BetaNews Interview: How to Monetize Without Undercutting User Experience?

BetaNews Interview How to Monetize Without Undercutting User ExperienceA recent interview in BetaNews begins with some perceptive observations: “in the past making money from a mobile app has usually involved signing up to an advertisement network and allowing the app to display banner ads.”

The problem?

“It doesn’t make for a particularly good user experience and may actually turn people off using the app.”

Could native ads in apps make a difference? BetaNews interviewed Yannis Dosios, VP of Yahoo Publisher Services, to discuss the issue. The whole interview is worth a read.

“At Yahoo, we believe advertising doesn’t have to compromise how users enjoy an app, and that advertisements should, and can, complement the user experience,” according to Dosios. “This is why Yahoo introduced native advertisements inside its own mobile applications. What makes these advertisements native is how seamlessly they are integrated into the user experience. For example, users scrolling through the Yahoo Finance application articles see a native advertisement after every few pieces of content. This ad has the same look and feel, and layout as the other content sections, while clearly denoting that this content is sponsored.”

Does it work, bottom-line?

“What we have found is that these native ads deliver significantly higher revenue and eCPMs (revenue per thousand impressions) than the traditional banner or full-screen interstitial advertisements,” says Dosios. “We also have found that these ads perform well for advertisers, delivering superior click-through rates and post-click conversion rates. Users notice and engage with these advertisements.”

When it comes to trends in the mobile advertising market, Dosios admits it’s a rapidly changing marketplace. But he did make some observations of interest.

“The main trends I would call out are the growing interest of brands in spending more on mobile — in recognition of the very rapid increase in mobile usage and the increased advertiser focus on measurement and impact assessment from mobile campaigns.”

Dosios also cites the growing importance of data and programmatic for more precise and better optimized advertising campaigns.

And clearly, says Dosios, the rapid growth of native and video ad formats are market-transforming.