Alternative mobile ad formats comparison

Ad formats, their diversity, and applicability concern not only advertisers creating ad creations for their campaigns, but also digital publishers who wish to construct their ad inventories in a way that will make them most profitable. Deciding on how to build an ad layout and which ad formats it should be adapted for lies on the content creator’s side.

The most commonly applied formats in the case of mobile apps are Rewarded Video, Interstitial, and the most basic – Banner ad. Each of these ads has its benefits, and there’s obviously nothing wrong with using them. However, it’s worth seeking new interesting and promising ad formats since their choice directly impacts the effects of your ad monetization. The final achieved ad revenue greatly depends on the proper ad inventory’s construction. To prove it, we analyzed the effectiveness of alternative ad formats for you to consider – Native ads and App Open ads.

Native ads

Native ads’ most distinctive feature is that they blend in with the content. They are made of flexible and adjustable components that allow the ad to adjust its size and overall appearance to match the other elements of the application.

Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular types of Native ads available via Google Mobile Ads SDK. The images used come from Google AdMob resources and Google Maps.

Examples of native ads

As you can see, Native ads can take different forms. By blending with the content, they can help fulfill specific tasks to meet various goals, like persuading to install an app or building brand awareness. Now, let’s take a closer look at their main advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and cons of Native ads



App Open ads

App Open ads are full-screen advertisements that appear right after the app is being opened or when the user switches back to it. Such an ad is displayed on the loading screen or on the splash screen (a logo page at the app’s launching).

Now let’s delve into App Open ads’ characteristics by learning more about their benefits and flaws.

Pros and cons of App Open ads



Comparison of mobile ad formats

To help you find the best promising alternative ad format, we decided to compare the effectiveness of the ones presented above – Native ads and Open App ads – with the performance of commonly used mobile ad formats – Banner and Interstitial. We did so by collecting data regarding the average eCPMs achieved by the mobile apps we monetized. The data were gathered in the first 4 months of this year and concern the applications operating on the Android platform. We decided to exclude the Rewarded ads format from the comparison due to the differences underlying their operation – they’re being displayed on the user’s clear command (he launches them himself when he wants to achieve something in the app).

Here are the results of our comparison:

Native ads vs. Banner ads

The main difference between the Native and Banner ad, which is the simplest format of advertisement available in the digital world, is that the user will intuitively distinguish Banners from the rest of the elements located in the mobile application or game already at first glance. Therefore, the chances of him closing or avoiding the ad (or, at least, of him doing that way faster) are much higher than in the case of Native ads. Ultimately, this will inevitably lead to your app generating less income. To give it tangible proof, according to the data we collected, the eCPM achieved by Native ads is, on average, 3.5 times higher than those achieved by regular Banner ads. The winner of this confrontation is unquestionable – now, let’s compare its performance with the one of Interstitials.

Native ads vs. Interstitial ads

Native and Interstitial ads are two formats that stand at opposite ends of approaching the app-user relation – namely, the relationship between the mobile application’s user and the advertisement displayed to him in the app. It is so because while Native ads try to blend in with the content as seamlessly as possible, Interstitial ones focus entirely on maximizing the visibility of the ad creation, occupying the entire surface above the app’s content. Interestingly, in this extreme clash of approaches, it turns out that the eCPM generated by Interstitials was 49.75% higher than that of Native ads. With that in mind, let’s see how interstitial ads will do when confronting a more innovative ad format – Open App ads.

Interstitial ads vs. App Open ads

So far, Interstitial has turned out to be the most effective among the advertisements compared by us. However, the Open App ad is a relatively new ad format, revealing particularly promising characteristics. Even though they both occupy the entire user’s screen, their biggest difference lies in timing. Users are used to having to wait for a bit right after they open their app, but they are not so patient anymore when experiencing ad breaks while they already use it. Such a seemingly subtle detail allowed Open App ads to slightly surpass Interstitial in terms of results obtained by our publishers – the eCPM generated by Open App ads turned out to be 9.63% higher than by Interstitial.

New mobile ad formats

As we’ve seen, some innovations perform amazingly well in the digital advertising world. What’s more, with the development of mobile monetization, some ad formats that worked well on desktop websites’ versions in recent years are now being adapted to be used in mobile applications. An example of such a case worth mentioning is the Collapsible Banner ad. It’s initially displayed as a larger ad format, but the user can then fold (or collapse, if you will) the ad to smaller dimensions so that it doesn’t disrupt the application usage. We’ve presented how it works in the image below:

The effectiveness of such ad formats is exceptionally promising. What’s more, alternative and new ad formats can bring multiple benefits to your mobile app’s monetization performance while ensuring a positive User Experience.

With the right partner, you’ll get access to all the innovative ad formats entering digital advertising marketing (and, frankly, slowly taking it over). You’ll also get essential help with implementing chosen solutions, the support provided at every stage of your monetization processes, access to premium ad inventory, and automated ad mediation. All these combined can significantly increase your ad revenue and take a lot of burden off your chest. If you’re interested in getting access to new ad formats as well as unlocking premium Google ad inventory, feel free to reach out to us!

All articles

Ready to earn more from your ads?

Get a full month of FREE TRIAL now!

Get started