Mobile In-Game Advertising

More Game Developers Turn to Advertising

Executive Summary

With gaming shifting to mobile, developers are looking to monetize their games through advertising, and advertisers are realizing that mobile games attract players from nearly all demographics.

How big is the market for mobile in-game advertising?

We estimate that the US market for in-game advertising on all devices will exceed $3 billion this year, with mobile comprising the majority. Ad spend in all games grew 16% in 2019 and will continue to grow by double-digit rates next year, driven by better ad technology, more free-to-play mobile games and an influx of new advertisers attracted by the relatively brand-safe environment.

Who’s playing mobile games?

Although the stereotype of gamers is that they’re young males, the majority of mobile gamers are female. Females outnumber males by a wide margin in mobile strategy and puzzle games, while the opposite is true of mobile action, racing and shooter games. There is also age diversity, with gamers ages 21 to 35 accounting for 39% of the total and those ages 36 to 50 accounting for 33%. More than a fifth of gamers are 50 and older.

Which ad formats are most important?

Overall, rewarded video is the most prevalent format, but playable ads are growing rapidly. The rise of free-to-play games has also spurred renewed growth in banners.

What’s the best way to target in-game ads?

In contrast to other ad ecosystems, game publishers place more emphasis on contextual than behavioral data. As analysis of in-game and cross-game behavior increases, behavioral targeting is on the rise, but it is still less common and more contained to in-app behavior than advertising in other apps.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers in-game advertising trends, including formats, players, targeting and measurement.

KEY STAT: US gamers ages 14 and older spend nearly half of their time with digital games on mobile devices, according to February 2019 data from Deloitte.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Gaming Goes Mobile
  3. Game Publishers Look to Ads for New Revenues
  4. Advertising Formats
  1. Targeting and Measurement
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Brian Ames
Activision Blizzard Media
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Mohamed Ben Hib
General Manager, EMEA
Interviewed July 31, 2019
Ben Chen
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Developer Relations
Interviewed July 12, 2019
Simon Gosling
Interviewed August 1, 2019
Alice Guillaume
Marketing Director
Interviewed July 19, 2019
Samuel Huber
Founder, CEO
Interviewed August 2, 2019
Omer Kaplan
Co-Founder, CRO
Interviewed August 19, 2019
Chris Lam
Senior Director of Business Development
Interviewed August 13, 2019
Jeff Marshall
Interviewed July 19, 2019
Francesco Petruzelli
Co-Founder, Chief Technical Officer
Interviewed August 1, 2019
Anala Prabhu
Growth Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed August 16, 2019
Isaac Roseboom
Chief Product Officer
Interviewed July 24, 2019
Lexi Sydow
App Annie
Senior Markets Insights Manager
Interviewed August 29, 2019
Brian Sykora
Jun Group
Associate Director of Data Products
Interviewed August 13, 2019
Offer Yehudai
Interviewed August 16, 2019
Daniel Avital
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed August 28, 2019
Christian Perrins
Waste Creative
Strategy Director
Interviewed September 4, 2019
Christina Wootton
Vice President, Brand Partnerships
Interviewed September 4, 2019
Noam Yasour
Managing Director
Interviewed September 5, 2019

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Chris Keating
Research Director
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst

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