Benjamin Lotz, Founder

Hesse, Germany
The FreizeitMonster founders The FreizeitMonster logo
Promoting local exploration

Sometimes the best adventures don’t require a plane ticket. That’s the philosophy behind FreizeitMonster, a search engine for local activities and attractions.

“At FreizeitMonster, our goal is clear: we're here to fuel a love for local exploration,” explains founder Benjamin Lotz. “We want people to ditch the screen, get out, and uncover the hidden gems in their region. We're all about giving lesser-known attractions the spotlight they deserve so that we can skip the couch potato routine and dive into real-life adventures.”

Launched in September 2020, FreizeitMonster quickly got the attention of families looking for cool activities to do right in their neighborhoods. But this quick growth also meant Benjamin and his partner had to hustle to pack their site with great options and ensure the user experience was top-notch.

“Looking back, those days were a rollercoaster of emotions - passion, sweat, challenges, and lessons. We're really grateful for the chance to connect people and inspire them to go out and explore their neighborhood. We're still learning and growing, and our users keep us going.”

To help power their growth and reach more families in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Benjamin and his team turned to an ad-supported model, which would generate revenue while keeping their site free and accessible.

The FreizeitMonster team around the office.
Embracing the ad-supported model

“Choosing an ad-supported business model was a strategic decision that aligned perfectly with our core mission and goals,” explains Benjamin. “Most of all, it allowed us to keep our platform accessible to a wider audience. By offering our services for free, we can reach more individuals and families who might not be able or willing to pay for a subscription or membership. This inclusivity was important to us, as we wanted to encourage everyone to experience the joy of discovering hidden gems and exciting activities.”

Benjamin and his team partnered with Google to make their ad monetization possible. “Google AdSense and Ad Manager allowed us to generate revenue while maintaining a seamless and non-intrusive user experience. We could display relevant ads that were in line with our content, ensuring that our users still found value in the ads themselves. This harmony between content and advertising was crucial to us, as we didn't want our users to feel bombarded or turned off by ads.”

The FreizeitMonster team also found Google’s ad products to be intuitive and easy to set up. “AdSense’s straightforward integration process allowed us to get our ad-supported model up and running very quickly,” explains Benjamin. “Its simplicity was a big plus, especially considering that we were still pretty much at the beginning with limited resources and time.”

FreizeitMonster’s recent move to mobile was the perfect opportunity to utilize AdMob. “AdMob was the perfect fit for our needs. Its tailored features and mobile-oriented approach seamlessly integrated ads into our app, enabling us to effectively monetize while maintaining a user-friendly experience. AdMob's alignment with our goals made it an obvious choice as we embarked on this new phase of our journey.”

The FreizeitMonster interface.
Bigger team, bigger adventures

“Our revenue growth with ads, thanks to Google AdSense and Ad Manager, has been a game-changer for us,” says Benjamin. “These platforms have allowed us to not only generate revenue but also take our mission to the next level.”

Now the FreizeitMonster team can compensate the adventurers who curate and contribute the best leisure activity tips to their platform. This has encouraged higher quality content on the platform, which is valuable to users who want to find creative ways to get off the couch and into nature.

Their team has also grown, swelling from just the two founders to a squad of 12, which consists of a mix of authors, tech enthusiasts, community managers, and administrators, all working together to fulfill the site’s mission.

“In essence, our partnership with Google AdSense and Ad Manager has transformed our business model, enabling us to financially support our contributors and impact the way families spend their leisure time,” says Benjamin. “It's a win-win that's fueled by technology and a shared passion for promoting real-life experiences.”

“Choosing an ad-supported business model was a strategic decision that aligned perfectly with our core mission and goals. Most of all, it allowed us to keep our platform accessible to a wider audience. By offering our services for free, we can reach more individuals and families who might not be able or willing to pay for a subscription or membership.”
Making memories that last

“Overall, the ad-supported model is a win-win,” says Benjamin. “It's been an integral part of our growth and success, enabling us to fulfill our mission of promoting local tourism, provide financial support for our contributors, and ensure that our platform remains accessible and engaging for a diverse range of users.”

Benjamin was particularly moved by a message from a father of three, who commended the FreizeitMonster team for helping his family uncover hidden castle ruins, miniature golf courses, boat rentals, and even an unknown barefoot path right in their neighborhood. “With a family of five, traditional outings like amusement park visits had become substantial financial commitments,” explains Benjamin. “Our site helped him find affordable activities that engaged the whole family.”

“Interacting with people daily who exude those vacation vibes is a genuine blessing,” says Benjamin. “I'm profoundly thankful to not only earn my living and support my family with this business, but also to inject happiness into the world. I love to inspire folks to venture out more, relish life, and make cherished memories.”

About the Publisher

Benjamin Lotz is the founder of FreizeitMonster, a search engine for travel destinations and leisure activities in the German speaking area. After moving to a new city, he experienced difficulties finding destinations for short trips or weekend activities himself. Having worked as a data scientist for several years, he took it upon himself to create a simpler and more intuitive way of finding activities nearby. Founded in 2020, the platform has set its mission to help people find travel destinations and hidden gems in their neighborhood.
FreizeitMonster Founder and CEO Benjamin Lotz