Digital Pill: Completion Rate for Rewarded Videos

Published by Jacopo Guanziroli on

One of the most overlooked KPIs in ad monetization is completion rate for rewarded videos (RV from now on).

By definition, a RV is user-initiated, meaning it is the player who decides to watch an advertisement to get a reward afterwards.

If a video starts and isn’t watched until its completion, something is not working as intended.

That’s why looking at completion rate (completions/impressions or in other words, video ends/video starts), especially after integrating an ad monetization solution for the first time, is a must.

There could be many different reasons for low completion rate, let’s dig into them:

  • Bad UI (Ad Design)
    • It is not clear that an ad will start
    • The ad button is accidentally clicked
    • The user just saw an interstitial
    • The user realizes that the reward isn’t relevant in that moment
  • Ads are too long: sometimes ads lasting more than 30 seconds could disrupt the UX. That’s why asking to all ad networks to limit video length is a valuable option. It also depends on which part of the game you have placements (during a run it’s different than in the main menu as the player could be more or less likely to wait).
  • Ads UI: some networks might show the ad close button from the start of the video, pushing the user to close it. In that case either ask the network to remove this option or make sure a message is shown so the player is informed that the reward won’t be delivered if the ad is closed.
  • Repetitive campaigns: if the same campaign is shown repeatedly over time, the player might get annoyed and close the RV. Increase variety by adding different ad networks in your stack and don’t be too strict on your blacklist.
  • Bugs/crashes: make sure you SDK adapters are up-to-date to improve tech stability in your ad-delivery system, especially if you see a lot of difference in completion rate by provider. You might decide to disable a specific ad network temporarily if they bring down the overall average due to their lower rate.
  • Internet connection: in some specific countries slow/bad internet connection could affect completion as ads are not cached correctly. When you look at completion rate, try to breakdown by geo and see if the rate differs a lot depending on the country.
  • Audience behavior: as for internet connection, also the user behaviour can change depending on their country so it’s always good to check completion rate by geo. For instance advertiser campaigns might not always be localized and some user could be less interested to watch a RV till the end.
  • Ad Sounds: it is worth checking on the sound settings of your integrated ad networks as it could happen that the app is muted but the ad starts with sound. In that case the players are more likely to close ads. A solution could be to change settings for each provider and serve muted ads by default.

Ideally your completion rate for RV should be around 100%: by reaching this you’ll have a solid cornerstone to start optimizing ad monetization towards revenue.


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