Pros & Cons of 5 Mobile Ad Options

Advertising can make or break your app.

Too many mobile ads, or even the wrong kinds of mobile ads, can drive users away. Maybe videos pop up after every lost life in your mobile game. Perhaps banners are too irrelevant or interstitials are too intrusive. Proper advertising is crucial to monetizing your app without losing users.

Luckily, mobile ad strategy is Kiip’s area of expertise. We profit thousands of apps with tailored experiences thanks to our algorithm. We learn more about user preferences every day, and what will drive user back to your app.

mobile ad

This post combines data from IPG Media Lab’s in-depth study on consumer engagement with independent research. We’ve come up with the five most common mobile ad forms that can work for your app. Read this, and you’ll have the tools to choose your mobile monetization solution.


Banners, or display ads, are small advertisements usually at the top or bottom of the screen. They are the go-to choice in mobile advertising for developers at the moment.

Pros: Banner ads are cost effective and easy to create, so advertisers can push them out quickly. Users don’t mind them, as they can still interact with the app, uniterrupted. Advertisers favor banners as they can target demographics based on past behaviors. For example, a banner may appear for a user who visited your site earlier that day.

Cons: When was the last time you clicked a banner ad? Banners are small ads with even smaller text on a small screen, so they are not visually compelling on mobile. They have notoriously low engagement rates: the average is a 0.1% CTR. Hubspot put together a humorous compilation of stats, quoting that you are more likely to survive a plane crash, climb Mount Everest and birth twins than click on a banner ad in your lifetime.


Interstitials are full-screen ads that block out the app’s other content. They often freeze on the screen for a select number of seconds until a “x” out button presents itself.

Pros: Interstitial ads overcome mobile’s biggest hurdle – limited real estate – by consuming the entire screen. Unlike banner ads, interstitials force users to interact by clicking out or clicking through the ad. Due to these actions, interstitials grab users’ attention and maintain high conversion rates.

Cons: Interstitial ads hinder users from completing a desired action by forcing them to stare at the ad until they can click out. Many users find this irritating, so integrating too many of these mobile ads may lead to app uninstalls.


Video ads often occur during natural pauses in apps, such as between levels in a mobile game. The ads are usually around 15-30 seconds, with some a bit longer. As mobile advertising evolves, in-app incentivized videos become increasingly popular. With incentivized videos, users watch short clips to redeem extra lives or currency within games.

Pros: Video ads are a popular choice for mobile advertising. According to Adweek, advertisers serve 17 million impressions nightly. While non-skippable videos definitely interrupt the user experience, users seem to accept it. Video ads were last cited to have a 13.64% CTR on mobile.

Cons: The average attention span is shrinking, down to a whopping eight seconds. A study on “viewer abandonment” notes that almost a fifth of viewers click out of a video in the first 10 seconds. The rate doubles with videos that are slow to reach the punchline. If you choose to incorporate video ads into your app, choose videos that are short and simple. Users tend to absorb the most information in the first few seconds and tune out the rest of the message.


Native advertising is digital content that blends seamlessly into an app or website. Native ads are popular in many mainstream publishing apps.

Pros: Native ads look natural, as if they’re a part of your app, especially with visual formatting and voice. Users might not recognize the content as advertisements, and if they do, they likely won’t care. Native ads do not disrupt user experience. In fact, these ads can become pretty successful when properly implemented. For example, Spotify once ran a native ad on Buzzfeed titled “20 Things That Affirm Led Zeppelin Is The Greatest Band To Ever Exist.” Readers shared the post over 8,530 times on social media.

Cons: Not many apps are built with native ads in mind. Since native ads are platform-tailored, they are difficult to produce at the same scale as banner ads.


Every mobile app has its achievement moment – that milestone when a user wins a level of a game or logs a completed workout in a fitness app. Rewards appear during achievement moments when users are at their happiest. They take advantage of positive emotions to deliver relevant rewards in a non-disruptive way.

Pros: In a recent study by IPG Media Lab, 84% of users preferred moment-based rewards. Rewards are a plus for developers, advertisers and users. Users are more likely to download an app with rewards, have increased respect for brands and enjoy engaging with the app more.

Cons: Some moments don’t perform as well as others, but marketers can alter this by tweaking the in-app reward. Kiip offered up a great study to marketers that explains how campaigns can achieve the highest results.

There you have it, devs: your five options for mobile ad monetization. For more about monetization, follow Kiip on Twitter.

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This is part of Kiip’s ongoing Developer Success Guide.

Kiip is a leader in the field of app monetization. We enable developers to reward their users with advertising they enjoy. We want all developers to be successful in their ventures, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with industry observations, best practices and expert advice.  

To learn more about monetizing your app, visit or email us at


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  • MuhammedRefaat

    great article

    • brittanyfleit

      Thanks for reading!

  • EagleGamer

    Brilliant article! I guess there is no “best” way to approach app monetizing, it seems like a hit-or-miss sort of thing.

  • jessica

    Yes but you forgot to mention Google Ad Exchange here. Google shares 68% of advertisement revenue with publisher in Adsense but in Google Ad Exchange ads the share that Google gives is 80%. Moreover, advertiser pool is bigger than Adsense in Ad Exchange. I have taken Google ad Exchange account from EboundServices. They are paying me more than Adsense for my blog.

  • john ramachandran

    Great and thanks for sharing! Worth lots of money!!