Can you tell us what advertising within a gaming environment means and looks like?
In-game ads blend into the game environment so smoothly that they become a part of the game experience. For example, you can display ads on buildings or billboards. Because of that, in-game is compared with out-of-home advertising, but it happens in a digital world.
One of the main benefits of in-game advertising is that it can be non-intrusive, which results in a better user experience and brand perception.
How has the in-game advertising market developed over the past 12 months?
For the past 12 months, in-game has been dominating the advertising market. I would distinguish a few key moments that provide the vision for the future.
At the beginning of the year, Sony announced plans to put ads in PlayStation games which shows that AAA games (high-budget, high-profile games that are typically produced and distributed by large, well-known publishers) shifted their focus to in-game advertising.
IAB released in-game measurement guidelines which lay the foundation for in-game advertising unification. The year is also predicted to end with an alternative shift to how in-game performance should be measured, according to the recent Anzu and Lumen research.
In summary, the in-game advertising market is growing exponentially. Additionally, actions are being taken to unify it and new points of view are being brought to light when it comes to performance.
I’m really excited to see what the future holds.
How does in-game advertising deliver results for advertisers?
In the beginning, in-game advertising was fully focused on high viewability. However, as the market is growing, alternative proxy metrics are being brought to the table. For example, brand safety measurement through third-party platforms like MOAT and IAS which showed that in-game advertising IVT seeks 0.01%. Companies like Lumen show that in-game ads deliver 2 times higher attention rates than other digital channels. While we are seeing movement in app measurement space where in-game advertising attribution is tracked through a post-view model.
From your perspective, what are the key opportunities of in-game advertising?
What we see from the market and advertising demand, the biggest opportunity of advertising in an in-game environment is the ability to reach highly engaged users.
Players are a huge audience and it is also very diverse. Their lifestyle, communities, and interests are relevant to many advertisers. FMCG, telecoms, device manufacturers, retail, and fast food chains – all of them are tapping into in-game ads due to the audience they can reach.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that users are getting frustrated about being bombarded with so many ads every day. That’s where in-game becomes a perfect alternative, being a non-intrusive way of advertising.
And what are the key challenges?
Even with the immense growth, in-game advertising is still a new digital channel. However, the market is demanding in-game to catch up with the advertising mediums everyone is already used to.
Currently, in-game faces a few particular challenges. First, ads are not clickable, which raises concerns about how to track the performance and what is the long-term impact of in-game advertising.
There are also still many myths about in-game advertising and the audience it can help to reach. Therefore, different parties have to invest time in educating the market. The in-game market is still fragmented and it requires clear buying guidelines.
Finally, what do you think the market will look like in 12 months time?
The future is bright. I see many great initiatives and innovations being rolled out both from the supply and demand side. Additionally, in-game is getting noticed by IAB, which shows social credibility. The in-game advertising market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% between 2021 and 2025. So I would think twice if somebody is still skeptical about the in-game advertising future.
Eskimi have worked closely with IAB Europe to create a One Sheet for In-Game Advertising access the one sheet here. For more information about this advertising channel please see IAB Europe's Guide to In-Gaming here.