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Mobile Games Are Shaking Up The Advertising Business

Mobile Games Are Shaking Up The Advertising Business

Mobile Games Are Shaking Up The Advertising Business

Mobile Games in the past have never received much respect from the advertising world. Advertisers generally believed that associating a brand with a game only made sense for brands that gamers stereotypically love, like Pepsi or Walkers Crisp etc.

New research from Mintel reveals that mobile devices are the most popular platform for gaming, with half of Americans (47 percent) playing video games on mobile devices, compared to dedicated gaming consoles (36 percent). What is more, smartphones (39 percent) are the most often played mobile device compared to tablets (29 percent) and handheld gaming systems (11 percent). High usage of mobile devices for gaming is in line with Mintel research that shows the majority of Americans who play video games play on at least two different devices (76 percent).

But today’s mobile gamer is not that stereotype — it’s everyone. Four out of five smartphone owners have played a game on their device, and 47% play games on a daily basis. “Gamers” include boys, girls, kids, parents, adults, and people from all different backgrounds. Approximately 65% of our total online time is spent on smartphones and tablets according to eMarketer, and 32% of our total mobile time is spent in games, versus in other apps or in mobile browsers.

Mobile games drive a majority of the audience and advertising dollars, and yet the ad industry refuses to give them credit. If you check out mobile ad networks and exchanges, you still see them trumpet traditional “premium” publishers, such as news sites or lifestyle publications. They play down the fact that it’s actually games driving the results. Those days are over.

When digital advertising first became popular in the early 1990’s, the term “premium” applied to publishers that were highly visible; reached a large and relevant audience; delivered respectable, on-brand content; and presented a clutter-free layout. This definition may be appropriate for desktop display advertising, but does not necessarily apply on mobile. In fact, many of the top-tier publishers that meet these requirements on the Web may not meet them on mobile, even if they are mobile-optimized. And mobile apps often represent a better opportunity for advertisers than traditional display ads.

That’s why the traditional definition of premium is no longer valid. When we take into account improved access to programmatic exchanges and cross-device user data, as well as the reach, intent, and performance of mobile apps (specifically games), this category is definitely valuable enough to warrant the designation of “premium.” Mobile devices have redefined how brands engage with consumers and it’s time to redefine “premium” accordingly.

By Shams Moghul

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