Case study: AdEx and Stremio
With the help of AdEx Network, the entertainment center Stremio is finally monetizing its traffic in a transparent, meaningful way.
Stremio is a media platform that allows people to aggregate and watch video content from different sources. It helps you organize & watch your own collection of movies, series, YouTube channels, etc. It is available for a variety of operating systems — Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, etc.
The idea for Stremio was born in 2013 and evolved to the alpha version of the app that was launched in June 2015. Within the first year of its existence, the service had already built a customer base of more than 2 million people. In 2021, the number of registered users exceeds 14 million users across the globe.
The majority of the Stremio users are located in Brazil, Portugal, USA, Argentina and the United Kingdom, however the platform is enjoyed globally. In 2020, it registered an average of 1.7 million monthly active users.
When Stremio began gaining traction, the team decided to monetize it through ads in the Windows installer file and the Android app. They reached out to various advertising networks and tried their services.
Unfortunately, the ad networks submitted obviously falsified reports and statistics. The revenue that the company saw coming in from ad impressions didn’t match their internal records and estimates. For example, one of the providers they had tested continued to report traffic even after their code was removed from Stremio; the traffic supposedly came from the USA while Stremio’s internal analytics showed no users in that geolocation.
Antivirus programs considered the Stremio installers as malicious software because of the ad networks’ code injected in the app.
Last but not least, the ads were intrusive, spoiled the UX and cost the users money for the extra data consumed.
Eventually, the team concluded that the unsatisfactory ad revenue did not justify the poor user experience and the appalling reporting, so they removed all ads from Stremio until an AdEx integration was available.
As soon as the first version of AdEx was launched in private beta, Stremio integrated AdEx banner ads on its Discover board — the section of the platform where users browse through available titles and select video content to watch. The ads were only placed in the Windows and macOS versions of the app.
This way, Stremio became the first publisher for AdEx Network, and to date remains one of the largest publishers on the platform.
In 2020, the Stremio Discover board generated approximately 135 million sessions. About 30% of these were monetized through ads; the Stremio team was looking for a healthy amount of ads that would bring in sufficient revenue without spoiling the experience for the users. This is why they did not place ads on more sections of the platform.
The average CPM for Stremio was 0.50 dai (~$0.50) and the ads shown achieved an average CTR of 0.12%, which is standard for display ads.
Overall, the team was particularly satisfied with the earnings from AdEx ads — even though the ad network is rather new and is still building up its advertiser base, the ad revenue that came through it was still better than any of the ad networks tested previously.
As Stremio co-founder and COO Dimo Stoyanov shared, “With ads powered by AdEx Network, we are finally able to monetize our traffic with the peace of mind that we can track the actual results from the campaigns broadcast on our platform.”
“In addition to this, we have full control over the money we earn as a publisher, as well as over the ads that are shown. Going with AdEx was the best direction for Stremio,” Stoyanov added.
Disclaimer: Stremio and AdEx Network are connected companies. You can read more about the relationship between the two here.
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