Gaming is a lucrative channel, where three billion active gamers will spend almost $176 billion on games in 2021, a figure which is set to surpass $200 billion in 2023. According to Admix, brands and advertisers have only begun to capitalize on what gaming has to offer as a media channel, particularly on mobile, which is now larger than PC and console gaming combined.
To understand what brands know about the video gaming market, their experience of in-game ads to date, and their plans for reaching a vast – and growing – gaming audience in the future, Admix commissioned research agency Atomik to conduct a survey of more than 400 respondents in the UK and US, with responsibility for media buying in their company.
– Games advertising growth – 81% of media buyers plan to either maintain or increase in-game advertising spend over the next 12 months, with 93% intending to run some form of in-game advertising by 2025.
– Key drivers for growth – The rapidly developing infrastructure behind in-game advertising is driving its growth – with increases in the availability of programmatic options, third-party verification for in-game advertising performance and an increase in the availability of in-game inventory cited by advertisers as the most common reason for the category’s growth.
– Barriers to adoption – A fifth of media buyers cited a lack of understanding as the biggest reason for not investing in in-game advertising, with 31% considering it a grey area.
– Premium inventory – 60% of respondents felt consoles offered more premium video game inventory than mobile. However, a third identified casual mobile games as being premium – narrowly higher than any other in-game environment.
– Gamer spend – Advertisers realise that video gaming is a huge market – 34% believe gamers’ average spend is between $100 and $500 billion. In fact, it’s estimated that gamers spent $165 billion in 2020 – more than half of that on mobile gaming.
– Gaming audiences – Media buyers drastically underestimate the scale and diversity of gaming audiences, with a perception of the typical gamer most closely matching the profile of a male console gamer. A third believe there are between 100 and 500 million active daily gamers, while 27% think there are between 500 million and 1 billion. In reality, there are 3 billion across the world – 2.8 billion of whom play on mobile – with an even gender split.
– Transatlantic differences – US brands seem to be more wary than their UK counterparts. 23% of US buyers aren’t spending on in-game advertising due to resistance from clients, compared to just 9% in the UK, while 52% of UK media buyer’s clients are asking for in-game activity in the next 12 months compared to 33% in the US.
Samuel Huber, CEO and Co-founder, Admix