Rewarded vs. Non-Rewarded Video Ads: Which Will Come Out On Top?

Rewarded vs Non rewarded video

Mobile video ads are here to stay and will continue to be a significant audience engagement strategy. There are currently 2.7 billion smartphone users in the world, and 187 million of those are mobile video viewers in the US alone. Even with those immense numbers, it’s still important to cater to your audiences’ preferences. User behavior shows that rewarded ad content, such as videos, are becoming a preference, according to 75% of consumers.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Rewarded Videos are non-skippable, opt-in video ads that reward users with incentives, such as extra game lives, coins, or premium items, which are alternatives to in-app purchases (IAP). Users are given the option to view these ads, usually in the menu or between game levels. Rewarded Videos optimize user engagement, and, in turn, maximize conversion. 

The Benefits of Rewarded Video Ads

  • Non-skippable Video Feature
    App marketers will make a lasting impression since users will need to view the entire video ad to collect their reward
  • Decrease in Lapsed Users
    An alternative to IAP, Rewarded Video offers a significant increase in retention and other post-install actions, resulting in fewer lapsed users
  • Continuous App Interaction
    Users expect to be rewarded as they opt-in to view Rewarded Video Ads thus constant app interaction is achieved
  • Better User Experience
    Because Rewarded Videos are an optional, non-intrusive ad format, users aren’t interrupted in the midst of an app event, which provides a better user experience equating to higher retention

Rewarded vs Non-Rewarded

To understand the performance of both, we compared Rewarded Video Ads and Non-Rewarded Video Ads (also known as Interstitial ads) in a gaming app to see which ad campaign delivered a better outcome. 

Rewarded                    Rewarded Video Ad                  


The Rewarded Video Ad performed better across all metrics. Compared to that of the Non-Rewarded Video Ad, the Rewarded Video had a 43% higher return on investment (ROI). 

After analyzing the two ad formats, we discovered that the click-through rate (CTR) of the Rewarded Video was 45% better than the Non-Rewarded Video, and the conversion rate (CR) was 33% greater. The install rate (IR) was greater by 93% with the newer ad format which could explain the cost per install (CPI) value, which was lower by 26%.

The Winner

The data gathered shows that Rewarded Video Ads provide better user engagement and increased retention. Due to the ad format’s non-skippable feature, users are compelled to pay attention to the ad, delivering a greater impact. It’s no surprise that users might prefer video ads that offer an attractive value exchange without interrupting their app experience.

It is essential to note that, ultimately, the ad format still depends on your specific campaign objectives. Analyze user behavior and keep testing to find the best ad format for a particular user segment.

Topics: Creative Insights