When it came to advertising revenue, Hong Kong-based mobile game developer Me2Zen was leaving money on the table. From the time it was founded in 2018, the top developer of casual card and social casino games had been relying on an in-house mediation solution using waterfalls and other traditional methods of ad monetization. But after many of the largest ad networks began switching to bidding, it knew that the way to increase revenue was to bring on a partner platform bidding solution.
“We had been using in-house mediation for a long time, and we thought we were doing a very good job,” says Jerry Yang Zhe, Vice President of Marketing at Me2Zen. “We needed a mediation partner that would be as good with the details.”
Me2Zen had been using Google AdMob as an ad source for their in-house mediation solution. To optimize revenue, they decided to switch to a mediation platform solution with bidding. After adopting AdMob mediation and bidding, Me2Zen saw a strong increase in eCPM, ARPDAU, and overall revenue.
Optimizing its mediation strategy
When Me2Zen decided to optimize its ad mediation strategy, it focused first on its non-casino gaming TriPeaks titles. These titles used a hybrid monetization model that combined video ads and in-app purchases. This model was challenging for the studio’s small ad monetization team because of the time and resource commitment needed to manually manage waterfall mediation. They were optimistic that AdMob mediation and bidding would make workflows more simple and free up time to spend on the rest of their games portfolio.
“Obviously we wanted to increase our revenues, but we really also wanted to improve our operational efficiency,” says Yang Zhe. Me2Zen decided to test two platforms — AdMob and another mediation solution — to see which would perform better compared to its in-house solution. Instead of testing each platform on a small user group, Me2Zen decided they would go head-to-head with all the users of two TriPeaks titles on Android.
Increase in revenue with AdMob
The results of the three-week test were immediately clear. Compared to their in-house and the other mediation solution, they saw a lift in overall revenue with AdMob, as well as higher fill rate, eCPM and ARPDAU. “When we used AdMob mediation and bidding, we found that the ARPDAU increased 10% to 15%,” says Yang Zhe. “That was very promising.” Me2Zen wanted to expand the test to include its Solitaire titles, which accounts for about half of the company’s revenue.
They conducted a second round of testing of AdMob mediation and bidding against the other platform solution in the iOS version of one of its five Solitaire titles that uses in-app ads exclusively for monetization. They then compared the results with the historic performance of its in-house solution and found that overall performance increased with AdMob mediation and bidding, including fill rate, eCPM, and ARPDAU. Me2Zen will soon be rolling out AdMob mediation and bidding to the Android version of the Solitaire title.
When we used AdMob mediation, we found that ARPDAU increased 10% to 15%. That was very promising.
Vice President of Marketing, Me2Zen,
Expanding AdMob mediation and partnership
Yang Zhe says that when his company considered changing its ad monetization method, he and his team at Me2Zen were excited to work with a company they were familiar with. “AdMob is our most preferred ad network,” he says. “Nearly half our revenue is generated through AdMob. When we heard AdMob was switching to a bidding model, we definitely wanted to work with them.”
He says that the Google team made the testing process simple, helping Me2Zen to map out its goals, track the results, and understand the best way to analyze the data. And in partnership, they share on-going feedback with the Google team and ways to optimize its product for its 1.5M daily average users.
Me2Zen is happy with the performance of AdMob. It’s continued to see improvements in its operational efficiency, and an increase in key metrics like fill rate. As a result, Me2Zen plans to expand its use of AdMob mediation and bidding to more of its titles over the coming months. “Our goal is to make it happen as soon as possible,” says Yang Zhe. “We want to move all our ad inventory to AdMob mediation.”