Google has announced a new feature that developers can add to apps called rewarded products. The idea behind it is to incentivize users to sit and watch more ads by rewarding them with virtual goods and in-game currency. Several apps already have functionality similar to this but Google's implementation will make it easier for all developers to add.
Initially, the rewarded products is being launched as an open beta in the Play Console and, initially, ads will play in a video format. Google didn’t specify whether other ad types would be included in the future but the way the blog post is worded makes it sound like Google could expand this to other ad types such as interactive ads.
Rewarded products have been designed to be easily added to apps. Google said the feature can be added to any app using the Google Play Billing Library or AIDL interface by including a few more API calls. It also said no more configuration of the SDK is needed which should reduce the workload related to adding it in.
Google will provide the ads through its AdMob technology which delivers a “broad range” of ads from its different partners. Interestingly, Google’s announcement dropped around the same time that Microsoft updated its developer agreement which fulfills an earlier promise it made last year to let developers keep 95% of the revenues they earn. Despite the stiff competition from Microsoft, it’s unlikely Google has much to worry about with the reach its platform has.