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Mobile gamers will do a lot to earn their virtual currency

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Want your advertisements to be seen? Go after mobile gamers. According to a new study, over 50 percent of highly engaged mobile gamers are willing to watch video ads, complete surveys, or install apps, all in the name of earning in-app awards. Because, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to level up. While the rest of us may be hastily clicking the “Skip” button whenever an ad comes around, mobile gamers have a different mentality altogether.

According to a survey conducted by TapResearch, watching ads is the most popular method by which gamers earn their rewards, with taking surveys coming in at second place (74 percent of respondents say they’ve clicked through one of those before). But in terms of preferred methods, video watching is far and away the most well-liked. After all, it requires no active engagement whatsoever, so it’s practically … free money?

Least popular, unsurprisingly, was signing up for a service or otherwise completing an offer, especially when it involved giving away personal information or inviting a real charge on their credit cards. But still, people do it, all in the name of virtual cash. And much of gamers’ willingness to partake in various activities, TapResearch found, depended on timing.

“[An] interesting piece to rewarded monetization is the psychology behind it. Video is great for a quick 30-second save when users are in ‘gaming mode,'” TapResearch VP Michael Sprague told VentureBeat via email. “Surveys take a bit more commitment and work better when users are in ‘shopping mode.’ It all comes down to expectation setting and user choice.”

Indeed, there’s clearly huge demand for this sort of in-app currency. In fact, almost 60 percent of gamers complete at least 10 offers every month, just so that they can make purchases in their favorite games.

“Free-to-play games make money from in-app purchases or advertising. Reward-based models marry both of those and make a nice third option for the mix,” Sprague added. “We saw a bit of a rocky road at the beginning as ‘incentived advertising’ painted a negative image on this model, but we are now in a place that if you’re not using rewarded video, then you’re doing it wrong.”

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Lulu Chang
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