At Tapjoy, we’re dedicated to exploring monetization best practices that help freemium app developers maximize revenue while providing the best possible experience for their users. In this guide, we take an in-depth look at one of the most tried-and-true methods of freemium monetization: The offerwall. We’ll explore the key reasons why offerwall monetization is so compelling, including how it can help developers maximize the revenue potential of their apps and drive deeper user engagement.


What is an offerwall?

An offerwall is quite literally a “wall” of offers that are presented inside an app, allowing users to scroll through and select their choice of rewarded ads or offers to complete in exchange for virtual currency or other in-app rewards. It has remained a mainstay of app monetization since the early days of freemium because the value exchange model works so well for both advertisers and users, and is a natural complement to an app’s existing gameplay.

In this guide, we’ll explore three key benefits of offerwalls. Let’s get started!


Top 3 Benefits of the Offerwall:

  1. Unlock higher revenue potential
  2. Drive lift in in-app purchases
  3. Empower user choice and boost engagement


1. Unlock higher revenue potential

One of the most valuable and obvious publisher benefits of an offerwall is the ability to unlock higher eCPMs and boost overall revenue.

While offerwalls are higher friction than rewarded video, the value is clear: a Tapjoy study revealed that publishers who monetized through offerwall and rewarded video combined posted an average quarterly ARPDUV (average revenue per daily unique viewer) that was consistently more than 2x greater than those who monetized through rewarded video alone.

Dual channels of monetization, therefore, unlock a “sweet spot”, allowing publishers to realize the highest possible value of every user: rewarded video offers low-friction and high volume, but lower value to both player and publisher; offerwall, on the other hand, is higher friction but geared at users who are willing to provide deeper engagement for a greater reward.



2. Drive lift in IAP

One of the age-old fears of ad monetization is whether it will cannibalize an app’s IAP (in-app purchase) economy. This fear is perhaps greater for publishers considering an offerwall integration since the payout is inherently higher. Care must be taken to strike a balance between executing exchange rates that entice the user, without de-valuing the app’s economy.

However, when exchange rates are optimized, the offerwall can in fact act as a great tool to encourage IAP. The idea is that rewarded ads give users “a taste” of the value they can unlock through IAP, making them more likely to purchase them in the future.

To investigate this theory, Tapjoy measured the average spend per user – both seven days before and seven days after a user’s first offerwall engagement – for 8 different high-DAU iOS and Android apps during Aug-Sept, 2017. Across all apps studied, user spend increased after they engaged with the offerwall. The average weighted increase was 172%, with the individual increases per-app ranging from 39% to 268%.


3. Empower user choice and boost engagement

Another key benefit of the offerwall is that it is a 100% user-initiated, opt-in ad format. Unlike interstitial video, which is usually served automatically to the user during transition points in the game, the offerwall is only activated if the user chooses to do so.

Offerwalls also empower users to pick and choose the ads that appeal to them most, while scaling their reward accordingly to the value of the offer. For example, watching a video may be worth 100 coins, while filling out a survey is worth 500.

Providing users with a way to unlock higher value rewards encourages deeper engagement within the app, which in turn increases the odds that a user will stick around. Smule found this to be true for users of their hit app Magic Piano. Players who completed an offer through the Tapjoy offerwall were 14% more likely to become long-term users, in comparison to the control group. For more information on Smule’s experience, take a look at page 14 of our offerwall guide.


Getting started with Tapjoy

Tapjoy is the industry’s leading offerwall expert for a reason: We make it easy for publishers to set up, customize and optimize their offerwall, all from a centralized dashboard. The UI is clean, user-friendly, and can be tailored to match the look and feel of your app.

Part of the Tapjoy Maximum Impact Platform™, developers are empowered to make the most of every user through advanced segmentation and predictive LTV analytics. These capabilities allow publishers to more intelligently monetize their users through advanced features, such as custom exchange rates, targeted permanent currency sales, and contextual in-app messaging.

For more information, take a look at Tapjoy’s mobile monetization strategies.

Things move fast in the mobile world. Since the release of the original iPhone, almost every industry has been up-ended by mobile innovation, and gaming is no exception. Developers have embraced the design affordances of modern smartphones to create engaging experiences loved by millions that starkly contrast what video games used to be. There might be no better example of this than the explosive popularity of hyper casual games.

These entertainment experiences have irrevocably changed how the gaming industry thinks about engagement, retention, UA, monetization and more. They’ve set new standards for rewarded advertising practices, welcomed new audiences to the world of gaming, and contributed to the industry’s all-time high of $43 billion in revenue for 2018, an 18% jump from the year prior.

So why should developers be thinking about this new genre and its role in the mobile gaming ecosystem at large? Well, let’s start with the basics.


What are hyper casual games?

Hyper casual games are typically action-oriented titles that have been designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. They use minimal interfaces and simple gameplay loops to get players into the fun as quickly as possible. Every part of their design, right down to their nearly non-existent startup time, has been designed to ensure players can enjoy them anytime, anywhere. Because they’re so accessible and fit so easily into small pockets of time, hyper casual games enjoy massive levels of engagement that often exceed more complex titles that can require greater time and attention from players.


How do hyper casual games make money?

Most titles are monetized using rewarded in-app advertising placements. Players earn mechanical bonuses like extra lives or additional points in exchange for watching short videos or engaging with playable ads. While in-app purchases are available in some capacity, the primary monetization strategy for hyper casual developers is to launch a title, acquire users, and obtain ad revenue before players move one. Thankfully, the genre’s minimalist aesthetic allows studios to release titles much faster than normal. More sophisticated publishers will leverage naturally occurring network effects and cross-promote users across their portfolio, building a critical mass that can then be monetized more effectively.


Who plays hyper casual games?

A better question might be: Who doesn’t play hyper casual games? Compared to other mobile gaming categories, hyper casual has an incredibly broad appeal. Publishers have found that players from different countries and unique global markets will enjoy the same games, even if they don’t speak the same language. This is largely because their minimal and intuitive designs often make localization unnecessary — anyone from any background can download a hyper casual game and understand its core mechanics without needing a detailed tutorial. This also means their first-session drop off is much lower, leading to higher overall retention numbers.

This also means that hyper casual games perform above average when it comes to user acquisition. As the prevalence of smartphones increases around the world — particularly in developing nations — the international appeal of hyper casual games has soared alongside it. In 2018 alone, hyper casual growth surged by 485% to represent 510 million active players.

Better still, the latest research suggests hyper casual games have managed to increase the number of mobile gaming players without cannibalizing other app categories.

Want to learn more about who’s playing mobile games in 2019? Check out our Modern Mobile Gamer Personas eBook to learn how mobile games are helping advertisers reach any audience at scale.


What are the challenges of making hyper casual games?

Of course, hyper casual game production and marketing are not without their challenges. hyper casual markets have quickly become one of the most competitive when it comes to visibility. A handful of top publishers produce multiple games each year thanks to partnerships with satellite studios and are able to dominate the app store charts by cross-promoting users from one title to another. With so many apps in the marketplace, it’s often difficult for independent developers to stand out.

Competition and global market growth is also raising acquisition costs, however slightly. According to data from Tenjin, the average hyper casual CPI in December of 2018 was $0.15 for Android and $0.36 iOS devices. As of last June, those figures have increased by 6% and 29% respectively ($0.18 and $0.47). On the whole, this might limit the window of time that publishers can produce and marketing hyper casual games at effective margins.

Despite these challenges, many opportunities still remain for developers operating in the hyper casual market. Hyper casual markets will continue to help grow the mobile gaming landscape, and at the end of the day, that’s an excellent opportunity for our entire industry. For more information on marketing or monetizing your hyper casual game, get in touch with the mobile experts at Tapjoy!


With its roots in the web advertising practice of “Header Bidding,” programmatic mediation — sometimes called “in-app header bidding” — gives multiple demand sources the opportunity to compete for premium ad inventory, ensuring more revenue for devs and greater opportunities for advertisers. By building on the success of previous models, developers can use this approach to ensure ad impressions are sold at the best possible price in order to positively impact their bottom line.


What is programmatic mediation?

Programmatic mediation is a mobile ad monetization practice in which multiple demand sources like ad networks and DSPs participate in real-time auctions for ad impressions in mobile games and apps.

When an ad is needed, the app delivers whatever information is available about the user to multiple demand sources and requests a bid. The demand sources then consult their own data sets, determine what an appropriate bid should be based on the orders they have to fill, and return a bid to the app.

Based on the values returned, the app then selects the most profitable offer and the impression goes to that source. Bids are calculated in real-time across multiple demand sources, allowing publishers to fill ad requests with the most profitable ads in seconds.


How does programmatic mediation differ from waterfall monetization?

Prior to programmatic mediation, many mobile developers relied on ad waterfalls to fill ad requests by arranging ad networks in order of expected yield. Using waterfall monetization, any network assigned to a premium space at the top of a waterfall would have the most frequent opportunities to fill ad inventory, while networks that didn’t historically offer high eCPMs would be limited to down-waterfall opportunities that premium networks opted not to fill.

Waterfalls still see widespread use today, but they can be inefficient, are time-consuming to maintain, and lack transparency when determining which networks are placed in premium positions.


What are the benefits of programmatic mediation for mobile developers and publishers?

The benefits of programmatic mediation for mobile developers are plentiful:


Tapjoy’s programmatic mediation services

In our 10+ years as a mobile ad network, Tapjoy has connected mobile publishers with the highest-paying advertisers from across the globe. We’ve taken pride in filling ad inventory with relevant creative at top industry rates for developers. With our recent acquisition of Tapdaq, we’re now also able to offer a powerful programmatic mediation solution informed by our years of experience. Whatever audience you’re pursuing, our goal is to ensure money is never left on the table.

Tapdaq’s hybrid mediation solution lets publishers choose whether to manually assign direct network deals or reach demand partners automatically using programmatic methods. These services are compatible with all of Tapjoy’s high-performing ad formats, including interstitials and rewarded video. Tapdaq also includes ad analytics, providing developers with actionable monetization insights.

Programmatic mediation is just the latest tactic adopted by mobile monetization platforms — and hybrid solutions suggest its evolution is still ongoing. For more advice on how to most effectively implement the process in your apps, contact the monetization experts at Tapjoy today.

With its roots in the web advertising practice of “Header Bidding,” programmatic mediation — sometimes called “in-app header bidding” — gives multiple demand sources the opportunity to compete for premium ad inventory, ensuring more revenue for devs and greater opportunities for advertisers. By building on the success of previous models, developers can use this approach to ensure ad impressions are sold at the best possible price in order to positively impact their bottom line.


There are many forms of mobile advertising, but not all are equally advantageous to advertisers. Not content to simply send ads out into the void with a flat rate, marketing professionals have turned to new pricing models to take their budgets further and invest in methods with proven results. CPA advertising is just one way advertisers are minimizing the risk associated with media buying.


What is CPA advertising?

CPA is short for Cost-Per-Action, though it is also sometimes known as cost-per-acquisition. In CPA advertising, marketers only pay if and when the ads lead to an action or sale. This is the desired end point of any campaign, but also the hardest to achieve. Therefore, this model is quite beneficial to advertisers, who transfer a large part of responsibility for campaign performance onto the publisher.

Cost-per-action is calculated by dividing the total ad spend by the total attributed conversions. The result is how much you’ll pay for each desired result. It’s similar to other forms of performance advertising in which the publisher assumes more risk and/or responsibility, such as CPV (cost-per-view) advertising, CPCV (cost-per-completed view) advertising, and CPE (cost-per-engagement) advertising, to name just a few. CPA advertising takes those concepts — only paying for a view or some form of engagement — even further, ensuring that the interaction is only considered complete with the completion of a desired event.


What are the pros and cons of CPA advertising?

Like any other form of advertising, cost-per-action has its benefits, but it’s not foolproof. The most obvious benefit — at least on the marketing side — is the reduced risk factor. When you’re not paying for ad placement unless that ad gets a dramatic result, your budget goes further. And if you’re not getting the desired results, you can reinvest that budget into different placements, demographics, creative, and so forth; ultimately, negative results aren’t nearly as expensive.

The downside is that not every publisher allows CPA advertising models. You may have to already have proven results to be able to use cost-per-action advertising, which isn’t helpful when you’re just starting out. It’s understandable, as CPA ads require publishers to give up valuable real estate with no guarantee of payment. It’s also not possible if the publisher doesn’t have some kind of conversion tracking tool.


How does CPA advertising work in real-world scenarios?

CPA Advertising

Most major digital advertising solutions now offer some form of CPA advertising, including Tapjoy. Some industries benefit more from cost-per-action than others, and rates are calculated accordingly. Tech and business-to-business ads, for example, see great results with cost-per-action ads, and as a result, demand higher rates. The auto, travel, and hospitality industries are on the lower end, with general e-commerce hovering around the middle.

But what defines an action? Well, that varies by campaign. One popular use for CPA ads is growing email databases. In this case, the action would be considered complete when the user submits a lead-capture form or signs up for regular email updates. There are also a variety of e-commerce uses, where the action is easily defined as a sale, whether that sale is a physical good, event ticket, or so forth. If the desired end result of your marketing campaign is a clearly definable action, CPA advertising is likely a fit for you.

With the right partner, CPA advertising campaigns can be wildly successful. Tapjoy makes it easy for advertisers to connect with their ideal customers and foster engagement that leads to desired actions. We have a proven track record of meaningful engagement with users, and like you, we know the value of prioritizing return on ad spend. For more information, or to get started with your own CPA campaign, contact the experts at Tapjoy.



Rewarded video ads let mobile developers monetize apps while maximizing user engagement and increasing IAP revenue. An opt-in delivery system enhances the experience by ensuring customers benefit from views while letting them choose when impressions are delivered.

What are rewarded video ads?

Rewarded video is an ad format that allows the audience to decide whether or not they want to watch a video in exchange for rewards such as in-app currency, bonuses, or other premium content. It can be integrated into mobile games and apps by publishers as a way to monetize their app. It is also a highly effective way for brands to engage with their desired audience through video.

The format can be deployed within your apps using a variety of methods — such as through offerwalls or native integrations — provided users are given the opportunity to opt-in to the viewing experience. This unique style of value-exchange advertising makes rewarded videos an ideal method for monetizing apps that benefit players, developers, and advertisers alike while ensuring the best possible user experience.


Why use rewarded advertisements?

Unlike most traditional forms of mobile advertising, rewarded video ads benefit the user and the publisher. The format encourages users to engage with in-app placements as a means of accruing virtual goods and/or currency, while its opt-in nature ensures interactions take place at a convenient time. Developers and advertisers benefit from standard app monetization features, which are maximized by regular interactions with retained users.

Developers and publishers that implement rewarded video ads have seen the following measurable benefits:


How can you implement rewarded videos?

The Tapjoy SDK contains comprehensive video advertising capabilities for developers, including interstitial and rewarded video formats. Developers and publishers looking to implement rewarded videos in their apps can take advantage of our plug and play solutions today and start generating more ad revenue.

rewarded video ads

Interested in bringing rewarded video ads to your mobile app? Get in touch with Tapjoy today!