People around the world can virtually navigate the streets of Indonesia in their own customized bus, thanks to game publisher Maleo’s popular mobile app, Bus Simulator Indonesia. The simulation game boasts a large community of 9.5M monthly active users who enjoy its robust local content, including the melodic horn sounds blaring from the nation’s buses. As they drive, users even encounter digital crowds that yell “Om Telolet Om!” — a common cheer from children to request that bus drivers honk as they pass by.
The team integrated AdMob mediation for Bus Simulator Indonesia several years ago, and the game generated revenue through ads only. But with a lean workforce spread across the region and globe, Maleo looked for new ways to increase revenue without straining resources and impacting the user experience. In 2021, the AdMob team recommended bidding and Maleo decided to try it out. After integrating bidding into Bus Simulator Indonesia, Maleo’s ads revenue improved by 50%, exceeding expectations — all while preserving the user experience and saving the company substantial resources.
Trial and optimization in an experimental culture
Even while working remotely, Maleo’s experimental ethos runs deep. The team constantly improves its games to keep users engaged, and is always testing ad networks on various platforms to eliminate low performers.
They also spent a significant amount of time manually updating their waterfall. Maleo wanted to boost earnings to fund operational expansion, but they needed to find a more efficient way to get there.
Maleo tried out other ad solutions and platforms, but they didn’t move the needle when it came to earnings. Once Ayub, Director at Maleo, heard about AdMob’s bidding solution, he decided to give it a try. Maleo were already running bidding through other mediation platforms, but not yet through AdMob, which was consistently Maleo’s top-performing network.
Freeing up resources with AdMob bidding
For Maleo, integrating bidding with AdMob mediation was a straightforward and efficient process. The implementation guide was easy to understand, and whenever any technical or non-technical questions came up, they communicated directly with their AdMob team. “We couldn’t be happier with the support we received,” says Ayub. Maleo launched bidding in the Bus Simulator app for all users at once, carefully checking to ensure that each ad network performed correctly.
Once they set up bidding, Maleo noticed just how much time the team was saving by no longer manually working on waterfall creation and management. There were unexpected benefits as well: ad latency improved, and because AdMob bidding consolidated payment from participating ad networks, Maleo could work with smaller networks that they might have passed on if they had to process all those small payments themselves.
After one month of running bidding, the operational benefits were clear, but it wasn’t until Maleo checked revenue figures that the team realized just how much things had improved.
AdMob has been hugely significant for our business. We save time and earn more, which allows us to invest in other areas. We have more capital to expand our operations. Without these benefits, we wouldn’t have had the same growth rate.
An influx of earnings and time savings
For Maleo, results from the experiment were above and beyond anything they’d seen before. Metrics increased across the board. The team saw a 50% increase in effective cost per mille (eCPM), average revenue per user (ARPU), and in overall ads revenue.
By no longer manually updating their waterfall, Maleo spends 10% less time managing ad operations. The small but nimble team, previously stretched thin, welcomed the newfound efficiency. The boost in earnings and additional time savings meant that Maleo could focus on expanding their team and operations much faster than they had originally planned, while also investing more in product development. “AdMob bidding helped us double our growth rate,” says Ayub. “No other solution has offered us such a significant gain.”
Following the success of their launch, Maleo is planning to integrate the AdMob platform into more of their games. “We have a few titles in development, and we’re excited to see where things will go with bidding,” says Ayub.