How mobile app and game advertising was affected by the conflict in Ukraine

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The war in UkraineSince February, when the conflict started, it has had a huge impact on the mobile gaming and app industry.

Advertisers realized that people have bigger problems than just downloading new apps and games, and they naturally pulled back.

This had a significant impact on developers and advertisers of mobile apps and games, as they were affected by the change in demand in Russia and Ukraine. Valerie Alfimova (chief revenue officer at Appodeal) and business growth expert, stated that the effective Cost Per Mille (eCPMs), took a significant hit. Appodeal’s mobile eCPM reports are updated quarterly. It analyzes the eCPM for millions of impressions from over 70 ad networks around the world.

“The whole industry was affected on so many levels, as eCPMs plummeted,” Alfimova said. “By the end of March, the eCPMs on Android plummeted 75% and iOS was down 71%. That’s what happened right after the invasion. It wasn’t unexpected, given this massive geopolitical shift and the number of countries involved in it.”

Appodeal has examined the effects of the Ukraine war on eCPMs in the region.

However, she pointed out that revenue has returned to prewar levels since then.

According to the most recent report, the rewarded video advertisement eCPM on iOS saw America lose its top position. In the second quarter, it was third, just below Australia and Japan. It is also surprising to see how emerging countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, UAE & Kuwait are booming in this specific segment, Appodeal said.

Rewarded video ads eCPM on Android showed the U.S., Australia and Japan in the top spots. Closely followed by east Asian countries. European countries such as France, Sweden, Germany, Germany, and the United Kingdom have all lost top rank positions.

Rewarded video ad eCPM saw a gradual recovery in Russia and the CIS market during the 2022Q2. The eCPM plunged by half on Android and iOS in March. However, the eCPM was quickly recovered over the subsequent months and was back in May.

Rewarded video ad eCPM in mature markets — the U.S., Japan, the UK, and a lot of mature countries — have been plummeting since March. Australia was one of the few countries with a positive eCPM trend up to June. It dropped below March’s levels on Android and iOS.

Alfimova indicated that different ad formats recover at different rates.

“The recovery trend is still very unstable,” Alfimova said. “The overall decrease in revenue was around 15% to 20%.”

The iOS full-screen ad’s eCPM saw an increase. Appodeal noted that the eCPM has increased in all countries, compared to the quarter before. The eCPM has increased in all countries, not just on the top charts. Saudi Arabia currently ranks 20th at $3.33. This is a significant improvement over the $2.50 it was a few months ago. Android also saw a similar recovery.

The rewarded video ad eCPM rates in Russia and CIS have dropped by half in iOS and even more in iOS in the last month. That is mostly due to the fluctuations in the country’s economy and geopolitical upheavals.

Appodeal believes that the eCPMs for reward video ads in Asian countries are growing faster than ever before and will continue to grow throughout the year. Japan has exceeded the average eCPM in the U.S. for the first-ever. In addition, eCPMs are increasing in Asian markets like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

It’s possible that iOS 14.5 or the new user privacy policies have resulted in some redistribution of marketing budgets for some companies.

In June, both the rewarded video advertising eCPMs on both platforms experienced a slight decline, which is quite common in the summer months. Brazil is notable for its strong eCPM fluctuations. The country seems to have settled as a place to soft-launch apps and it’s getting more attention.

“The whole situation has taken a toll on the mobile developers and their incomes,” she said.

Many companies are currently in flux, unable to monetize or disrupt their games.

“I don’t see too many acquisitions happening,” she said. “They’re too busy moving their businesses and like saving their lives, particularly in Ukraine. A lot of developers are trying to leave.”

There are many Ukrainian and Russian game companies. ceased to be in businessOr they are relocated from their home country. But there isn’t necessarily a wave of acquisitions happening.

“Companies are dealing with a loss of revenue, as eCPMs went down, as there are countries where you cannot acquire users anymore,” Alfimova said.

Appodeal’s look at eCPMs, or mobile ad rates for banner ads.

The war has decimated Russian game companies. Game Insight relocated its headquarters to Lithuania in 2014, when the first fighting in Eastern Ukraine began. However, most of its development staff remained in Russia. Game Insight was forced to close its doors and lay off 600 employees when the new war broke out.

Plarium, which had many employees in Russia and Ukraine, closed its Russian operations. G5 Entertainment had employees in Russia and Ukraine. It opened a new office for Polish customers.

Playrix moved its headquarters in 2014 from Vologda (Russia) to Dublin. However, the company claimed that its employees were being split between offices in Ukraine or Russia. Wargaming shut down its Minsk, Belarus studio.
Where the company was founded. It had moved its headquarters to Cyprus previously, and it transferred its Russian studios over to Lesta Studio. Now, World of Tanks and World of Warships are made in the West.

“Like everyone, I just really want this to come to an end and to stop the suffering,” Alfimova said.

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