Mobile Games Ads - The Importance of SKOverlay

Lorenzo Viscanti
September 12, 2023
Mobile Games Ads - The Importance of SKOverlay

The promotion of mobile games with ads uses lots of different creative formats. Every kind of creative format has different characteristics. For example videos are very effective in generating engaged users, while banners with their lower CPM allow to test and expand new audiences. There are obviously other formats of ads for mobile games, such as rewarded ads and app walls.

Since the advent of iOs 14.5 there is a new possibility, enhancing (almost) every kind of creative format, SKOverlay.

  1. What is SkOverlay?
  2. How is SkOveraly rendered?
  3. Where does Mapendo use SkOverlay?
  4. Why is SkOverlay important?
  5. Why are app developers happy about SkOverlay?

What is SKOverlay ?

SKOverlay is a small click-to-install banner that appears at the bottom of other ads (such as interstitial or playable ads). SKOverlay banners are managed directly by Apple, through the SKAdNetwork integration.

SKOverlay is not an ad itself, but rather is another creativity that appears on top of other formats, enhancing their effectiveness.

Later in this article we’ll show you why SKOverlay is more effective than other simpler ads for mobile games.

How is SKOverlay rendered ?

SKOverlay is a StoreKit class that allows developers an easier way to recommend other apps, through their App Store identifiers. SKOverlay is rendered not by the publisher app (i.e. the app showing the ad), but rather by Apple itself, in the form of a small click-to-install banner.

The SKOverlay storekit class allows for some personalization of the way the click-to-install banner is rendered. But most of the SKOverlay users have found that showing the ad coming up from the bottom of the screen is the most effective rendering.

Here’s a simple image that shows how SKOverlay might be rendered, at the bottom of a video ad for a mobile game.

(GIF animation by

Where does Mapendo use SKOverlay ?

SKOverlay is a click-to-install banner that can be rendered according to some policies set by Apple. In our first implementation we used it over video ads and at the end of playable creatives. This ensures that the conversion rate is improved and the use experience is not intrusive.

Our implementation is better than what other DSPs have done for two reasons:

  • We are increasing the conversion rate but not too much. After hundreds of tests we decided to show SKOverlay only when it improves the conversion rate, without making the whole ad experience messy

  • When possible we prefer SKOverlay over other buttons: the app install experience is better for the final users by removing one step in the funnel (the App store opening). Other DSPs tend to show at all times both the SKOverlay and their own install buttons

Why is SKOverlay important ?

SKOverlay is not just a simple banner like any other ad for mobile games. It is shown on top of other ads and this gives the user one more option for a click on the ad (and eventually a conversion).

But there is even more.

With SKOverlay the click-to-install banner is even more powerful: once the user clicks on the install button, the app install process begins without opening the store itself.

This simplified installation process obviously increases the conversion rate, making it even more easier to install your mobile game.

Why are app developers happy about SKOverlay ?

The click-to-install banner managed by SKOverlay removes the need for tracking links and redirects. The user installs the new app without abandoning the publisher app. App developers tend to love this because users stick with using their apps. In one phrase, we can say that the whole user experience is much better!


SKOverlay proves to be very effective in driving more app installs, while ensuring that the user experience is still very good. Our own implementation is not relying only on SKAdNetwork to measure the installs generated by our ads for mobile games. We have managed to work at the same time with the attribution platforms and SKOverlay. This way, our clients don’t have to wait for SKAdNetwork timers to measure results of their User Acquisition campaigns.

If you want to try our solution, get in touch with us!