One of the reasons why free-to-play games are so popular is because many players love getting great gaming experiences without dropping much cash, but they may be willing to invest in other ways, like time. That may also explain why a lot of them prefer earning in-game currency through taking surveys and watching videos.

A new report by TapResearch (via VentureBeat) indicates that approximately 60 percent of gamers watch video ads, complete surveys and install secondary apps onto their phone, all for the sake of earning additional rewards for the games they’re investing in. Watching ads may be the most popular option — something a few developers may want to make note of.

“Free-to-play games make money from in-app purchases or advertising. Reward-based models marry both of those and make a nice third option for the mix,” noted TapResearch vice president Michael Sprague. “We saw a bit of a rocky road at the beginning as ‘incentived advertising’ painted a negative image on this model, but we are now in a place that if you’re not using rewarded video, then you’re doing it wrong.”

Earlier reports suggested that mobile monetization can be a tricky business, with very few people willing to give out money for games or other applications. However, the report noted that providing rewards for smaller actions is a very appreciated practice, as noted by the reasons below.


Approximately one-quarter of those surveyed said that they would take part in watching videos or surveys to level up faster, while others feel that it’s a portion of the game’s fun content; and some do it just to get out of a rut, getting stuck on a particular stage or needing to get past a certain section.

While video ads are the most appreciated format, surveys are also quite popular, according to Sprague. He noted that 74 percent of those polled have at least taken one over the course of their gaming sessions. Installing apps and completing offers are on the lower end of the spectrum, as they involve much more than just watching a video.

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“Another interesting piece to rewarded monetization is the psychology behind it. Video is great for a quick 30-second save when users are in ‘gaming mode,’” said Sprague. “Surveys take a bit more commitment and work better when users are in ‘shopping mode.’ It all comes down to expectation setting and user choice.”

And the offers that are provided through free-to-play apps are getting completed quite often. 57 percent of those polled said that they do it ten or more times per month, earning a frequent amount of rewards as a result. Less than one percent have said they’ve never taken part in the practice.

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Does this mean more developers could pick up on the practice of introducing videos and optional surveys to their games? Possibly. But keep in mind the report was put together from results across 400 different users, instead of a higher number.

Still, it’s food for thought, especially for those seeking to make a dent in the free-to-play market.