The gaming industry is a hub of innovation and is worth more than the film and music industries combined. It now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entertainment market. However, despite the obvious successes of the industry it has often been overlooked by advertisers as a marketing channel.
Bidstack connects brands with game developers, helping them to reach their target audience. We do this by placing ads into natural spaces within games, be that pitchside in a football game, trackside in a racing game or on billboards in open-world formats. Such ads can be bought either directly, or programmatically via some of the worlds largest DSPs, including Xandr Invest, (previously known as AppNexus), Avocet and Platform161 to name just a few.
Here are some of the key reasons advertisers are beginning to embrace in-game advertising:
1.The Gaming Audience
More people watch gaming videos and streams than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined, Esports audiences are overshadowing the world’s biggest sporting events and there are 2.5bn gamers across the globe.
These stats have caught the attention of brands looking to engage with a young, diverse audience. The worn out stereotypes of teenage boys holed up in their bedrooms have rightly been banished to the past, with 45% of gamers being female and 35% of gamers being 21-35 years old.
With cloud gaming services such as Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s X Cloud on the horizon and the anticipated rollout of 5G coming later this year, it is reasonable to expect the size of the gaming audience to grow even larger. Bidstack is ready to open that door for advertisers
2.Reaching The Unreachables
It isn’t news that millenials and Gen Z-enials are becoming hearses for advertisers to reach. For a start they are watching less TV than previous generations; a recent study showed that 15-24 year olds are watching 71 fewer minutes per day than they were in 2014 for example.
Social media use is also on the decline. CBS News recently reported that young people are spending less time on Facebook due to more time spent gaming, leading to ‘Fortnite is the new Facebook’ headlines.
These changes have coincided with a decline in ad spend in traditional channels such as cinema, print and radio while digital advertising is increasingly dominating the industry. Currently gaming isn’t well represented on media plans and represents something of a blind spot for advertisers – especially those that are looking to unlock a new channel where they can reach the ‘unreachable’ younger audience.
3.Beat The Blockers
In October 2017, The Drum reported UK publishers suffered a £3bn annual revenue loss due to adblocking. 22% of internet users in the UK use ad blocking software and amongst 18-24 year olds that number rises to a whopping 43%.
Crucially though, ad blocking doesn’t come into play with the ads that Bidstack place natively in-game. This is because ads cannot be removed from the gaming environment without direct intervention from either ourselves or the game publisher.
Whilst gamers are immersed in play they aren’t distracted, split screening or scrolling through news feeds at breakneck speeds. These factors combine to make gaming a highly effective ad channel as was evidenced in a recent scientific study of our ads by Lumen Research, which found that our ads outperformed traditional online display advertising.
Advertisers taking their first steps into the world of gaming understandably have concerns around brand safety, ad fraud and viewability. That’s why we have a comprehensive brand safety and creative approval policy in place that ensures the creatives displayed in-game are suitable for the environment. In addition, placing brands in games, who you’d expect to see in the similar real world environments, will enhance the realism of gaming experience.
In a move to increase its brand safety credentials and further protect our inventory from ad fraud, Bidstack recently acquired the ad fraud prevention platform Pubguard whose proprietary technology reviews creatives that are served in-game. This prevents malicious, offensive and inappropriate content from ever appearing in the games we work with.
In addition to this advertisers have access to our AdConsole where they can keep track of spend, reach and progress, all on demand. They also have full control over exactly when and where their ads are served.
5.The Secondary Audience
Gamers alone represent an enormous audience but when the secondary viewing audience is added it represents one of the biggest audiences in entertainment. In-game ads are not only viewed by the gamers themselves but by a secondary audience watching live streams or videos of their favourite gamers in action on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.
In 2018, 50bn hours of gaming content were viewed on YouTube and 9.3bn hours were viewed on Twitch. Combined they had more than 230m subscribers. This secondary audience makes the opportunities on offer through native in-game advertising even more attractive for advertisers who benefit from this additional layer of reach.
In-game advertising is perfectly poised to help brands to unlock a new channel, connect with a huge, diverse and hard to reach audience in a non-intrusive and brand safe way!
If you would like to learn more about how native in-game advertising can help your brand please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.