Ad networks make a play for mobile game developers


If this hasn't happened to you yet, it will soon: you're playing a mobile game and you see an in-app ad for another game inside it. Normally you might ignore such things, but this one is offering a reward--free virtual currency, perhaps--for those who click and download the app. Behind the scenes, the developer who authorizes the ad in his or her game gets a fee, as do the developer doing the advertising and the third-party firm orchestrating the entire thing.

Ad networks have become a common means of using up excess inventory of Web traffic on all kinds of sites, but for mobile game developers it represents a new avenue both for monetization and, potentially, discovery of their apps. One of the most successful--and controversial--of these is Tapjoy. In an interview with FierceDeveloper, Chris Akhavan, Tapjoy's vice president and general manager of partnerships and strategic promotions, said the whole point of the company's approach is to avoid the disruptive aspect of traditional in-app advertising: "The model has evolved beyond a pay-per-install model to something that really has the user's attention. The key thing here is that everyone in the equation is benefiting." Feature