Advertisers are constantly on the hunt for brand-safe placements. Recently, Mobile games have come to the rescue to unlock a new source of premium video inventory. Top game developers are looking to balance their super engaging environments with deep brand messaging to create a sustainable business model. Finding the perfect harmony of brand integration should ideally enhance the gaming experience and lead to elevated levels of retention.
According to comScore, not only are Mobile Games the number one most downloaded app category in both iTunes and Google Play, but people spend an average of 87% of their mobile time in-app. In fact, 203 million Americans of all ages, genders, and income levels will play mobile games in 2018. According to Mary Meeker and Chartboost, the typical mobile game player is 35 years old, skews slightly female, and plays a casual game a few times a week. 37% of game players earn over $75,000 in annual income, an attractive demographic. The reality of who is playing mobile games is drastically different from the stereotype of the thirteen-year-old middle school teen hunkered down in his parent’s basement.
In a recent study, it was revealed that US adults feel more relaxed, focused, and engaged in Mobile Gaming apps as compared with social apps. All indications point to much more mobile gaming in the US and globally, but how do game developers think about creating brand-friendly environments that are both engaging and financially thriving?
Jun Group’s sister company HyprMX sat down with two top mobile gaming experts to find out how mobile game developers are monetizing their thriving communities and inserting brands into the experience.
Jesse Hurwitz, senior director at Jump Ramp Games, on collaborating with Hasbro and the Monopoly brand
“Monopoly has been great for us; anytime you get to partner with Hasbro and bring users into your app with a name brand like that, it brings a real [positive] feeling to your app. And what we’ve been doing over the past several years is building up to this moment [launching with a big brand integration]. With sweepstakes and mini games, users are highly engaged with these brands. We see 25 minutes of play through our app per user [when big brands are integrated].”
Ben Cohen, partner at Umbrella Games, on integrating different types of placements
“We work across all ad types. We don’t discriminate against any of them. Interstitial is still a focus because of the genre of title [we produce]. 2017 was the year of rewarded [a.k.a. value exchange] and next year it will be even better and better. We’re definitely heading there.”
2018 will be the year brands discover the power of mobile games. According to eMarketer, brand ads in mobile games only represent about 15% of total game revenue in 2017. However, with an over 50% CAGR (over the last three years) and the availability of premium video inventory, we can expect Fortune 500 brands to pump more dollars into mobile games.
Mobile gaming developers are working hard to ensure that any in-game placement adds to and does not detract from the overall experience. The beauty of mobile gaming apps is that brands can reach an engaged audience at scale and advertisers can select from any number of placements to create just the right mix for every campaign. Additionally, performance placements like value exchange (aka — rewarded video) provide an extra layer of security for advertisers. Players opt-in to engage with brands (translation: no wasted impressions) and improves the impact of the ad experience.