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Vol. 8 Rewarded interstitial ads

We hope you got a better understanding of Open Bidding described in Vol. 6 and can now take your app monetization to the next level with AdMob mediation.

Open Bidding is one of two features recently launched by Google. The other feature introduced by Google is rewarded interstitials, an advertising format that aims to help publishers increase in-app engagement.

As the name suggests, rewarded interstitials combine the best of this ad format, a leading high-profit format of app advertising, and rewarded videos, a format of video ads that offers users in-app rewards such as extra lives in games, virtual currency etc. in exchange for watching ads.

We’ll cover here the features, integration and usage of this excellent ad format.


・Overview of rewarded interstitials
・Integrating rewarded interstitials
・How can rewarded interstitials be utilized?

Overview of rewarded interstitials

Rewarded video ads are categorized as opt-in advertising because users are asked whether they want to watch the ads in writing before proceeding to tap and play them.

Conversely, interstitials utilize natural timing to display ads, such as apps’ screen/page transitions between activities or pauses between levels in a game.

Thanks to combination of rewarded videos and interstitials, appropriate timing is selected to show introduction screens of rewarded ads.

Thus, rewarded interstitial ads give the users an opportunity to view ads passively, not like regular rewarded ads that users need to look for.

As rewarded video ads are opt-in ads, they have the advantage of not getting users disgruntled, but the drawback is that sometimes users are unaware of the ads.

If users miss the ads, no impressions will be generated and the ads will not be monetized.

Rewarded interstitials overcomes the shortcoming by adding characteristics of interstitial advertising, introducing full-screen pop-ups to grab user’s attention to rewarded videos.

The following three points are useful in understanding rewarded interstitials:
1.Similar revenue per unit as rewarded videos
2.Seen by more people than rewarded videos
3.Less discomfort as users are allowed to choose whether or not to watch the ads.

Let’s take a close look at these points.

1. Similar revenue per unit as rewarded videos

Rewarded interstitials are a new ad format, but since the ads themselves are similar to rewarded videos, revenue generated from this format is comparable to that of rewarded videos.

According to information revealed by Google, eCPM for rewarded video ads is around 7.1 USD, so the same level can be expected for rewarded interstitials.

2. Seen by more people than rewarded videos

Rewarded interstitials display introduction screens on top of app screens. This approach helps to
Increase viewing frequency in users who watch rewarded videos on a regular basis.
Make it easier to earn impressions from people who often miss rewarded video ads, and who are reluctant to   watch them.

3. Monetization without user’s discomfort by allowing users to choose whether or not to watch the ads

As we saw before, since users can be rewarded for watching ads or opt out and resume using an app instantly, they are less likely than with standard interstitials to find the ads obtrusive.

Integrating rewarded interstitials

Here are the instructions to integrate interstitial ads into your app.

1.Create introduction screens for rewarded interstitials
2.Update SDK to the latest version
3.Apply to Google or their certified partner for integration and have them review your app
4.Code the descriptions and implement
5.Once you have passed the reviewing process, create a unit in AdMob

We are going to focus on items 1 and 3 above but if you need assistance with any others, fell free to contact us.

Create introduction screens for rewarded interstitials

Introduction screens are where a user decides whether to watch an ads or not. Once the user chooses to watch, ad video starts. The following are required from an introduction screen.

Layouts should be clearly distinguishable from other app screens.
Rewards to be earned from viewing should be described clearly and specifically.
Options to return to the app without watching an ad should be available.

We need to give users enough time to opt-out if they want to.

Apply to Google or their certified partners for integration and have them review your app

Rewarded interstitials are still in beta format and can only be integrated by selected publishers. If you don’t see rewarded interstitial units on AdMob UI, you’ll need to file a request to integrate the ad format.

However, at this stage (September 2, 2020) Google hasn’t yet accepted applications. Therefore, the only way to integrate rewarded interstitials is to wait for an offer from Google or to approach Google Certified Publishing Partners (GCPP) for integration.

We are a GCPP, if you are interested in integration, please let us know via Twitter or email.

Never mind, if you fail the integration review, it won’t affect your subsequent use of AdMob.

How can rewarded interstitials be utilized?

After you pass the reviewing process, what are the possible ways to implement rewarded interstitials into your apps ?

We suggest four ways to integrate this ad format.

a.Integrate rewarded interstitials in addition to already integrated ads.
b.In games, display them on continue screens or at times users run out of items, such as when users run out of lives.
c.Integrate rewarded interstitials in place of rewarded videos with low CTR.
d.Integrate rewarded interstitials instead of interstitials to improve UX.

Actually, of the above, cases “b” and “d” are superior.

In case of “b,” displaying rewarded interstitials when users want to reacquire items they ran out of increases the likelihood of ads getting viewed and improves UX at the same time.

As for “d,” interstitial ads with rewards are naturally preferable to just plain interstitials.

Note that after rewarded interstitials are integrated it is beneficial to keep the standard rewarded videos that are already in place .

This way you can maximize revenue by gaining new impressions from rewarded interstitials without losing impressions from users who are routinely watching standard rewarded videos.

Mediation for rewarded interstitials

Currently, only AdMob and Facebook Audience Network (FAN) offer rewarded interstitials, so incorporating this ad format into mediation necessarily involves using FAN.

Mediation maximizes revenue by allowing multiple ad sources to compete for ad spaces.

See Vol. 4 for more information on how mediation works, and Vol. 5 for setting ad formats within mediation. Rewarded interstitials can be set up in the same way as other ad formats.

Want to know more about Rewarded Interstitials? Contact us, a Google Certified Publishing Partner.

Up next, we’ll discuss ad placements in apps. You’ll find out how to best position ads in mobile apps using the various features of AdMob that we’ve discussed so far.

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