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Google now lets users watch in-app videos in exchange for virtual goodies

Rewarded video is the first tool in Google's rewarded products suite, giving users an alternative to spending real-world cash.

Published onMarch 7, 2019

Rewarded products and rewarded video.

One of the biggest issues for mobile developers is that Android users generally don’t splash out on purchases as much as iOS users. This has forced studios to take alternative approaches to Android apps, and it looks like Google has one more solution on hand.

The search giant announced a new toolset for developers this week (h/t: TechCrunch), dubbed rewarded products. The first tool revealed in this suite is rewarded video, allowing users to earn virtual goodies (e.g. items or currency) in exchange for watching an ad.

Google also included an example of rewarded video in action (seen below), popping up in between levels so you can double your score. It’s not the most subtle implementation, but it’s the player’s choice to watch the clip in the first place anyway.

Google rewarded video in action, part of the rewarded products toolset.

Rewarded products can be added to any app (not just video games) without using an extra SDK. Google says the functionality uses AdMob technology, so advertisers currently working with the Mountain View firm will be featured in these videos.

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The feature is now available in open beta, so you can likely expect apps to support rewarded video in the coming days. It’s unclear whether this feature will be available to users around the world, or if it’ll roll out on a market-by-market basis. We’ve contacted Google to clarify these details and will update the article accordingly when/if we receive a response.

Google also noted that this was the first tool in its rewarded products suite, which has us wondering about other potential tools. Could we see rewarded surveys launch next, giving users virtual items for answering a few questions?

NEXT: Nintendo wants to limit the number of in-game purchases in its mobile games