Mobile apps vs banner ads – who won the battle? Call of Duty and ASKfm’s experience


Banner ads are on the Internet since 1994. The first banner looked minimalistic and even stylish in modern reality:

askfm banner ads 1

Total digital ad spend will reach $455.3 billion by the end of 2021. 55.2% of this amount is spent on display advertising, to which the whole internet has developed blindness for over 27 years.

How is advertising being ignored now?

The CTR of the first banner was 44% (this is the percentage of all users who saw the banner clicked on it). Now the average CTR of a banner ad is 0.5%.

Inventor of pop-up ads, Ethan Zuckerman, said he regretted creating pop-up advertisements and urged site owners to stop making money from it.

Bone of Contention

In 2021, Apple’s new rules have shaken the ad business. IOS15 revolutionized the iPhone’s privacy settings. In the third and fourth quarters, Snap, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube lost 12% of their revenue, up to $9.85 billion, according to ads technology Lotame estimates.

How does it work?

  1. Users who have updated their devices to IOS15 at the first launch of applications usually prohibit tracking their activities.
  2. Advertising platforms reduce the quality of ad selection because they do not have enough data on user preferences.
  3. Irrelevant ads drain companies’ budgets and increase the effect of banner blindness on potential customers.

The bottom line, in the advertising cycle, all parties suffer. And the situation on the market needs a complete reformation. But who is ready to give up ads?

Experience of applications that risked to refuse advertising

Free app monetization is based on 2 models:

In-App Ads (IAA) – Video and banner ads from partners built into apps.

In-App Purchases (IAP) – in-app purchases of currency / equipment / content / bonuses from the developers.

Call of Duty®: Mobile

askfm banner ads 2 call of duty

Google Play 100+ million downloads

Popular first-person shooter game with a large fan base.

The main source of in-app monetization is the purchase of internal currency and a battle pass (a subscription for content that developers add).

The game does not use any other built-in banner and video ads. All efforts are directed towards the promo of objects from the game itself, which can be obtained in various ways. Videos can be closed until the end.


100+ million downloads iOS and Android Apps

ASKfm is a social network with an audience of 348 million users worldwide. Anonymity has been a feature of the network for 11 years. Askers can chat anonymously and openly by asking and answering questions.

Quite recently, unusual banners have appeared in the application and in the web version of the social network. As we found out, ASKfm is in the process of completely abandoning In-App Ads in favor of a different type of monetization.

This year we did an interesting and radical experiment with disabling ads and saw an increase in new registrations as a result. Obviously, users are tired of endless advertising for a long time and just want to enjoy communication. Generation Z hasn’t seen the Internet without annoying banners and flashy pop-ups. We are confident that moving away from banner ads will help newbies understand, love, and become ASKfm’s most dedicated fans faster, ” – ASKfm commented on their decision on an anonymous social network.

appies asia pacific 2022

APPIES Asia Pacific 2022 is happening in Malaysia!

Submissions Deadline: 15 November 2021

Announcement of Finalists: 29 December 2021

Judging & Presentations: 25 & 26 January 2022

Winners Announcement: 22 February 2022

Download the entry kit here.

Submit your entry here.

APPIES Asia Pacific is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.


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