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Video formats now account for half of all app install spending by developers of the 100 top-grossing apps, according to the latest semi-annual study [download page] from AdColony. Full-screen video alone commands one-quarter of app install spend, with social video (16%) getting the next-biggest allocation of spending among formats. These are also considered the most effective formats.

At least two-thirds of developers surveyed (three-quarters of whom are mobile game developers) gave full-screen video (69%) and social video (67%) a top-2 box rating in terms of effectiveness at achieving campaign objectives.

Virtually all (96%) of developers are using full-screen video and social video ads, according to the study, with interstitial display (89%), banner display (87%) and social display (81%) also proving popular.

But it’s a lesser-used format that’s getting more attention: playable ads. Not only has adoption of playables doubled over the past 6 months (64%, up from 33%), but this format is now the one that app install marketers are most excited about. In fact, twice as many called this their most exciting format (45%) in 2017 as did full-screen video (22%), which was the most exciting format last time the survey was fielded.

In other highlights from the report:

  • On average, respondents reported localizing for 7 languages and optimizing campaigns 4 times per week;
  • Campaigns are shifting away from traditional media such as out-of-home, radio and print;
  • Operating System, geo and device targeting parameters are the most important to developers to help maximize campaign performance;
  • The use of retargeting continues to be strong, at 76% of respondents, with two-thirds deeming their efforts effective or very effective;
  • Likewise, look-alike usage (92%) and effectiveness (88%) ratings remain high; and
  • User quality is the most important acquisition KPI for app install marketers.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of the top 100 grossing app developers, 75% of whom are mobile game developers and 25% non-gaming mobile developers. Respondents’ total monthly app install budgets are at least $1 million. The survey response rate was 70%.

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