Matthew Keegan
Apr 14, 2022

Playable ads rise above other formats in mobile advertising: study

Liftoff’s annual Mobile Ad Creative Report shows Android coming in 2x less expensive than iOS, with playable ads being the most affordable across gaming formats.

Playable ads rise above other formats in mobile advertising: study

Playable ads have proven to be a clear winner for mobile marketer needs in a new study from Liftoff, a growth acceleration platform for the mobile industry. The global study, 2022 Mobile Ad Creative Index, which analysed trends across four key app verticals—gaming, e-commerce, finance, and entertainment—showed that playable ads have the most affordable cost-per-install (CPI) landing at US$1.98, well below the average of US$3.79 for other ad formats, making playable ads an attractive format for game marketers.

The report tracked the costs and conversion rates across five ad creative formats: Banner, Interstitial, Playables, Native and Video. It's based on nearly 805 billion impressions, over 12.6 billion clicks and 200 million installs between January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022.

The study reveals that playable ads rise above the other ad formats as the clear winner for mobile marketer needs. Examining a 'split-by-platform' view, CPI on Android comes in at $1.41 (vs $3.66 on iOS). These interactive ads are also a clear boost to audience engagement, ultimately driving user acquisition. Not only do they cost 2x less on Android than on iOS, but playables, along with banner and interstitial, fall well below the most expensive native ad—which shows high costs on both Android ($4.82) and iOS ($7.38).

Even for those not advertising gaming apps specifically, the study found that playable ads still have a lot to offer. Introducing an interactive element to an ecommerce ad drives real engagement without compromising brand. Interactive ads allow users to play before they buy. Those who view the ad can interact with it as a preview of what they could do in the app, and, according to Liftoff data, is the most cost-effective ad format.

“Understanding what motivates your target audience is key for marketers to get ahead of the curve, and the data shows that playables are where it’s at,” says Mark Ellis, Liftoff CEO and co-founder. “As mobile marketers look at the big picture this year, it’s important to factor in platform needs when it comes to engaging, interactive ads to pique the interest of your custom industry audience.”

Android coming in 2x less expensive than iOS

The study also revealed that Android continues to win ad creative with cheaper costs and higher value across ad formats. In gaming, Android devices are less expensive across all ad formats. Playable ads were found to cost 2x less on Android than on iOS.

The data shows it’s wise for mobile marketers to continue to target Android to pique the interest of potential audiences for value. Additionally, CPI rates are higher across the board on iOS than on Android—but nearly every ad format saw a CPI increase within the year. Video ads nearly doubled from $3.44 to $6.09.

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