Marketing 4 min read

In-Game Advertising Is Taking Off, and Here's Why

Dean Drobot /

Dean Drobot /

In-game advertising has recently grown to become a more viable option for advertisers. In a new report, eMarketer explored why the ad medium is taking off, and the different available ad formats.

Mobile games are a big deal now. According to reports, mobile games account for 33 percent of all app downloads, and 74 percent of consumer spends.

A previous prediction suggested that 2.4 billion people will play mobile games across the world. That’s 33 percent of the global population.

Unsurprisingly, advertisers are taking advantage of the meteoric rise of mobile gaming.

For example, casual games now feature various user acquisition tactics. Similarly, complex games have also figured out ways to integrate ads without distracting gamers.

What’s more, these ad units are interactive and engaging.

In a recent report, research provider, eMarketer, considered the different ad formats and what makes them useful.

The report reads:

“For our first-ever report on mobile in-game advertising, we analyzed several ad formats that game developers are offering brands, from playables and interstitials to rewarded video and banner ads.”

Here’s the takeaway from the study.

4 In-Game Advertising Methods and Why They Are Effective

Here are the four mobile in-game ad methods that the researchers analyzed.

1. Banners Ads Are Great for Hyper casual Games

Banners have become one of the most effective ad method methods in hyper-casual games.

Sometimes, publishers use this form of in-game advertising to complement interactive rewarded videos and rich media ads. However, they can also serve as the primary monetization tool in games that don’t have an internal purchase economy.

According to the eMarketer report, companies like Bidstack and Admix now offer technologies to insert banner ads in gameplay. Think of it as native ads for mobile games.

For example, publishers can purchase a banner on the arena walls in a sports game. Then, the game developers will simply adjust the ad to fit seamlessly into the game world.

2. Rewarded Videos Are Very Rewarding

Rewarded videos are designed to augment the gamer’s experience.

They are video ads that launch at specific moments during gameplay to offer players reward for actions. For example, a game could provide an extra life or added energy in exchange for watching a short ad.

The report revealed that most game developers that offer in-game advertising use rewarded video. Also, 75 percent of developers combine this ad format with others.

Why is it popular, you ask?

Aside from its simplicity, rewarded videos can supplement in-app payments. Advertisers prefer the ad format because they only have to pay when a viewer takes the desired action.

Also, the report suggests that rewarded videos’ completion and install rates are very high.

3. Interstitials For Pauses Between Games

Rewarded videos may dominate in-game ad experience; however, interstitial video placements are just as popular.

As said earlier, publishers and game developers use rewarded videos to complement in-app purchases. That way, users will have a chance to gain real value within a game that they otherwise would have paid real currency for.

Interstitials, on the other hand, fill those unmonetized pauses within games with ads.

Like rewarded videos, the ad format often ends with a call-to-action. Depending on the ad, this call-to-action could either invite players to install an app, get directions to a store, or view rich media experience.

4. Playables For a Higher Post-Install Engagement

The playable ad is the mini version of the advertised game, and it could also be the branded mini-game.

According to eMarketer, this form of in-game advertising is most effective when it replicates the most representative level in the advertised game.

That means publishers and game developers must analyze the gameplay to identify the most engaging moments. Then, they can build the same experience in the ad.

Aside from offering higher clickthrough rates, a well-designed playable also increase the cost per mile and cost per action. Finally, playables provide better post-install engagement, says the report.

Read More: Analyzing Video Game Player Engagement to Increase Gaming Revenues

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