One of the common complaints we hear from developers looking to break into the social and mobile scenes is that the markets are so oversaturated with apps that discovery and user acquisition is becoming both increasingly difficult and expensive. Appnext, a new cross-promotion and advertising platform, aims to give developers a way to provide cross-traffic and advertising between one another. We recently talked to VP of Business Development Tal Perry about his company’s product and what makes it unique from other platforms.
As opposed to other cross-promotion services, Appnext targets users when they finish their game sessions and are about to finish their game session. When that happens, Appnext opens on top of the current title being played and provides an ad for another game. Developers of the game being played are sent new users via Appnext’s cross-promotion and are also paid by the advertising game. Perry tells us the implementation of ads at the end of gameplay (as opposed to interrupting a session) is resulting in click-through rates of approximately 100,000 clicks per day, roughly 20 percent on Facebook.
According to Perry, the system is based on how social games are often time-sensitive their players based on the regenerating nature of items : Players often wait for time-sensitive bonuses and will often go play another game while they do so. By using Appnext, developers will be able to cross-promote specific games to their users, as opposed to Facebook’s ads. “Facebook often shows ads to other games next to the game canvas, a lot of times to competing games,” Perry explains. “The advertiser can target a specific game… so the user is going to leave anyway to play or check out other games. Every game has an exit point, why not treat [the leaving users] like a leak in a bucket: You’re grabbing some of that spillage and pouring it back in via cross-promotion.”
What’s interesting about Appnext’s platform is that it only targets users who haven’t spent any money during their current game session, something Perry says developers were initially worried about when they learned how the system works. However, Perry says the users being sent out via cross-promotion often monetize, but not during the session they’re seeing an ad. “You still send out users who are good, who often play to the end of the game — they’re not users who come in, check out a game and then leave — they’re actually users who like playing.”
Appnext also recently launched an exchange bar to provide advertising and cross-promotion. The bar shows a single ad with descriptive text and a “play” button, as well as a “next” button that allows the user to see another ad. Perry tells us the banner can be placed on any side of the game canvas.
Appnext currently has a few dozen partners, but Perry says the platform’s being used “beyond the tipping point” of success in the casino genre with titles like Lucky Slots and Hollywood Spins. He tells us social casino titles, especially slots, have been fairly easy to become a part of because advertising and cross-promotion is so accepted by those titles’ players. Meanwhile, Appnext is also in some other titles like Peak Games’ Backgammon Plus and ArcadeMonk’s Bubble Pirates.
At the moment, Appnext is self-funded by its founder Elad Natanson, who comes from the real-money gaming industry. Developers who are interested in using Appnext can visit the company’s website to sign up as a network partner.