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How Adtech Platform AudioMob Is Changing The Mobile Game Monetization Through Amazon Web Services

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How Adtech Platform AudioMob Is Changing The Mobile Game Monetization Through Amazon Web Services
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AudioMob was founded after we spotted a tremendous monetization opportunity for game developers.

Rewarded video ads in mobile games have made developers and publishers money, but always at the expense of interrupting games. Yet these interruptions don’t just irritate players, they can even push them away from a game entirely, thereby damaging retention. This can be incredibly frustrating for game developers, who have put time and craft into building games that they want to have thrive, both creatively and commercially.

In considering the solution to this challenge, the core AudioMob concept was born. We let advertisers reach their consumers and game developers monetize their games without interrupting gameplay by using audio ads. ‘In-game audio ads’ are what we do, and we’ve seen developers implement them in truly interesting ways.

Larger tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, already offer ad platforms. This begs the question – why create a new platform?

The answer is straightforward. Existing Demand Side Platforms (or DSPs) cannot deliver audio ads in-game. Our Ad Platform enables advertisers to serve In-game audio ads with banners while users play their game. Therefore, players are given something to click on to head to a landing page or another app, should they feel engaged by the ad.

That potential is most powerfully demonstrated through an active example of AudioMob. Grammy award winning artist Nas and his label Mass Appeal created the following audio ad in order to promote his new album, King’s Disease II. They were confident that mobile games would expose them to wider audiences. This also presents an example of how personal and direct audio ads can feel.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite has proved to be a powerful tool in helping us achieve our vision for in-game audio ads as an option that is better for players, advertisers, and game developers.

Why Amazon Web Services?

What we’re doing is unique, so we needed to build a unique stack, and AWS matched our vision and ambition. Be it hosting everything from our user interface to providing a Content Delivery Network (CDN), AWS lets AudioMob serve audio content worldwide in milliseconds.

Meeting AudioMob Privacy Requirements with AWS

On the subject of digital advertising, undoubtedly you will notice the privacy conversation occurring around the world. We believe audio advertising makes it possible to respect the privacy of our users while ensuring the games and apps we love remain free to play.

We’ve deliberately built privacy-first adtech that places contextuality at its core. This approach allows for the ‘best of both worlds,’ letting ads find relevant audiences without utilizing personal data.

However, ad campaigns inevitably generate large amounts of data. This includes the data about a campaign’s success as well as aggregated contextual data held for 90 days and more. And that means we have data to keep safe beyond the data that is processed and stored so that it can be analyzed for insight.

AWS infrastructure aligns with our privacy stance and has achieved numerous internationally-recognized certifications and accreditations. It has demonstrated compliance with rigorous international standards, such as ISO 27017 for cloud security, ISO 27701 for privacy information management, and ISO 27018 for cloud privacy.

Meeting Advertiser Demand with EC2

Choosing the AWS product line started with building our own DSP. A DSP ultimately lets advertisers buy ad space within websites and apps. Ours is known as the AudioMob Ad Platform, and it lets advertisers create, manage, and set the targeting criteria of their advertising campaigns, thereby delivering the right ads to the right people, optimizing, analyzing success, and much more.

When artists or brands want to start a campaign through the AudioMob Ad Platform, they upload an mp3 file and a banner image that is instantly compressed through our internal code hosted on AWS. Compressing those larger file assets to a global average of 35KB, AudioMob can later distribute those ads without latency concerns and into countries with slower mobile data connection speeds. Rendering and content load issues become non-existent.

AWS Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) provides instant access to server space, computing power, and various databases. Purpose-built to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers like us, EC2’s accessibility in 25 regions and 81 availability zones globally allows for an efficiency never seen before.

As a leader within the adtech industry, we couldn’t build our own equivalents to what AWS offers. We’re motivated to deliver player-centric ads that impact equally well for advertisers and game developers. To do that well, we have employed the AWS stack knack for scalability and elasticity, global reach, and intelligent data storage options.

Delivering Ads with CloudFront

Over 2.8 billion mobile gamers spend an average of 26 minutes per day on gaming apps. This provides AudioMob the unique opportunity to quickly serve audio ads to around 40,000 games. Based on the last three months of internal data, this allows an average impression rate of 372,908 per day, leading to a 1,000% increase in click-through-rate as compared to traditional banner ads.

We let advertisers reach users based on age, gender, location, language, mobile device, and mobile carrier through our Ad Platform. The process works as follows: ad slots open in games and are filled in a fraction of a second, as multiple advertisers make a bid for the opportunity to connect with a player. This makes a Content Delivery Network essential, as our audio content must reach the end user in any location defined by our advertisers without delay.

Wherever we deliver an ad in a game, AWS’ Cloudfront’s vast geographic spread puts us anywhere globally, thereby ensuring that AudioMob fills the available advertising space extremely fast, and with minimal latency. Furthermore, this ensures that we fill ads in a timely manner, and can continue to deliver the non-interrupting audio ads into mobile games anywhere that advertisers have specified.

Before these developments, we handled many of these processes in-house, which was pretty costly to our bottom line. AWS’s Cloudfront integration allows data serving capabilities without transfer fees for origin fetches, and it offers custom Transport Layer Security (TLS) certification at no charge. Most importantly, the highly secure Content Delivery Network provides both the network and application comforting levels of security.

Meeting Reporting Requirements with S3, RedShift, and Glacier

Measuring creative engagement and providing campaign reporting is critical in advertising. We have built volume detection with selected partners, so that brands can be sure that players hear ads rather than mute them or set the volume extremely low. Furthermore, we can track whether users mute, close, or click on an ad. However, all of this requires data processing, storage, and reporting.

At AudioMob, we utilize Amazon S3 to store our campaign serving logs and RedShift for analysis. That lets us keep our data secure, while giving advertisers the power to optimise their audio ad campaigns based on the insights we provide using RedShift.

RedShift is a column-oriented DBMS database management system (DBMS) that stores data tables by column rather than by row and utilizes parallel processing to enable fast execution. This makes querying large amounts of data extremely fast and lets our advertisers query campaign data within milliseconds (0.7 seconds).

In addition, we utilize the AWS cold storage solution S3 Glacier. For data inquiries older than five years, this yields slower but reasonable query times (around 100x our RedShift query times). This is achieved by using Amazon Redshift Spectrum, which lets us query data from older campaigns directly from our log files stored on Amazon S3.

AWS facilitates the potential of audio

Ultimately, AWS has provided AudioMob with backend tools and services that greatly aid the performance of the ad format we’ve created. It’s been a perfect accompaniment to our rapid growth, helped us stay elastic and scalable, let us meet the needs of real-time international bidding, and support our data values and strategy. As well, of course, it lets our tech empower advertisers to reach wider audiences.

“The team here at AudioMob are extremely proud of everything we built ourselves, from the in-game audio ad concept to executing and expanding our company. We did those things ourselves – but AWS has facilitated our progress in myriad ways, and ultimately been a tremendous help in letting us deliver on our vision of in-game audio ads as a more user friendly and seamless advertising experience.” – Wilfrid Obeng, Co-Founder & CTO, AudioMob

Gaming

GALAXSYS and PIN-UP PARTNERS Unveil an Exclusive New Game

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Hayk Sargsyan, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys
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Galaxsys and PIN-UP PARTNERS have collaborated to launch a new exclusive turbo game – Hamster Mania.

Galaxsys, a pioneering gaming studio, continues to deliver exceptional gaming experiences with its latest collaboration with PIN-UP Partners to launch Hamster Mania.

Hamster Mania, a fun and user-friendly turbo game, offers players a straightforward and engaging gaming experience. The objective is to secure the highest possible winnings by tapping on the hamster character within a circular frame, earning odds with each tap. Unlike traditional turbo games, players place bets directly on the hamster, with winnings displayed instantly. The game features multiple difficulty levels, affecting both risk and potential rewards.

Hayk Sargsyan, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys, expressed his enthusiasm about the launch of Hamster Mania. He commented, “We are always innovating and collaborating, and this time, we’ve teamed up with PIN-UP Partners to bring a unique offering to the industry. Our teams have worked closely together to ensure seamless integration and make this collaboration truly exceptional.”

The PIN-UP Partners team is also very excited about the upcoming launch of Hamster Mania. They commented, “At PIN-UP Partners we always strive to offer our affiliates and partners the best and most exciting developments in the industry to take their revenues and profits to the next level. We deliver outstanding results and foster stronger partnerships through innovation, transparency and expertise. By supporting and partnering with companies like GALAXSYS, we stay at the forefront of the industry with unique games and the best offers for our affiliates.”

Hamster Mania will be available exclusively at PIN-UP for the first two months following its launch, before becoming accessible to all network partners. More information about the game will be presented during the iGB Live event in Amsterdam.

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Gaming

Swedish Games Industry Announces 15 Culturally-Significant Games

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Dataspelsbranschen, Sweden’s trade association for video game companies, has revealed a list of 15 gaming treasures which have deep significance in Swedish culture. The games were selected by an expert jury of historians, industry leaders, and academics, following hundreds of nominations from the general public. 

It was in December 2023 that Sweden’s minister for culture Parisa Liljestrand gave a committee the assignment to develop an official culture canon. Whereas it was not specified which artforms should be covered, Dataspelsbranschen took the initiative to develop one for games.

Celebrating Sweden’s rich gaming history over almost 50 years, the ‘game culture canon’ includes a range of genres, platforms, and release years. Alongside classics such as Stugan and Europa Universalis, the list also includes newer releases such as The Battle of Polytopia and It Takes Two. 

The full list, which can be found below, was created in response to plans by the Swedish government to create a cultural video games canon of the nation’s artistic achievements. To encourage the games industry to be included in this initiative, the ‘game culture canon’ was handed over to the chair of the official canon committee, Lars Trägårdh, in the presence of minister for culture Parisa Liljestrand at the policy summit Almedalen on the 26th of June. 

This seminal list of Swedish gaming treasures is released at a time when national games industries are fighting for governmental recognition of their economic and cultural significance. Likewise, debates over video game preservation continue to grow louder, with the Video Game History Foundation noting that 87% of classic games are not accessible to play. 

Per Strömbäck, Spokesperson of Dataspelsbranschen, commented:

“Games should be recognised as culture for several reasons: games are culture to the players, who relate to them similar ways as audiences in other art forms. Games are culture to the game developers who have the same drivers as other creators: the will to express, create something new and communicate with their audience. Games are also culture to society as they reflect the world we live in and have a rich history which is now being recognised by museums and other institutions. Also games are unique in that they are interactive. For these reasons, we think it is fitting that games have a canon too.”

Christian Lövstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, the creators of The Battle of Polytopia, added:

“Sweden has a rich and diverse gaming history which has shaped many of today’s most popular titles. We are both honoured and excited that The Battle of Polytopia has been selected to this list. Gaming is an indispensable contributor to the Swedish economy, reaching audiences across the globe. We hope this list will continue to highlight the significance of this industry to decision-makers.”

According to Dataspelsbranschen’s 2023 Game Developer Index, the nation’s games industry revenue grew to EUR 3.1 billion in 2022, with 8,445 people working in Sweden’s games industry during the same year.

 

Selection in full:

  • Stugan, Developed by: Kimmo Eriksson, Viggo Kann, Olle E Johansson, 1978/1986

  • BackPacker, Developed by: Tati Mixedia, 1995

  • Europa Universalis, Developed by: Paradox Interactive, 2000

  • Ground Control, Developed by: Massive Entertainment, 2000

  • Battlefield 1942, Developed by: DICE, (Digital Illusions CE) 2002

  • Amnesia – The Dark Descent, Developed by: Frictional Games, 2010

  • Minecraft, Developed by: Mojang, 2011

  • Toca Tea Party, Developed by: Toca Boca, 2011

  • Candy Crush Saga, Developed by: King, 2012

  • Star Stable Online, Developed by: Star Stable Entertainment, 2012

  • Goat Simulator, Developed by: Coffee Stain Studios, 2014

  • The Battle of Polytopia, Developed by: Midjiwan, 2016

  • Budget Cuts, Developed by: Neat Corporation, 2018

  • Sayonara Wildhearts, Developed by: Simogo, 2019

  • It Takes Two, Developed by: Hazelight, 2021

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Asia

National Video Game Day 2024 – The mainstream breakthrough of Indian esports and Olympics aspirations

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The video gaming and esports industry in India has witnessed a meteoric rise in the last few years. With a rapidly growing audience and player base, the industry has commanded attention from brands and investors alike.

According to a FICCI-EY report, total esports tournament participation is projected to reach 2.5 million participants across various titles, compared to 1.79 million in 2023. Additionally, airtime for esports broadcasts is set to increase to 8,000 hours from 6,500 in 2023, with a rising average minute audience.

Tournaments such as the Battlegrounds Mobile India Masters Series (BGMS) have recently announced their third straight season being broadcast on a mainstream sporting network, changing the way esports is consumed and marking a significant milestone in the sector’s acceptance. India’s participation in major multi-sport tournaments such as the Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022, where the nation’s DOTA 2 team won bronze, and the Asian Games 2022 where esports debuted as a full-fledged medal sport, has further validated its competitive stature.

While states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and others are undertaking various initiatives for the development of esports, the country’s honourable Prime Minister has also advocated for the growth of the sector. With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also set to discuss the creation of the Olympic Esports Games during the upcoming Paris Olympics, the future looks bright for esports in India.

Sharing his thoughts on the evolution of esports from a pastime hobby to a mainstream sport and form of entertainment, Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming stated, “More than a decade back, gaming was nothing but a hobby of a few passionate gamers, with small groups of them organising scattered community competitions across the country. We started NODWIN Gaming in 2014 to streamline esports in India with a vision to bring opportunities for video gaming enthusiasts throughout the country. Looking at the scenario today, we can indeed say India has come a long way. The industry has gained immense popularity and legitimacy among the masses, attracting interest from celebrities, brands, corporates and traditional sporting organisations alike. We will continue to contribute to this growing ecosystem and try to further shine the deserving limelight on gaming and esports. In the near future, we envision esports getting the same mantle as traditional sports, especially with the IOC announcing plans to create Olympic Esports Games and we, along with the Global Esports Federation, are honoured to work alongside the industry stakeholders to achieve that common vision!”

In addition to gamers and gaming creators, Indian game developers are also making significant strides with games inspired by the country’s rich culture and mythology. Games like ‘Ludo King’ which recently surpassed 1 billion downloads, and ‘Raji: An Ancient Epic’ exemplify this trend.

Another promising upcoming title that highlights the potential of homegrown developers is the Indo-futuristic ‘Indus Battle Royale’. Developed by Pune-based SuperGaming, the game has recently surpassed 11 million pre-registrations.

“Over the past decade, India’s gaming industry has transformed from a niche pastime into a mainstream entertainment medium. The surge in mobile gaming, fueled by the high number of smartphone users in the country, has made gaming more accessible to a wider audience, driving the industry’s growth. The creativity and innovation brought in by Indian game developers have produced unique and culturally rich gaming experiences, earning international recognition that has placed India firmly on the global gaming map,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming.

Despite India being predominantly a mobile-first gaming nation due to high data penetration and affordable smartphones, there has been a noticeable surge in interest in PC gaming. Beyond hardcore gamers, PCs are increasingly utilized by gaming creators and streamers for content creation and editing. The rise of the creator economy indirectly fuels the growth of the gaming PC ecosystem in India.

Recent data from Valve highlights that Asia, including India, is one of the fastest-growing regions for Steam users, with a more than 150% increase in new users from 2019 to 2024. CyberpowerPC, the Number 1 Gaming PC manufacturing brand in North America which recently forayed into the Indian market promises to cater to this growing demand and create an overall thriving ecosystem that caters to diverse gaming preferences.

Highlighting the factors that will accelerate the rise of PC gaming in the country, Vishal Parekh, Chief Operating Officer, CyberPowerPC India said, “The growth of gaming in India, evolving from arcades and gaming cafes to an official sport, is remarkable. While mobile serves as an entry point for gamers entering the ecosystem, the shift towards more immersive experiences on larger screens is becoming inevitable. Additionally, PC-based esports titles prominently featured in major sporting tournaments highlight the importance of gaming PCs for grassroots development and achieving success in these events. At CyberPowerPC, we are excited to support the country’s growing PC gaming community and give them an immersive experience along with a competitive edge.”

Another monumental trend catapulting video gaming into the mainstream is leading streaming and social media platforms increasingly embracing gamification as a strategy to engage users and attract new audiences. Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Google Pay, Zomato, and LinkedIn have all integrated gamification features to tap into a massive and engaged audience.

“I have been a part of the gaming and esports industry for over a decade and it is fascinating to see how the industry has evolved and grown over these years. For example, esports was a niche, limited to a few people and now it is on its way to be integrated as a new-age sport. Today, gamers of all ages and backgrounds have become active contributors to the sector’s growth, and it is amazing to see how gaming has cemented its place in mainstream culture. Through movies, TV series adaptations and gamification via social media platforms, delivery apps as well as streaming platforms, it has become an integral part of our everyday lives, which was almost unimaginable till a few years back. This momentum is only going to grow, and the future of gaming in India looks incredibly bright. Max Level is committed to contributing to this growth and taking gaming to new heights across the nation,” noted Siddharth Nayyar, Co-founder and CRO, Max Level.

Without a doubt, the video gaming sector in India is on an upward trajectory, and looking ahead, the sky’s the limit!

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