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Case studies
Jam City doubles cross promotion installs with ironSource solution
Dec 18, 2019
case study-jam city


Founded in 2010, Jam City is one of the earliest entrants and leading players in mobile gaming. Currently operating eight game studios across five countries with over 700 employees, Jam City is behind some of the highest-grossing social gaming franchises, including Cookie Jam and Panda Pop, and hit Hollywood games such as Harry Potter, Family Guy, and Disney Frozen Adventures.

Read on to hear how Sarah Yamanouchi, Associate Director of User Acquisition at Jam City, and Kiel LeBaron, Senior Director of Ad Monetization at Jam City, use ironSource’s cross promotion tool.

In the past: Jam City's cross promotion strategy

Traditionally, cross promotion was never a large revenue-generating source for us, and so it wasn't a priority for our monetization team at Jam City. Instead, we focused on optimizing revenue yield from ad networks, leaving cross promotion at the bottom of the waterfall to take any unfilled remnant impressions due to its low performance.

Meanwhile, our user acquisition team focused primarily on native in-game placements, which we created and managed internally.

As our portfolio grew and we implemented more ad placements in each of our games, it made sense for us to start testing and eventually scaling new cross promotion strategies.

Testing cross promotion with ironSource

Game companies typically run cross promotion with an ad network and buy supply through that network. This isn’t optimal because margins are high, there’s no performance transparency, and prices often expensive because we’re competing with other advertisers.

We were pleased when ironSource released its solution, which functions as an isolated ad network that only runs cross promotion campaigns, with the full force of ad network and mediation technology," which solves these challenges and allows us to utilize the abilities of both ad network and mediation technology.

The impact on Jam City’s user acquisition

Put simply, ironSoure’s cross promotion tool opened up a new acquisition channel for us that is low cost with good quality users. With this tool, our UA team is able to run cross promotion campaigns just like other paid channels, and manage creatives, campaign targeting, and bid/ROAS optimization with fast reporting.

Campaign data is passed back just like any other user acquisition campaign, so we don’t have to work on creating a separate data pipeline for cross promotion. We are also able to identify affinity between our apps quickly, which provides helpful learnings for our native in-game placements as well.

“We saw double the install volume compared to the native in-game placements.”

- Sarah Yamanouchi, Associate Director of User Acquisition at Jam City

After we started leveraging ironSource’s cross promotion solution, we saw double the install volume compared to the native in-game placements.

Additionally, the dashboard UI and reporting are very clear and easy to navigate. ironSource’s data to optimize campaigns according to ROAS goals." The ROAS optimizer has proved to work for both regular UA and cross promotion campaigns, so it’s our favorite!

All in all, cross promotion has become a key part of our UA strategy, especially around new game launches and as an additional source to drive high-value users into our game.

The impact on Jam City’s monetization

We have a higher tolerance for lower from cross promotion, but trust that when it is filling, it is doing so efficiently and for a good reason.

"We have complete transparency so we know we're not cannibalizing ad revenue."

- Kiel LeBaron, Senior Director of Ad Monetization at Jam City

This allows us to optimize cross promotion throughout the waterfall (top, middle, bottom) rather than as backfill, and we have complete performance transparency so we know we’re not cannibalizing ad revenue from the other ad networks.

Working with ironSource

ironSource’s product team is extremely adaptable and has a high level of customer support. Turnaround time from what we “wished for” to what is actually available has to be the shortest in the industry. ironSource is eager to build world-class tools for developers, and we see that in the quality of product and design decisions.

“Turnaround time from what we wished for to what is actually available has to be the shortest in the industry.”