When Japan-based game studio Beeworks wanted to improve ad monetization of its popular series of mobile games, it evaluated the merits of moving from waterfall mediation to a bidding solution. In addition to banner ads, Beeworks also added rewarded video ads to help improve average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU).
Google AdMob had been a top demand ad network and trusted mediation solution for Beeworks for over a decade. In early 2020, Beeworks chose one of its top iOS titles, “Funghi’s Den,” to test AdMob bidding among all global users and compare its performance to traditional waterfall mediation, which they had been using since launching the game. They saw an impressive 42% lift in ARPU (average revenue per user) on Android with AdMob bidding.
Within three months, the studio achieved a 111% increase in rewarded ad eCPM and a 83% increase in banner ad eCPM.
Looking for ways to improve ad monetization
With the release of Beeworks’ console game “Touch Detective” in 2006, a star was born. A little mushroom named Funghi, a minor character in the original game, became so popular that in 2011, Beeworks created a mobile game revolving around him called “Mushroom Garden.” The app was a huge success, racking up tens of millions of downloads on Android and iOS.
“Mushroom Garden” spawned many sequels, including “Funghi’s Den” (known as “Nameko no Su” in Japan) and five other current releases from Beeworks. These casual games used a hybrid model of in-app purchases (IAP) and in-app ads (IAA), with ads accounting for 80% of its total revenue. Because IAA accounts for the majority of revenue for Beework’s apps, the studio was eager to find ways to increase earnings and save time with complex waterfall mediation settings.
Using AdMob was a big success for us. Moving from waterfall mediation to bidding helped us to improve our overall revenue.
Marketing Director, Beeworks,
42% lift in ARPU on Android with bidding
Beeworks reported that ad revenue increased markedly over a three-month test period. For “Funghi’s Den,” the estimated cost per thousand (eCPM) increased by 111% for rewarded ads and 83% for banner ads. The team also saved time managing complex mediation settings enabling them to onboard new networks in bidding and in waterfall mediation.
“Using AdMob and bidding was a big success for us,” said Chan. “Moving from waterfall mediation to bidding helped us to improve our overall revenue.”