Mobile games today are predominantly free-to-play with developers making a living from ads or in-app purchases. Google Play is introducing new Rewarded Products today that will help creators earn revenue when players watch ads to earn free in-app items.
One trend has been to reward users for a monetizable action, like watching a video, with in-game currency or other benefits. This gives users more choice in how they experience the app or game, and has been an effective way to monetize non-paying users.
This product type in the Play Console gives players in-app items — virtual goods or in-game currency — when they interact with an ad. The first type of Rewarded Product available today is a short video format. Google introduced the concept of Rewarded ads last March, but it is now in open beta for all developers.
Users can elect to watch a video advertisement and upon completion be rewarded with virtual goods or in-game currency. In the example below, the user selects “watch ad”, views the video, and then is granted 100 coins.
Google notes that developers will also earn ad revenue, with this format aimed at gamers that don’t usually make in-app purchases. Advertising is served from AdMob and includes a broad range of content.
Any application using the Google Play Billing Library or AIDL interface — with only a few additional API calls — can add Rewarded Products. This concept of rewarding users after watching ads is not new, but Google touts that no extra SDK integration is required, which “significantly reduces the work required to implement compared to other offerings.”