How To Monetize Your App Without Ads (& Grow Your Business)

How do you monetize your app without ads while also increasing player retention, player engagement, and LTV? We’ve been doing it since 2013!

Monetizing your app without using ads is a sensible strategy for any F2P game publisher to consider. Whether you're in the early planning and pre-production phases of developing your game or you’re 6 months post-production. If you’re a F2P game developer, no matter what phase you’re in, app monetization should be top of mind - all the time. 

In-app advertising is by far and away the most popular way to monetize a game. In fact, video ads and display ads rank higher than in-app purchases. But monetizing your app with ads doesn’t come without challenges, and likely a reason you’re reading this post.

Some common reasons you’d want to consider monetizing your app without using ads are:

  1. CPM Decay - ad revenue declines because of non-engaging users
  2. Game Cannibalism - game ads rip players out of your game in favor of theirs
  3. Unhappy Users - frequent interstitial ads & static banner ads interfere with user experience
  4. Manage Ad Stack - having to spend time & resources managing ad stacks
  5. SDK Overload - adding numerous ad network SDKs is a headache to manage
  6. Global privacy laws- global privacy  and consumer protection laws can drastically  hinder performance marketing and in-app monetization
  7. Platform policies change – Apple and Google are continuously making changes at the platform-level

Take note of that last one. It’s a growing challenge for performance ad buyers that affects their ability to spend in your games:


With so many issues challenging the effectiveness of in-app advertising, it’s no wonder game publishers are looking for in-app ads alternatives, or at the very least, supplemental monetization strategies.

That’s why in recent years, more game publishers are discovering the power and enjoying the profitability of rewarded surveys. The yield for you is great, with minimal overhead, your users love the instant gratification of rewarded game currency, and buyers love the consumer insights they get. It’s a win-win-win strategy for everyone involved.

In this post we’re going to cover the following:

What Rewarded Surveys ARE and What They ARE NOT

Before jumping into what rewarded surveys are and what they are not, let’s start with some context.

For decades, the world of market research has relied on old, outdated research techniques to gather consumer opinions - phone calls, in-person interviews, professional panels, and yes, brutally long surveys that consist of 50+ questions. The rise of mobile technology and apps have made reaching millions of consumers worldwide easy and affordable. With that in mind…

What Rewarded Surveys Are

Rewarded surveys are short surveys your users complete and in exchange for their time, they get rewarded with your game’s virtual currency. The surveys can consist of 1 question or 2, 3, 10 or more, and anything in between. The range of survey length and reward size gives your players a choice, so they can select the survey & reward that they want at that moment. The best part is, your players get rewarded instantly - no waiting hours or days (we’ll get into this more in a minute).

With rewarded surveys big brands aren’t trying to sell your players anything. They’re not trying to change consumer opinion or skew it in their favor. Each survey is created to help them better understand consumer opinion or sentiment to help them make better, more strategic marketing decisions. Leveraging rewarded surveys is a powerful, efficient way for big brands to reach millions of consumers.

What Rewarded Surveys Are NOT

It’s important to point out that rewarded surveys are not ads. Unlike ads, they are not trying to change the perception or opinion of your users with repetitive bombardment of the same ad. They also do not encourage users to click out of your game to download your competitors’ games.

Here’s a look at how research buyer incentives differ from the brand and performance buyer in mobile. 

As shown below, when a market researcher at Pepsi needs new insights on how GenZ and Millennial consumers feel about a new product category, they often deploy many types of research, including quantitative survey-based research to answer their business questions. 

How to monetize an app without ads using research buyers

Simply put, you can think of ads and surveys like this:

• Ads = to SELL things

• Surveys = to LEARN things

How Rewarded Surveys Work - The User Experience

Rewarded surveys offer a great way for your users to continue playing your game. In exchange for a few minutes of their time, they get your virtual currency that they can turn around and spend without using real money. 

With TapResearch’s Survey Wall, users get to choose their adventure by selecting a survey that fits their currency needs and time to complete. 

PeopleFun, the developers of Wordscapes, the #1 word game on iOS and Android, integrated rewarded surveys into their game. In the 30-second video below, you see the flow of the survey experience where users are given a choice to select their survey based on currency reward size or survey time requirements…

Users love rewarded surveys because they give your users choices. They get to choose when to engage with a survey and when not to engage. They get to choose what size of reward they want or how much time they want to spend taking a survey. And when they’re done, they get to continue playing the game they love - your game. 

Rewarded surveys are an all around great experience for your users, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

Now that we’ve given you the basics on what rewarded surveys are and are not, and how they work, let’s dive a little deeper into why you would want to monetize your app without using ads.

When You Should Consider Using Rewarded Surveys

Rewarded surveys can become a very lucrative part of your monetization strategy. The question really is, how well will they work for your game? Here are a few variables to consider when thinking about implementing rewarded surveys.

Types of Games

Games with strong virtual economies drive the best survey performance and iAP bookings are a great proxy for determining player intent for this format – if players are willing to spend money in a game for hard currency or virtual items, they are often more willing to earn hard currency by taking surveys from large brands. Because of this dynamic, surveys perform better in strategy, simulation, action type genres and less in hyper-casual as there is generally less of a metagame / virtual economy. 

To see how much your game would benefit from using rewarded surveys, contact us here to get in touch with a TapResearch pro today. 

Where In Gameplay To Use Surveys

It’s important to be deliberate about your in-game placement of rewarded surveys. Below are just a few examples of placements based on the uniqueness of the game and player journey.


monetizing an app without ads using rewarded surveys in TrainStation2

Monster Legends

monetizing an app without ads using rewarded surveys in Monster Legends


Pocket Gems

Picture Cross

monetizing an app without ads using rewarded surveys in Pocket Gems

monetizing an app without ads using rewarded surveys in Picture Cross



Are you curious about where the most effective placements would be for rewarded surveys in your game? Contact a TapResearch game player experience professional now. 

Managing Yield Optimization

Monetizing your app without using ads doesn’t get much easier. That’s because implementing rewarded surveys and managing them requires very little work on your part. Unlike other monetization tactics, there are no waterfalls to manage on a daily basis to drive the highest yield with rewarded surveys.

Plus, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on the best demand. Our yield algorithms source 100’s of thousands of surveys, across hundreds of sources in real-time to ensure your users are matched to the best surveys based on their personal profile - yielding you the highest outcome.

Impact of Privacy Laws - Ads & Rewarded Surveys

Global privacy laws continue to send shockwaves across the ad tech industry, game publishers continue trying to keep up and adapt to a privacy-first environment with no cookies or advertising-IDs. Unlike performance advertisers, the majority of market research buyers don't rely on cookies and ad-IDs to conduct research. 

With TapResearch, each survey respondent engages with Rewarded Surveys on an opt-in basis where privacy is built into the product and each player is guided through a thoughtful onboarding process, which is designed to educate the user and build their trust. This process is compliant with all major global privacy initiatives.

how to monetize an app without ads using rewarded surveys with global privacy laws on the rise

Despite the iOS 14.5 update, Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) rollout didn't affect publisher yield across the TapResearch network. In fact, the average revenue per daily user (ARPU) in the US increased over 40% since the introduction of iOS 14.5. Read more here.

Revenue Impact of Monetizing Your App With Rewarded Surveys

Monetizing your app without ads by leveraging rewarded surveys has both short term and long term positive implications. 

Revenue Impact

Rewarded surveys provide a significant opportunity to drive serious revenue for game developers. Based on a CPA model, developers are paid per completed survey with payouts ranging from $1 to $10+ per complete. Developers choose how much virtual currency to reward their users. Compared to rewarded video, rewarded surveys pay your users up to 50 - 200X higher versus a rewarded video view.


For modeling purposes, let’s assume a game with 100,000 DAU and a 10% Opt-In Rate monetizing with Rewarded Surveys. Using conservative benchmarks, the monthly model would net out to:

300,000 Survey Wall Impressions X 15% CVR X $1 CPA = $45,000 Monthly Revenue @ $150 eCPM and $.015 ARPDAU

With the high CPA and high conversion rate of Rewarded Survey, this game would add an additional 1.5 cent ARPDAU by monetizing the 10% opt-in DAU.

Plus, with TapResearch’s exclusive Player Insights platform, you can generate high-quality player feedback & insights in real-time. When you know what your players want and don’t want; like and don’t like, optimizing the game so they play longer and more often is almost a certainty for additional revenue. Just another way TapResearch makes app monetization without using ads possible.

Publisher Success Stories With TapResearch Rewarded Surveys

TapResearch is trusted and used by some of the largest games in the mobile gaming industry…

How Reality Games monetized their game without using ads using TapResearch


How Socialpoint monetized their game without using ads using TapResearch


How PeopleFun optimized their game without using ads with TapResearch

50% INCREASE in engaged ARPDAU

How PeopleFun optimized their game without using ads with TapResearch

12% INCREASE in Global Ad ARPDAU

Click Here To View Full Story

Click Here To View Full Story

Click Here To View Full Story

Click Here To View Full Story

As you can see, using rewarded surveys to monetize your app without using ads is a smart, strategic solution to broadening your revenue streams. With TapResearch’s hassle-free setup, hands-on game player support, and Player Insight’s platform, using rewarded surveys is a no-brainer.

Ready to monetize your game without using ads? Open your free account today  orcontact us here to get in touch with a TapResearch pro today!


Related Posts

The Evolution of Mobile Gaming: Rewarded Surveys and Player Insights

How do you monetize your app without ads while also increasing player retention, player engagement,...
3 minute read

Maximizing Game Revenue: The Role of Rewarded Surveys and Offerwalls in Revenue Diversification

How do you monetize your app without ads while also increasing player retention, player engagement,...
4 minute read

How To Unlock New User Segmentation Capabilities With In-App Surveys

How do you monetize your app without ads while also increasing player retention, player engagement,...
4 minute read

The ONE Mobile Game User Retention Strategy To Rule Them All!

How do you monetize your app without ads while also increasing player retention, player engagement,...
4 minute read