Mobile ad network AdMob and iPhone app publisher Tapulous are making their relationship closer. The companies have signed an exclusive deal, so that AdMob is the only ad network Tapulous will use for display ads in its incredibly popular music game “Tap Tap Revenge.”
Tapulous will continue to sell its own, more interactive campaigns, where advertisers are embedded into the game itself. (More on that below.)
With more than 15 million downloads, the “Tap Tap Revenge” series is a nice catch for any mobile ad network. And because it has been a free game this whole time, the company has been able to try different things with mobile ads, without the risk of making “paying” customers angry. (We estimate Tapulous’s ad revenue could reach $1 million this year.)
But what’s the point of going exclusive?
Ideally: Higher fill rate, better advertisers, better ads and targeting, higher ad rates, better revenue sharing terms, and in the end, more money.
Tapulous chief Bart Decrem tells us “Tap Tap Revenge” is doing about 2 million game plays per day, and about 100 million ad impressions a month. Even at modest ad rates — say, $4 per 1,000 impressions — that’s potentially $400,000 per month in gross revenue if the ad slots can be filled with good ads. If you’re AdMob, and you know you have an exclusive to sell that much inventory, you can sell it better (and can afford to put more resources behind it).
Product-wise, it could mean more ad units and other technology developed between the two companies, too. AdMob has already used “Tap Tap Revenge” as a pilot app for a new, larger interstitial ad unit — see the Target/Black Eyed Peas ad, above right, as a sample — which it will now make into a product for more of its publishers. AdMob exec Jason Spero tells us it could also work more closely with Tapulous on targeting and reporting customised for “Tap Tap Revenge,” which could help, too.
Tapulous will continue to sell its own interactive campaigns, as well, which put advertisers into the game itself. Here’s two of those, featuring Megan Fox for “Jennifer’s Body,” and “G.I. Joe.” Universal Studios will run one of these campaigns in October.