IF App Videos Won Oscars


Elad Natanson has been at the forefront of innovation in the startup internet business for more than 13 years. He has vast experience creating and executing projects in the fields of online advertising, gaming, internet services, and downloadable  software. Elad has founded and led several technology companies including Prime Gaming, Appnext Active Labs, Whoislive and more. Currently, he sets the strategic direction for Appnext, a leading monetization and app distribution platform, exclusively dedicated to growing great mobile businesses by promoting apps. There, he determines strategies which empower publishers to quickly develop native ad promotions and control a fully transparent monetization and distribution experience.


The 2016 Oscars were truly a momentous occasion. Since video trailers seemed to be the theme of the year, being heavily involved in the app world, we naturally wondered, “What if, for the first time ever, there were Oscars for App Videos?” What would the awards be and who would be the key players?

Considering the explosion of this video format, app developers should be stars of a creative revolution, expanding the thinking beyond static multi-size formats. From basic app walkthroughs, through 3D animation to blockbuster app movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Nissan, Christoph Waltz, and others, with budgets exceeding $10M and well worthy of the Oscar red carpet, they deserve star treatment. It’s time for the App Video Oscars.

As you may have noticed, video ads are rapidly taking over the boiling mobile ad world. With increasing 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the video ad era has officially started. Hitting 25X more views, and 7X higher conversions, videos seem to have won the hearts of both users and mobile publishers, while overcoming nagging OX challenges.

Yet, the great and mighty Film Academy would have faced an offbeat challenge – having to assess the overall movie quality along with performance and user engagement. But wait, there’s an app for that. We’ve taken the data of more than 1,500 live video app campaigns to arrive at a short list of nominees for the 2016 App Video Oscar. The list is based on the Indexed Video Add Score that combines conversion rate to install, average eCPM, and overall movie hallmarks such as plot, sound, special effects, etc.

Here’s how the 2016 nominee line-up looks:

  1. OLX – a utility app with a video that sends a message that’s tough to ignore: “make money from your belongings” was enough to make OLX video the top performing video in 2016 so far, reaching a 20% conversion rate.


Indexed Video Ad Score – 16.3

  1. Juice Jam by SGN – all time winners that produce the best converting videos – high quality, self-explanatory and, most of all, successfully relays the feeling of playing SGN’s games (Juice Jam, Panda Pop and Cookie Jam).

Indexed Video Ad Score – 10.7

  1. Mobile Strike by Machine Zone – together with Supercell, these are probably the most expensive app videos produced in the mobile industry today. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the Mobile Strike blockbuster accompanied by the 3D commando troop, landing Arnie his first Oscar nomination and scoring big for the overall creativity and production, Mobile Strike blockbuster scored third for ad performance.

Indexed Video Ad Score – 9.9

  1. Vikings by Plarium video was designed in the best tradition of the authentic War of Clans campaigns. Featuring scenes from the app, it showcases both the game experience and the compelling story behind it.

Indexed Video Ad Score – 6.8

  1. UC Mobile invites you to “Discover it all” with its flagship app – UC Browser. Playing it safe when it comes to casting, this app movie rates high for overall performance.

Indexed Video Ad Score – 6.2

Some other worthy app videos that fall short of nominations include 360 Mobile Security, Cookie Jam by SGN, MakeMyTrip, and StormFall by Plarium.

So what conclusions can be drawn from these first-ever app video nominations?

  1. Utility apps are also appropriate for video ads. The app store and value proposition should be stated clearly, in the contrast with the game app where emotional component and interest come into play.
  2. Going big with the app video production pays off, both in terms of branding and user acquisition, yet these achievements do not guarantee the top rank on performance.
  3. Strategy games are ones of the top three genres of video advertising together with casual games and utilities.
  4. Featuring screenshots and overall app experience in a video ad maximizes conversion.

As with the Oscars, there is a method to the voting. From  January 1 to February 28, 2016, we we looked at the data of over 1,500 video campaigns live on the platform (representing 360 million impressions), examining the conversion rates, eCPM, and, of course, the movie itself.

The indexed Video Ad Score was calculated as the weighted average of eCPM, conversion rate, and overall movie quality with 30%, 50%, 20% weighted attributed respectively.

So while App Videos are not currently a category featured in the Oscars, they have certainly risen to the occasion in terms of visual appeal, technological innovation, and a passionate, iconic following. As a result, they are quickly taking the entertainment industry by storm. Perhaps one day, we will see developers walking down on a red carpet of their very own, but until then at least they know we appreciate their art and seek to give them the celebration they deserve.

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