Mobile Gaming Growing into Largest Ad Platform
Online advertising isn’t perfect. Services like Adblock Plus make it difficult to fully cash in on banner ads sprawled across popular websites, and print’s fading readership means spreading messages outside the Internet isn’t any easier. Google Contributor is looking to provide an alternative for participating websites, but we’re yet to find a true solution.
However, advertising isn’t declining in every market. In fact, according to a panel of advertising experts at the Global Mobile Internet Conference, mobile gaming is trending toward becoming the largest advertising platform in the world. This particular industry is actually pulling a lot of advertising money out of other media.
Dave Madden, senior vice president of global media solution at Electronic Arts’ mobile division, compares modern game advertising to what was seen on ESPN during its early days. The station started with nothing more than direct response ads, but now some of the largest companies in the world want a piece of ESPN.
“We are starting to do deals with Madison Avenue agencies and brands,” Madden said. “Brands are trying to figure out how to get to this young, engaged mobile consumer with an experience that they will welcome.”
Mobile advertising is big and only getting bigger, but what makes the messages that you see on your phone superior to what’s being shown on TV?
First, it’s important to note that ads per hour of TV programming are at an all-time high. Commercials make up 14 minutes and 15 seconds of each broadcast TV hour, and it’s only worse on cable. Also, TV ads don’t directly target the viewer, unlike advertisements in mobile games. These are often catered toward the user’s interests, and sometimes act as welcome rewards if the ads are actually viewed.
In-app purchases are still big, but with the ability to trade ad views for in-game rewards that really don’t cost the company any resources, this side of the business has significant growth potential.
“We still count on in-app purchases for the majority of monetization, but the video rewards are user opt-in, and players like it. They get a positive experience from the ad engagement,” said Christian Limon, vice president of growth and advertising at mobile game maker Glu Mobile.
The advertising industry is changing. Ads found within mobile apps might not be perfect just yet, but developers are beginning to understand how to use them to the benefit of both the company and the consumer. As software on phones and tablets grows, so does the opportunity to expand into new markets.