Mobile Monday: Google’s Privacy Moves, QR Codes for Mobile Marketing, and Winning Game Themes

Feb 21, 2022
By: Ravi Pimplaskar

Every week, Digital Turbine, AdColony, and Fyber are teaming up to give you the latest news and insights in the mobile world. In this edition of Mobile Monday, Digital Turbine breaks down Google’s privacy announcement, AdColony discusses QR codes as the latest mobile marketing tactic, and Fyber explains the game themes that users are loving. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

It’s Apples and Oranges…  or Googles

One of the big items, with real market impact, from last week was Google’s announcement of privacy moves on their Android devices. With the results of Apple’s privacy changes from last year still fresh, the knee jerk reaction to this news was that it would be a further blow to many in the mobile advertising world. Forbes’ recent article, however, correctly points out: “Not so fast!”

While privacy changes on the surface will cause a level of disruption to the industry as people adjust to new realities, the actual reality of this change is that it’s not nearly as seismic of a change for advertisers. It does protect the consumer, sure, but as Forbes points out – the key difference between Google and Apple is that Google is an ad company first. So while they still have the consumers in mind, they know where their bread is buttered.

While Apple still has a sizable ad revenue business, it’s their secondary focus. And really, their ad business was the only ad network to gain value from their privacy change. Google’s changes, however, are much friendlier to advertisers. They will allow for a strong level of targeting… specifically with tools that allow advertisers to target specific devices rather than specific users. Sound familiar? It should if you are familiar with Digital Turbine’s On-Device solutions. This lets advertisers still find ways to target different user groups based on “topics” without revealing everything about a user and their identity to the advertiser.

The market will still have to navigate the new way of doing things. And we can understand that “privacy” changes sound like more bad news for the consumer. But as people get smarter and the consumer regains trust, the end result will be a more robust ecosystem for all.

What Do QR Codes Mean? More Time on Mobile

As the Super Bowl reminded us last week, QR codes can bring fun and increased engagement to advertisements and drive users to engage with a brand on multiple platforms. In fact, eMarketer reports that over 83 million smartphone users in the U.S. will scan a QR code this year, and by 2025, 43% of all U.S. smartphone users will scan a QR code. What’s more, outside of restaurants and print ads, the report indicates that adding QR codes to displays and ads in stores can also increase engagement and the user experience. The growth of this tool further supports the idea that users will be on their mobile device while shopping, watching TV, and more, and find fun and excitement when engaging with their primary device — mobile.

Taking a look at Coinbase’s experiment with a QR code based ad during the Super Bowl, Adweek reports that Coinbase saw over 20 million users on their landing page during that time while their app also moved to the number two spot in the App Store for free apps. Incorporating QR codes into televised content and ads is a powerful marketing move as this is a way to directly engage with more users and grab attention on a second screen device (although it is argued that mobile devices are becoming the primary device). 

QR codes have the power to increase engagement for consumers with brands on their mobile devices, a place where they are already comfortable shopping, communicating, streaming content, and playing games. In addition, QR codes linked to apps in the App Store or Google Play Store can also increase UA for brands. QR codes are the latest marketing tactic that enforces what we already know — consumers love the convenience and ease of mobile devices and will continue to prioritize using smartphones for all needs, whether they’re at home, a restaurant, or shopping in-store. 

Game Themes That Take the Throne

Wondering which game themes consumers are pouring the most spend into? SensorTower fills us in on the winners! 

The highest-grossing themes are money and treasure-themed games — think Coin Master and Bingo Blitz. Tabletop and empire-building games followed right behind. The fastest-growing theme in terms of revenue was animal/insects — with StarUnion’s The Ants: Underground Kingdom taking the lead accounting for almost 90% of consumer spending. The second fastest-growing theme is fashion, aesthetics, and hair, where spending grew almost 4X.

When it comes to setting the scene, historical was the fastest-growing in 2021, led by gaming titles such as Rise of Kingdoms from Lilith Games and Royal Match from Dream Games. High Fantasy and Sci-Fi followed with player spending increasing too. The top-grossing art style trends included Neon, which includes titles such as Beatstar from Space Ape and Tiles Hop from Amanotes, followed by hyper-casual and 3D Anime. 

These insights represent trends that users are drawn to and want to spend more time and money on. For developers, there is some food for thought when thinking about how to structure and develop your game. 

About Mobile Mondays
Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?  

About Fyber
Fyber, part of Digital Turbine’s independent Mobile Growth Platform, develops innovative ad monetization solutions trusted by top mobile game and app publishers. Fyber’s product suite offers publishers a trusted, unconflicted alternative that drives superior results by creating an optimal connection between mobile audiences, top global brands, and mobile-first advertisers across over 40Bn daily ad opportunities. Fyber’s FairBid mediation, Fyber Marketplace, and Offer Wall Edge are all built with performance, scale, and transparency in mind. To dive deeper into how their monetization solutions put app developers first, check out their blog.

About AdColony
AdColony, part of Digital Turbine’s leading independent mobile growth and monetization platform, helps brands, agencies, and apps expand their reach and results with the power of mobile. AdColony is known globally for its award-winning video advertising marketplace, with ad engagement innovations like Instant-Play™, Aurora™ HD Video, Playables, and more. Looking for more insights on apps and mobile games? Find out more on their blog!

Join the Conversation
Have any story ideas for Mobile Monday? Tweet @AdColony. For the latest Digital Turbine mobile news and updates, follow @DigitalTurbine on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

By Ravi Pimplaskar
Read more by this author