Mobile ad platform Tapjoy is rolling out a new in-application video ad unit that allows users to interact with the ad without having to leave the app they're in. The aim is to provide a more seamless experience and higher engagement. In return for watching an entire video ad, a user playing a game will be able to earn virtual currency to unlock special features or content within the game.
As part of the offering, people will have a choice of what video ads they watch to help ensure that ads are viewed all the way through. That's because Tapjoy, which focuses on incentive-based advertising in apps, will only get paid (and consumers will only earn virtual currency) on a completed view. Until now, video ads from Tapjoy have not played within the app -- and advertisers have not been guaranteed a completed view.
After watching a video, advertisers can provide more options for people to engage with their brand through actions, such as following the company on Facebook or Twitter, forwarding the video to friends, or visiting the advertiser's Web site. It also allows users to make purchases directly via their mobile device.
The company will charge on a cost-per-engagement basis for each 15-second video ad viewed in its entirety. The minimum cost will be 10 cents, but could go higher, depending on any additional post-view action, included in the engagement. Among the advertisers using the new ad unit at launch are Gap, Old Navy, Gamefly, Netflix, eHarmony, Intuit, and Zynga.
For app developers that will be able to embed the video ads into apps through the Tapjoy SDK (software development kit), the goal is to generate more incremental revenue. And users will receive virtual currency in proportion to the level of engagement they have with a video ad. Getting a Netflix subscription after watching an ad, for instance, would deliver a larger reward than just watching the ad.
According to second-quarter data released by mobile video ad network Rhythm NewMedia this month, the completion rate for pre-roll video ads running at launch between game levels and other screen changes within apps is 30%. Tapjoy believes its "value-exchange" approach can improve on that rate and capitalize on growing interest in mobile video advertising.
The company, formerly known as Offerpal Media, boasts that its platform already provides exposure to 50 million daily active users and 280 million unique users overall. Its growth has been fueled by $51 million in venture funding this year, including $30 million in a round raised in July from investors, including JP Morgan and Rho Ventures.