One of the issues with some in-game ad forecasts has been that they lump spending across PCs, consoles and online games, which, according to some, skews the growth and makes the market look rosier than it is. New data from eMarketer (via Adweek) seems to rectify that by separating the stats—and it’s clear that web-based in-game ads (banners, video ads and even performance ads in social games) are where most of the growth will come from.
Web-based in-game ad spending is pegged to hit $286 million this year; right now that’s not much higher than console- and PC-based spending, which eMarketer says will reach $117 million. But over the next five years, spending on web-based in-game ads will grow by nearly 79 percent to top $511 million. In contrast, console- and PC-based ads (like the ones President Obama used to target voters during his campaign), will grow by just 45 percent to reach $170 million.
The makes sense for a number of reasons, the most dominant being the much wider audience for online games. People can access these games on social networks, lifestyle sites and increasingly mobile phones (one iPhone game developer says it’s clearing $10,000 per month in ad revenues), giving advertisers larger available pool of impressions.
There are also fewer “gatekeepers”: Buying an ad across multiple mobile phone games, for example, can be as simple as using an ad network like Greystripe; a brand can buy ads in games on the gaming section of myLifetime.com as part of a bigger overall Lifetime deal, and the same goes for ads in social games. A console- or PC-based dynamic in-game ad buy requires the brand to work with a third-party like DoubleFusion or Microsoft’s Massive first, to get the content onto one of the console networks; there’s also the extra time and effort it takes to craft creative that meshes with the game’s environment.
By Tameka Kee