Admix Report: Game developers are embracing in-play ad units

In-play ad firm, Admix, has released a partner survey, exploring how, the relatively new advertising technology, is transforming brand advertising under lockdown and beyond.

In-play ads differ because they display ad units within a game’s environment. From billboards in endless runners to large screens in stadiums, in-play’s non-intrusive nature is adding to the gaming experience rather than detracting from it.

The total surveyed partners combined have amassed billions of downloads across all games and more than three billion downloads across Android and iOS. The sample included 80 respondents including eight from Pocket Gamer’s list of Top 50 Global Studios.

Extra revenue

New privacy regulations, mainly spearheaded by Apple removing the IDFA, have created huge uncertainty with publishers. Without the IDFA, the lack of attribution measurements could result in a drop in CPMs, which publishers rely on to monetise.

As a result, publishers have been looking at alternative solutions to mitigate a potential revenue drop. In-play ads emerge as a top contender for additional revenue, providing brand spend less susceptible to be affected by the lack of IDFA.

Player first

Another quality of in-play ads and gamer-first advertising is an uninterrupted and undisturbed experience for gamers. When questioning respondents on how their players have reacted to in-play ads, a majority said that players are entirely unaffected would have been a positive result.

In reality, 93% of players felt no negative impact of in-play ads in their games, and more than a third of players loved having them in the game. This is a fundamental change as more games adopt this ad format globally.

Hypercasual games leading the trend

The nature of ad placements appearing in-game scenes goes across all genres, not least sports and racing games environments where ad placements are especially natural and non-intrusive.

But there is more. The fastest-growing developer segment globally is most interested in the in-play model. The format is a revenue-generating way for studios to increase their impressions per session in a player-friendly way, which integrates perfectly with hypercasual’s typical monetisation strategy.

Most exciting ad format of 2021

The report also looks forward to the future of in-play. Almost every developer questioned reported that they plan to use more in-play ads (94%) with no developers planning to use fewer.

The most powerful result for in-play, however, came from asking developers what format they’re most excited about in 2021. In-Play was the winner, with rewarded video coming in second, and interstitial video following with a distant third.

It’s fantastic to see such an epic shift in attention and positive sentiment to our new revenue stream. We have spent the last few years developing the technology to scale and support this new monetisation format, and now it’s really starting to pay off for our developers.

Sam Huber, CEO, Admix