Founded in 2002, Meetup was created to bring people together to create thriving communities. Whether you’re an organizer or a participant, Meetup is a platform that can help you meet new people, make friends, explore interests and even build your business. It’s a platform where you create groups and events you’re passionate about. Or, you can become members of different groups and attend events you’re interested in. There are thousands of events happening every day – it’s easy to join in on the fun.

The Brief

Meetup was looking at the member-side of their business and seeing what revenue opportunities were available. At the top of their list was in-app and web monetization – something Meetup had never attempted before.

Freestar set out to:

Create a New Revenue Stream with Minimal Impact to UX – Since in-app and web monetization were new to Meetup they didn’t have any particular revenue goals, but it was extremely important that they protected their user experience. They wanted to explore the maximum revenue that they could achieve through ad monetization while integrating ads in a clean, high-quality manner that did not impact their critical ecosystem metrics such as Group Joins and RSVPs.

"Freestar provides great value and expertise. By outsourcing Meetup’s monetization, we have the opportunity to work with better Yield Managers who work with many publishers and can tap into their knowledge and experience. They have a bigger bag of tricks that Meetup can utilize."

The Approach

After hearing about Freestar from a happy customer, Meetup decided to move forward with our in-app and web monetization solution. The implementation process was a custom integration to meet their needs which moved right along schedule. Meetup appreciated Freestar’s responsiveness to any questions they had, the ability to communicate through our Slack Channel and most importantly, making Meetup’s conservative approach to ads a priority. User experience is important to Meetup so this involved Freestar testing our ads to gradual traffic increments and implementing a sensitive blocklist.

To optimize Meetup’s in-app and web, Freestar implemented:

  • Key Ad Units – For web, Freestar scaled adding key ad units like medium rectangle and 300×50 banner(s) to high-traffic web pages. For in-app, we activated native ads for a seamless user experience.
  • Flooring Optimization – When Apple released iOS 14.5, Meetup saw their CPMs decline to a point where they wondered if they should continue displaying ads on their app. Their Freestar Customer Success team formulated and implemented a new flooring strategy that hit their internal KPIs while balancing revenue, CPMs, and user experience.

The Results

Previously having no ad monetization on web and in-app, Meetup immediately saw results after implementing our in-app and web solutions. After three months, Meetup saw web monetization’s ad revenue increase by 85% and CPMs increase 19% month over month. We implemented our dynamic flooring algorithms to our web monetization to help boost revenue growth.

When we first started monetizing in-app, Meetup launched with only a small percentage of their traffic and after testing and seeing the success, we’re now at 50% for guest traffic and 100% for member traffic. Similar to web, mobile ad revenue saw immediate results, and Meetups iOS revenue grew by 370% and CPMs by 43% within the first three months of going live. Android experienced similar results with revenue growing to 164% within the first three months as well. Meetup continues to work closely with Freestar’s Customer Success team to strategize and optimize their monetization.