Monetization & Digital Ads 101 for Connected Devices

The idea of beginning to monetize your desktop or mobile app, digital device, or other online service can be a daunting one. You might be looking for a convenient way to set up a new revenue stream but you don’t want it to be a hindrance or annoyance from a UX perspective. You also won't want to worry about inappropriate or irrelevant ads running on your platform that may distract your users or deter them from using your service again.

In our webinar Monetization 101 for Connected Devices, Joe Stribl (Business Development Manager, Qt) and Nanda Kumar (Senior Solution Engineer, Qt) give detailed insights into how you can get started with Qt’s own Digital Advertising Platform, and answer some of the users’ main questions, such as:

  • What kind of ads are available for my particular app/device/service?
  • What determines the ad shown to a particular user or user group? 
  • Will implementing digital advertising deter customers from using my service? 
  • How can I choose an ad provider that will work with my development platform, and not have to worry about ads breaking my system?

Regardless of whether you’re an existing user of Qt or just exploring your options, our Digital Advertising Platform can offer a myriad of benefits, ranging from easy connectivity to all development platforms to full customisation of ads and ad types to suit your business needs. You can watch the webinar here. 

But, if you’re looking for a recap of the basics, keep on reading. 

How does device monetization work?

To keep it simple: wherever there's a digital screen connected to the internet, there's potential for monetization. Whether you’re on desktop, mobile, app, or have a standalone digital device or platform, there are easy ways for a service owner to set up in-platform advertising. 

Advertising doesn’t have to be an intrusive or disruptive way of making money. It can be tailor-made to suit your needs and help boost your digital insights as well as help improve the content you provide to your users. The most important thing when considering monetization is to keep an open mind!

When setting up ads, the platform or service host is able to include or exclude certain brands and products, or even product families. For example, if you are a company that supplies EV charging devices to a gas station that has a partnership with Coca-Cola, you may want to set up an exclusion for any of Coca-Cola’s competitors’ ads. Or, if you yourself have a partnership with another brand or company, you'll probably not  want to give too much airtime to their particular competitors. You catch the drift. 

So, whether you’re looking for a steady income stream or that little extra boost to keep things rolling, utilizing ads on your digital screens can help pay down an investment, make you learn more about your audience, and provide the end user with added value. 

An ad is an ad is an ad?

There are multiple types of ad formats that have been created with the specifics of a digital solution in mind, but most commonly, there are three main types of ads that most service providers end up using:

  • Banner Ads

Banner ads can be utilized in both mobile, desktop, and embedded views. These are, as the name suggests, in a banner format on a specific page, usually at the bottom of a mobile view, or on the sides of a desktop view. The banner ad stands out, and is usually created to look different from the rest of the host's content and branding. 

Banners can raise awareness by placing a brand or a product repeatedly in front of as many viewers as possible, or they can utilize a specific call-to-action, discount, or other prompt to make a user click on them. 

As for your platform, banners are a non-intrusive way to let specific advertisers promote their services without taking away from the main content or action on the page. Based on the service or goods that you offer, you can select the types or ads, brands, and products that make the most sense, and can add to your end user’s experience in a positive and informative way. 

  • Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are the most visible and often most memorable, because they utilise a full screen mode, that is often not skippable (most work on a timer). A good example of this type is the pre-roll or in-stream ad that plays before a YouTube video, or the full screen pop-up ads that often appear in mobile games.

Whilst more invasive, these formats as mentioned, are often timed, and can provide a longer length or larger surface area for a more detailed advertisement. Interstitial ads are a good way to supply your end user with a valuable discount from an advertising partner, or another complementary service, for example. 

Mobile game developers can also use these types of ads to let the player gain an extra life, points, or whatever is relevant by watching them, which again adds to the user experience in a more positive way. 

  • Native Ads 

As the name suggests, the native format is often used to mask or embed an ad within the native look and feel of the host platform, i.e., the ad’s content is from an advertising partner, but the way it appears on page or in a feed is native to your branding. Clicking on the ad can either take the end user to the ad partner’s page, or lead to an advertorial hosted on your platform. Many news sites use these types of ads, as the stories provided by their ad partners can blend into the main view. 

Native ads have been a coveted format because of their way of blending in with the host site and providing credibility through that. But, in reality, many users are savvy enough these days to tell the difference anyway, especially when in many regions it is mandatory to disclose paid partnerships. 

Regardless, native ads definitely have their benefits, and can be the best solution for a myriad of host sites.

Whatever ad format you end up using, Qt's Digital Advertising Platform can insure that the ads you show your users are exactly what you need them to be. You can allocate certain percentages between specific companies, products, or whatever your heart desires, or let all of your ad space go on the open market, meaning that anyone can bid for your ad space. It's completely up to you. 

And, as your user database grows, and ads are shown to more people, the more lucrative the ad space you provide becomes. This directly correlates with your CPM (cost per thousand), and means that you can charge more for your ad space. It's a win-win for both the host and the advertising partner.

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Sounds great! Where do I start?

You can start by thinking of the experience you want to provide your end users with, and marrying that with your business' specific needs. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the service you’re providing, and how could targeted ads help improve that? 
  • Are there any financial backers, sponsors, or other specific companies that you would like to prioritize in terms of ad space and frequency, or do you want all of your ads to come from the open market?
  • Do you know your end users and what they are looking for?
  • Can you guarantee a reliable internet connection for your platform / devices?

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you can give the Qt Advertising Specialists a ring, and they can walk you through the options that best suit your business' requirements. 

Qt's Digital Advertising Platform

We’ve created a solution that works within the existing Qt development framework, so that you have as few outside modules to consider, and can rely on the fact that everything works seamlessly together. And, even if Qt is not your dev platform of choice, our Advertising Solution is platform-agnostic, and integrates seamlessly with most setups. Now there is no need for complicated integrations to third party apps or providers: you can control, set up, and test everything from one centralized location. 

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Read more about our platform and get in touch here.

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