what I am trying to do is figure out a way to integrate and disguise the offerwall concept as the IAP shop - a place where people are more comfortable engaging in this type of activity, rather than forcing the existence of the incentivised offerwall on them through another medium (interstitial ad style.) So I guess I was wrong in calling it a new concept - rather an adaptation of the traditional offerwall to try and make it more palatable? From my very limited experience ad networks tend to have quite a strict format in which they present their ads thus my major question would be is this FORMAT of incentivised offerwall possible? I would love to see this in action - can you post the names of your apps for me to have a look? Thanks!

Toxic - There is a difference between offering the odd incentivised videos within your game and basing the ENTIRE economy and monitisation around incentivised videos. I am suggesting the latter, which may be facilitated by the integration of Adcolony and Vungle (thanks for the tip.) The direct swap for an item was just a rough concept, the same strategy could certainly be (and is often) applied to winning in-game currency instead of an individual item.


Rewarded videos are now even more popular - together with interstitials they can boost the app revenue by 50% or even more.
Here are some useful tips on integrationg the rewarded videos to your app economy —> placement tips for mobile game app

And if you’re not OKAY with your revenue from rewarded videos, here’s another way to monetize an app that requires zero efforts - data monetization.