Kevin Smyth
Apr 2, 2018

Don’t underestimate the power of a mobile gaming strategy

Mobile gaming is undoubtedly the most untapped advertiser opportunity in digital. Even if you don't sell games.

Don’t underestimate the power of a mobile gaming strategy

You probably know that the conception of a gaming audience as a niche market of teenage guys playing for hours on end on their consoles and computers is not valid. Nielsen last year found that 61% of gaming audiences are between the ages of 18 and 34, both male and female. The prevalence of smartphones means that people have access to high quality games in the palm of their hands at all times of the day—on their commutes, during lunch time breaks, and right before bed. This year, the global gaming industry is expected to reach US$115 billion in total revenue, with mobile expected to account for 48% of that sum. Furthermore, APAC is forecasted to make up 51% of that total number.

APAC is gaming. So how do advertisers ensure they’re leaning in to meet that demand? Due to mobile gaming’s growing reach across demographics, let’s focus on how advertisers can capitalise on this opportunity.

In-app gaming is one of the biggest opportunities for savvy advertisers because they can find engaged audiences and focused eyeballs at scale. Gaming apps have historically been trend setters when it comes to ad-supported revenue drivers and have performed better than other traditional channels.

Taking a step back and looking at the overall industry, data-driven buying was the buzzword of 2017, but the average cookie-match in non-app environments was around 30%. Because the match rate can be so low, advertisers should instead leverage a channel that can offer robust data-driven buying along with reach. This opens up a large opportunity for advertisers to tap into in-app inventory—and specifically gaming inventory—in order to achieve scale, since apps rely on device IDs. Then, advertisers can reach the right audiences by targeting them on a user basis, rather than at a cookie level. In-app gaming has nearly a 100% match rate using device IDs, with the additional benefit of both viewability and completion rates greater than 90%.

Another example of in-app advertising that works well is rewarded video. This ad format was designed to enhance the user experience, leading to better results for advertisers and higher CPMs for mobile app developers. Effectiveness studies have shown strong brand and intent results when compared with linear TV. A survey on ad effectiveness in the gaming environment found that 68% of people wanted to buy the product after seeing the ad. This was 4% less than the intent shown after seeing the same ad on TV. Data also showed positive brand perception after seeing the ad within the gaming experience.

Looking ahead, we should focus on developing AR and VR capabilities in mobile video advertising. Today, advertisers have the opportunity to create an immersive environment for their customers, which allows brands to bring a full experience into reality to complete the journey of brand awareness, consideration, purchase and loyalty. As it stands, the industry still needs education to understand the creative requirements, but viewers are hungry for unique, immersive mobile gaming experiences. For consumers, AR and VR are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible.

Gaming, mobile gaming to be exact, is undoubtedly the most untapped advertiser opportunity in digital. Once advertisers can recognise the diversity of gaming, its loyal and engaged audience, its brand safe environment, targeting capabilities, and strong ability to drive performance, it’s only going in one direction.

Let the games begin.

Kevin Smyth is general manager for Southeast Asia with Telaria, an independent, supply-side software company focussing on monetising video inventory.


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