Community Spotlight: RevU’s Tanner Hanson

Community Spotlight: RevU’s Tanner Hanson image
By Mariam Ahmad 24 June 2024

The mobile gaming industry is experiencing significant shifts, driven by the need for diversified revenue models and cross-platform strategies. Developers are moving away from single revenue streams, blending ad-supported and in-app purchase models for sustainability. There's also growing emphasis on adapting games for multiple platforms to maximize reach.

To understand these trends, we spoke with the President of RevU, Tanner Hanson, who highlighted the importance of innovative monetization tools like offerwalls for user retention and acquisition. He also touches on how measuring success now heavily relies on metrics like ROAS and LTV of players, and despite the challenges, ongoing education and evolving strategies are paving the way for continued growth and adaptation in the mobile gaming landscape.


Can you describe the current trends you see in the mobile gaming industry, and how is RevU adapting to these changes?

The biggest trend, for better or for worse, has been what we could call a correction from the COVID and ZIRP years. Being only ad-supported or only IAP-based are no longer viable options; every developer has started diversifying their revenue streams. We also see studios breaking down those ideas about being single-platform, and seeing how they can adapt to a cross-platform approach.

At RevU, this has actually translated into greater interest and demand for our solutions, and has pushed us to innovate around product and services much faster. We’re planning to announce a number of new products and features in H2. Also, we’ve always prided ourselves on a diverse advertiser set, which is much more attractive for publishers as the economy has impacted different categories of advertisers in different ways.

What are some of the key strategies RevU employs to help mobile game developers maximise user acquisition and retention?

Although we may seem biased, all of our partner data has demonstrated that offerwall is a tremendous retention tool for developers. It provides a way to keep players involved in the game and monetize them in a super effective manner, without cannibalizing IAP or other ad revenue. Since we have a large set of non-gaming demand, gaming publishers can generate high revenue from e-comm and non-gaming offers which usually allow the user to come right back to the publisher’s game and keep playing with their newly-earned currency.

For UA, everyone should know by now that the best players are usually the ones that play other games. Mobile game devs can use the RevU offerwall to acquire those players efficiently; with our multi-reward offers, currently in beta, those UA managers can make sure they’re driving a deep enough experience within their titles to achieve their Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) goals and retain the players they want.

How do you measure the success of a mobile game marketing campaign, and what metrics are most important to RevU?

We advise our customers that ROAS is the north star for UA, and that means understanding your cost of acquisition (CAC) and your average lifetime value (LTV) of your players. For us, we always want to achieve our client targets and be able to scale those campaigns broadly across our network. We know we’re doing a good job when our clients continue to increase investment in offerwall as a channel.

Can you share any case studies or success stories where RevU significantly impacted a mobile game’s performance in the market?

We have always believed that publishers should not sign exclusive agreements for their offerwall. I cannot think of any publisher who would exclusively use a single third-party video ad network, yet many other offerwall providers push for exclusivity.

Kongregate was locked into an offerwall exclusivity agreement, but when it expired, they turned down the renewal and added RevU alongside the incumbent. As a result, their offerwall revenue on iOS increased 650%, which far outweighed the “bonus” they turned down for exclusivity.

Exclusivity on offerwall can bring down a publisher’s LTV, which decreases their buying power, and in turn, stops the publisher from growing their DAU. We want all of our publishers to grow profitably and see RevU as a true partner. Our growth is reliant on their success with our products and overall ability to scale, so we never want to hinder their growth with short-sighted contracts.

What are the biggest challenges you face in the mobile gaming industry today, and how is RevU addressing these challenges?

There will always be some lingering misunderstanding around offerwall, but we’ve come a long way - and with ongoing education and proof of success, we expect more developers to embrace all of the potential they can achieve by integrating offerwall into their experiences. There’s always fear that new monetization solutions will require a lot of work and testing to get right - we’ve tackled that with our SDK-free solution, which allows for maximum testability and optimization. For RevU specifically, even though we’ve been around for almost two decades, we are relatively new to the mobile space, which is why we’re partnering with amazing organizations like Gamesforum to bring education and awareness to the mobile dev community. 

What advice would you give to new mobile game developers looking to stand out in a highly competitive market?

The beautiful thing about mobile is that there’s always room for innovation, and the barriers to entry for creative people are relatively low. One piece of advice is to make games that you love and that you think people love. In terms of monetization, I think people new to the industry should learn to love it as fast as they can. Great monetization approaches and the right monetization tools are going to make it possible to make a living - or make a lot of money - off of your mobile game. So learn everything you can about monetization, don’t be afraid to experiment and test and figure out what works for your game and your players. 


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