Kongregate Developers Blog

Kongregate's Rewarded Video API

We're excited to officially announce Kongregate's Rewarded Video Advertising API, now available to all game developers on Kongregate.com! This type of advertising, also sometimes called "incentivized ads" or "opt-in ads," has gotten particularly popular on mobile recently. It allows developers to give rewards to players who choose to watch an ad. It's a great system that's a true win-win-win:

  • Players appreciate the control over their experience and the rewards they can choose to earn. In fact, when ads run out or have a bug we get complaints from players, which is a great sign: "Hey, we want to watch more ads!"
  • Advertisers have found that due to the opt-in nature these ads get far better performance than interstitial, banner, pre-load, or any other ad type.
  • Thanks to that great performance, these ads have the best payout of any ad type, which is a win for the developers who use them.

We've been using this model of ads in some of our mobile games (AdVenture Capitalist in particular has done extremely well with them) and we wanted to enable our browser developers to have access to the same tools. The general flow with these ads goes like this:

  • Provide players with a way to choose to watch the ad. They should never be forced to watch it, and can be given the option to watch either permanently (as a button they can click any time) or on a limited basis (you can watch an ad for a bonus, but only RIGHT NOW!).
  • Initiate the ad, which will pop up on top of the game (so don't do it during action!).
  • The player can then watch it (typically 30 seconds, max 60 seconds) and get credit in the game if they watch it all the way through.

For a much more in-depth analysis of in-game ads, check out Tammy Levy's excellent Best Practices: In-Game Ads post in our blog. You can also see examples of these ads already on Kongregate in a few games that participated in our limited beta of the API.

From a technical perspective, the API is fairly straightforward. You can check out details in our API documentation, but it just involves initiating and ad and using a few event listeners to handle the few potential outcomes.

Finally, let's talk business. There are a few important points to note about these ads:

  • Revenue from these ads is considered an in-app purchase rather than normal advertising revenue. That means that instead of the normal 25% share you get of ad revenue, you instead will get whatever your share of kreds sales would be (typically 70%).
  • The eCPM (effective cost per mille, or dollars per thousand views) varies wildly based on market and times in the fiscal quarter/year. We tend to average in the $4 - $6 range (a good bit lower than mobile, but that's just a function of the browser rewarded video market at the moment). We've seen it sink to under $3 on occasion, as well as spike to over $10, especially around the end of a fiscal quarter.
  • Ad inventory is limited. We have made partnerships with a variety of networks to get as much fill as possible, but sometimes there simply aren’t any available ads. In these cases we will show a “house ad” for Kongregate so that players can still have a good experience, but these ads don’t pay out at this time. Again though, these are only shown when no paid ads are available anyway.

We look forward to seeing your games and the clever and fun ways that you will provide players with rewards for watching a few ads.

Update: Our Incentivized Ads API has proven to be popular, and unfortunately even a bit too popular - the supply of web ads has not been able to keep up with demand and our ad networks have made it clear that inventory is unlikely to increase in the near future. As a result, we are suspending adding any new games to the program. We strongly recommend that you design your game without relying on our Ads API as a revenue source. Thanks for your interest and we hope to see your games on Kongregate in the near future!