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Video ads continue to hog app install budgets, according to the latest App Install Marketing Survey [download page] from AdColony. In fact, video ads combine for 57% of app install spending among the largest grossing publishers, with full-screen video ads the single largest format by spend share (27%). Not too far behind, social video accounts for 21% share of spend. As such, full-screen and social video alone comprise almost half of app install budgets for the top-grossing publishers.

Top app publishers are using these formats as they’ve found them to be highly effective: 82% reported that social video is effective (top-2 box) at achieving campaign objectives, and 77% agreed with respect to full-screen video.

A recent report from App Annie likewise reveals that video ads generate the most ad-based revenue for app professionals.

But it’s a different app install format that’s motivating app publishers for 2018: playable ads.

This Q4 survey finds a large uptick in perceived effectiveness for playable ads over Q1 2017 and Q3 2016. Along with that, there’s been a substantial rise in usage of playable ads over that time span, and budgets are starting to come along also.

Fully 46% of publishers say that playable ads are their most exciting format for 2018. While that’s a similar result from Q1, it’s almost double the share (25%) from last year’s research into publishers’ most exciting formats.

Other Survey Highlights

  • User quality continues to be the most important user acquisition KPI.
  • Retention and in-app purchases are easily the leading indicators of high-quality users.
  • App publishers are more likely to find look-alike modeling effective (77%) than retargeting (42%).
  • Cost-per-install is the dominant pricing model for both gaming and non-gaming advertisers, with cost-per-acquisition second for non-gaming advertisers.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of the top 100 grossing app developers, with a 71% response rate. Some 81% are mobile game developers, while 19% are non-gaming mobile developers. Respondents average more than $1 million in monthly app install budgets.

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