November 11, 2022
min read
inBrain Integrations

Rewarded Surveys Provide Strong Monetization for Publishers without IDFA

In a world where data-privacy is increasingly important, businesses must adapt new ways to best serve their customers. 

If you've been online lately, you've likely heard all about the "Post-IDFA World" - where advertisers will no longer be able to track users via their IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) code as has been typical up until now..

This shift has caused a lot of disruption (panic?) in the app development industry, as IDFA tracking has been integral to many mobile advertising campaigns. (We won't even go into the Google Cookie Monster conversation!)

Suddenly, revenue via online ads seemed to meet its demise at the hands of a data security decision. How would developers adapt when it seemed their primary funding source has dried up?

Here's the reality: We've never lived in an IDFA world.

And, by the way, who is “we”?

The weis rewarded surveys

In the market research industry, transparency and privacy are pillars of the process - and Apple’s ATT (App Tracking Transparency) policy doesn’t affect those standards! The AdTech industry may have pioneered buying and selling ads in new and innovative ways, but "ResTech" (Research Technology) has gone a step further.

By turning to "ad units used for awareness," ResTech has raised the bar, paving the way for a new standard of ad products focused on quality, not quantity. This means that online surveys can offer both survey incentives for users and insights for companies - including increased revenue opportunities.

Moving away from IDFA means it’s going to be harder to find high-value app users and game players with traditional forms of app monetization. But for companies to adapt and grow in the new environment, developers have to find new, affordable and creative ways to monetize their apps. 

Rewarded Surveys Have Entered The Chat

ATT (not the phone company) changes will affect how advertisers value and bid on ad impressions. That’s a bummer for app developers who depend on advertising to generate revenue.

But if advertisers are spending money targeting the right users on mobile for ads, why not spend that money on engaging with those right users?

Rewarded surveys create an innovative way to monetize your app without running traditional advertising. In a rewarded survey, survey respondents are asked to answer simple, engaging questions in exchange for rewards like in-app currency. These survey incentives can include real-world prizes or charitable donations. In a sense, it's recreating the paid surveys from marketing research history in a new digital way.

The emergence of these online surveys means developers can still generate revenue from their apps while providing a valuable service to their users. And it’s not just a win for developers - Rewarded Surveys are also popular with users, as they get to choose whether or not they want to participate and what type of reward they want to receive. When you can gain benefits just for taking online surveys, what's to lose?

The Unique Benefits of Rewarded Surveys

Does this mean that your app will simply become similar to paid survey sites? Not at all! With online surveys on your app, you can enjoy a variety of valuable benefits.

There are many reasons why Rewarded Surveys are the perfect solution for monetizing your app in a post-IDFA world. Here are just a few:

1. Rewarded Surveys Focus On Opt-In

Rewarded Surveys are opt-in, which means it’s the user's choice to interact with surveys. What does that mean?

No extra permissions are required, and no IDFA is needed. With Rewarded Surveys, users are in control of their data - and are more likely to engage with surveys that are relevant to them. Plus, they are more likely to answer surveys when the survey rewards are connected to the online survey itself.

2. Rewarded Surveys Provide Real-Time Feedback

With traditional advertising, it can be challenging to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. But with Rewarded Surveys, you can get real-time feedback from users on what they think of your app - good or bad. No more having to complete additional market research surveys in an attempt to gain quality data.

This real time feedback is valuable for making improvements to your app and can help you make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Plus, research shows that paid surveys can enhance a variety of other aspects across the business.

3. Rewarded Surveys Offer an Engaging User Experience

You've probably interacted with a Rewarded Survey before without even realizing it.

You've probably used apps where a simple click on a survey can silence ads for a set period. Or you answered a short quiz, and the survey rewards gave you access to exclusive content. That's all it takes to participate in these types of paid surveys!

This makes Rewarded Surveys a discreet way to generate revenue from your app and provides a more engaging user experience than traditional advertising. The value of ad space is changing dynamically, and ads are becoming less effective, which, unfortunately, pay less to the titles they are supposed to support.

If advertisers and market research companies have to step back to evaluate how to effectively speak to an audience, how long will you have to wait for an effective ad spend as an app owner? This is where you should implement rewarded surveys- don’t miss an opportunity to monetize each user to enhance your products and services.

Taking Control Back

As applications continue to dominate mobile phone usage, it will be crucial for app developers to take control back of how they generate revenue.

So why should App Stores control ad monetization and access to targeted audiences? 

Publishers, Apps, and Advertisers should be able to control how they talk to their audience to get extra insights, spend less on UA, and allow for a native and gamified experience to keep their audience engaged in monetization activities… which is impossible with ads alone.

But what about fraud?

When considering a UA strategy, fraud is usually the most challenging thing to combat. Fortunately, rewarded surveys are targeted to real people and are constantly monitored for fraud on the provider’s end. This means you can spend your time and money on acquiring quality users instead of worrying about ad fraud.

Don't you need to invest in target audience acquisition and research to make this work?

Nope! When it comes to targeting users, surveys have already done that work- especially with organic traffic. Users can be asked right then and there if they’d be interested in taking part in rewards-based online paid surveys to help improve the app.

You have to consider segmentation, right?

Absolutely. Segmentation is key to target audience engagement. Even the best market research companies get this and have adapted their paid surveys to reach only the most valuable survey taker.

With ads, it’s not always easy to target a person at the right time or forecast when that user you have targeted is ready to take action. But here's the beautiful thing: rewarded surveys allow you to ask those questions while the user is already engaged. And connected taking paid surveys with reward points can quickly turn into valuable, actionable data.

This means you can segment and target your users more effectively and get the most out of your investment. The sky's the limit when it comes to encouraging the right users to take paid surveys built on rewards.

What about user retention?

We get it. User acquisition is only half the battle- you also need to consider user retention to ensure that response rates stay high and you continue to offer users plenty of incentives.

Rewarded Surveys are a great way to keep your users engaged with your app and coming back for more. By providing value in exchange for feedback, you can create a win-win situation for both you and your users. Whether the paid surveys help them earn rewards or earn points, the goal is the same - turn digital products into actionable data.

A Better Way to Monetize User Engagement with Online Surveys

When I got into digital advertising back in the early 2000s, the solution for low eCPMs was to slap a ton of additional banners on a page. Simply put, more ad units meant more money. But we all know this is not sustainable- especially on mobile devices.

Ad agencies were thrilled with how much they got for their spending, but what happened? When did paid online surveys suddenly become less than desirable?

Market research companies like Nielsen and ComScore stepped in to ask who was actually seeing these “ads” between scrolling - and not scrolling - through pages. This created a dichotomy in the industry, where some research companies touted the benefits of advertising while others considered it a necessary evil.

Suddenly, online survey panels became data points rather than real people. This "efficiency" move only caused more surveys to go unanswered and survey respondents to stop engaging.

After working at large media companies, I decided I wanted to be one of the “good guys” and find a way to help publishers get more out of their ad spend. So I worked on Audience Measurement. Suddenly, the “wild west” became an ecosystem of digital ratings to decide WHO was seeing WHAT and WHERE they were seeing it.

With any new solution comes new problems:

  • Were we tracking this properly?
  • Were privacy concerns taken into account?
  • How big was this new digital panel?

Was it as small as the 25K homes that used a Nielsen box that we were forecasting TV ratings with? And most importantly, if we could find out WHO was seeing ads, could we find out how they felt about them? Aren’t insights into an audience the most crucial aspect for a brand advertiser?

The Rise of ResTech

This is where the original ResTech Companies became very attractive. Companies such as Vizu and Insight Express (both acquired by Nielsen and Kantar, respectively) and MOAT provided a way to track ad placements, understand how users interact with them, and - most importantly - get feedback from actual people who saw the ads.

This was a massive step in the right direction for the industry. The holy grail of brand effectiveness was now what was most important. These companies allowed us to ask consumers how they felt about the ads or products they saw - without having to introduce bias into the system.

There was only a tiny problem: mobile devices.

Tracking on mobile will always be hard. Fast forward ten more years and mobile is still trying to figure it out. 80% of the time people spend browsing the web occurs via their phone- most of that phone time is spent on app usage (as opposed to mobile web browsers). The key to solving the mobile issue was finding how to move the power of rewarded surveys from the best survey sites to apps.

Solving The Mobile Conundrum

Offer walls and Mobile AdNetworks have done a great job monetizing for app publishers. However, IDFA was still the most relied-on source of targeting for these networks, and with its impending demise, many are scrambling to find a solution.

It's clear that there needs to be a central tracking device to track who is coming in and out of the apps, who is spending time on what screen, etc.

Estimates show that post-IDFA opt-in rates will level between 25% and 60%. That seems like a pretty wide range when thinking about potential revenue! This is likely why we see so much M&A in the industry now - the most recent being the Applovin acquisition of Adjust and the Vungle acquisition of GameRefinery.

These moves have seen the rise in the trend of mobile ad networks becoming platforms that include both demand and supply sides (ads for brands to buy and ads for mobile publishers to monetize their apps). Platforms manage a ton of data without sharing it and can use that data to their advantage.

What are Rewarded Surveys, anyway?

As you can imagine, the landscape of ad tech has changed a lot in the last 30 years. But one thing that’s stayed the same is our commitment to providing brands with the most accurate insights possible.

That’s why we’ve been focused on developing new ways to collect data on mobile devices without using cookies or ever having to ask people to opt in. And when you combine those capabilities with gamification, you can engage a whole market of ready and willing users!

At inBrain, we offer app users surveys in exchange for their desired in-app currency. We've discovered that this method is the best way to monetize non-spenders.

Less than 10% of users spend on IAP. Wouldn’t it be nice to monetize the other 90%? The survey experience remains within the app, and users can choose which survey they want to take based on time and value. Only happy users fill out surveys, providing brands with clean and valuable insights. And how can you get happy users? By taking advantage of the gamification of digital media and introducing survey prizes!

Beyond SDK or API integrations for our app and publisher partners, we also offer ways for you to speak directly to your users by providing the capability for you to create your own surveys. This gives you an incredible amount of control over your surveys and allows you to ask specific questions tailored to your brand.

How inBrain Supercharges Survey Data

When you pair our rewarded survey platform with our IDFA-less tracking capabilities, you get the most accurate and reliable data possible about your marketing efforts. Here are just a few of the ways an inBrain-powered survey can supercharge your in-app monetization potential:

Partial Rewards:

We pay out partial survey rewards up to $ 0.10 every time to ensure that a user is always earning when going into the inBrain experience. This means a guaranteed $20 eCPMs every time - extra money that comes fully out of our pocket that we pay you to give to your users. That's how much we believe in our product as the future of online paid surveys.


Gamification makes the survey process more fun and engaging for users, which means they’re more likely to complete surveys. Plus, it allows you to reward power users with even more in-app currency, which can lead to even higher conversion rates.

We have gamified the experience for users to level up and unlock higher-value opportunities and bonuses. This helps increase user retention, create power users, and foster positive reviews.

Survey Customization:

Imagine a survey-building system that offers a 100% native look and feel. Now, add the ability to adjust any color, change the title, and edit the currency name. This makes your surveys look like they are part of the app instead of a third party. When you can move seamlessly from taking surveys to engaging with the app, users won't even notice that they're being surveyed.

Native Surveys™:

Native Surveys™ allow you to control the inBrain Survey inventory from anywhere in your app, in any format!

With a single call, inBrain returns the top 10 surveys for a single user, alongside parameters of inBrain Rank, Time of Survey, and Value of Survey (in your in-app currency), all in a simple structure.

You can then use this information to display and engage users in taking paid surveys anywhere in your app based on the parameters for the desired section.

For example:

  • If a survey is of time X-min and the value is greater than $Y, show this survey on the home screen of our app or in between a level for a game.
  • If a user completes a task/offer in the app and a 1min survey is available, you could showcase an interstitial that says, "You earned 500 IAC! Would you like to increase your earnings by 350 IAC with a 1-minute survey?” Their tap then takes them directly to the survey within the app.

When Should You Add Rewarded Surveys to Your Stack?

Rewarded surveys are the way forward in a post-IDFA world.

But when should you add them to your stack?

Now is the time to add surveys to your in-app monetization strategy. Studies have shown that users prefer a choice when it comes to earning in-app. So creating ways to engage your users with rewarded content will go a long way.

But don't alienate your whales. Keep IAP and ads as part of your strategy. Offering a variety of ways to engage with your app will create a well-rounded user experience and keep everyone happy.

At inBrain, we can help you every step of the way to ensure that all members of your audience are engaged in the highest-earning way possible. The goal is to complement your monetization strategy and speak to all users in a language they understand best. Specifically, your non-payers and mid-payers. And when you can do that, you open up a world of possibilities.

Who Are You?

So, where do you fall in the mix?  Are you an app with 100,000 MAUs and looking for new monetization methods? 

Or are you a small indie game developer with 500 DAUs who want to increase IAP conversion rates?

Maybe you’re an advertiser looking for new ways to reach the ever-rising mobile user base?

We have a solution for you no matter what stage you're at.

If you are ready to take advantage of the historical power of paid survey sites and fuse it with rewarded content, inBrain can help you get there. Our knowledge of paid survey sites and consumer products and services will ensure that you build a seamless product that engages and enhances your market research surveys. Visit us online today to learn more, and start building better digital products today!

Apps and Publishers:

Are you ready to increase your eCPMs and fill the holes in your revenue? Let's chat! We easily integrate through SDK or API. This means that within your dashboard, you can create your own surveys for your partners or for yourselves.

Learn more by signing up here or reaching out to us with any questions!


Are you an advertiser who is looking for a new way to reach your target audience? inBrain has you covered. We work with some of the biggest brands in the world, and we're always looking for new partners.

We have a Survey Builder platform that allows you to create your own surveys to talk to users across many apps. Reach out for more information and learn how you can get started today.

Don't Miss Your Chance to Earn with Rewarded Surveys

There's no doubt that rewarded surveys are the future of in-app monetization. With the industry moving away from IDFA, it's essential to be ahead of the curve and start planning for the future.

At inBrain, we want to help you every step of the way. We have a wide range of AI-driven solutions to help you increase your eCPMs and fill the holes in your revenue. This means you can use the power of machine learning to increase your ability to reach those valuable users in new and innovative ways.

We hope this guide has helped get you started on the path to rewarded surveys. And if you are ready to take the next step, we invite you to sign up for our platform or reach out to us. We would be more than happy to chat with you about your options.