In-Game Advertising

Exploring the In-Game Advertising Market 

April 3, 2024
5 Minutes

From simple static billboards to dynamic, interactive experiences, the in-game advertising market has rapidly evolved, blurring the lines between entertainment and marketing. 

In-game advertising offers unparalleled opportunities for companies to connect with diverse audiences across mobile, console, and PC platforms.

Let's dive into how big the game advertising market is and why it's a game-changer for advertisers looking to unlock the next advertiser frontier and the future of audience engagement.

What is In-Game Advertising?

In-game advertising refers to placing advertisements within games that integrate promotional content, such as product placements, branded experiences, or traditional ad formats like banners and videos. Think of it like an out-of-home billboard but within your gaming screen. 

Overview: The In-Game Advertising Market Size

Worldwide, the in-game advertising market is growing in popularity as more people turn to gaming as a form of socialising and entertainment. Countries like the United States are leading the way in implementing creative and targeted advertising strategies within video games. 

In 2023, the video game industry generated $406bn in revenue worldwide, 18% more than the music and movie industries combined ($338bn). 

In three to four years, it’s expected that video game revenues are likely to close in on global TV revenues ($690bn).

This offers brands a unique opportunity to engage directly with their audience through creative game advertising. 

The gaming market in 2024 is set to be dynamic and evolving, with a blend of established trends and emerging technologies that will redefine the gaming experience for players.

The In-Game Advertising Market

In-game advertising technologies and strategies will likely change as the gaming industry evolves.

This paves the way for a future of increasingly innovative and effective advertising solutions, further fueling the diversity and opportunities in-game advertising activities present brands and advertisers.

Here are some interesting data from Statista.

  • The average revenue per user (ARPU) is estimated at US$42.44.
Source: Statista Market Insights
  • The market for in-game advertising is expected to continue growing. It’s projected to achieve US$109.60bn in 2024, with an annual growth rate of 9.10% from 2024 to 2029.
Source: Statista Market Insights

In-Game Advertising Market Growth Factors

Exciting advancements are boosting the growth of in-game advertising, making it a great space for brands. Let's learn more about these growth factors.

  • Effective working media: In-game advertising can offer lower costs and higher marketing impact than traditional advertising methods.
  • Innovative platforms and tools: These developments have transformed game advertising by streamlining the process from media buying to creative development. These advanced tools facilitate ad management, measure performance, and ensure brand safety and ad inventory quality. 
  • Increasing global internet penetration: As internet connectivity expands worldwide, the potential audience for in-game advertising is growing, driving significant market growth. This increase offers an opportunity to leverage high bandwidth for high-quality, visually appealing ads within games.
  • More games, more players: Simple math -  More games plus more players equals more opportunities for meaningful brand interactions.
  • Fresh ways to monetize: Game developers are getting creative with making money from their games. They're trying out new kinds of ads and teaming up with ad networks to make their game worlds full of exciting, non-intrusive ads. This means players get cool content, and brands have more opportunities to engage their audience. 
  • Navigating targeting challenges: With changes in how advertisers can target audiences (think less cookie tracking and more context-based methods), the game of ad personalization is changing. Advertisers are finding new ways to get their ads in front of the right people, primarily through contextual ad placements.
  • The rise of contextual targeting: This strategy is perfect for gaming because it matches ads with the game's content, making ads feel like part of the adventure and increasing the chances for active engagement. This approach also offers brands a strategic advantage in a cookie-less future, utilising contextual relevance within immersive game environments instead of depending on third-party cookies.

Weighing the Investment in In-Game Advertising

The merging of advertising budgets and the potential of in-game ads, means advertisers and brands have to do more with less.

This often results in advertisers prioritizing traditional digital advertising channels to capture audience attention while neglecting the link between ad spend and consumer interest.

Below is an example that illustrates exactly this:

In the U.S., gaming is the third most popular form of entertainment, with individuals dedicating about 11.8 hours weekly to it, closely following social media (12.1 hours) and TV (13.9 hours). 

Despite gaming's high level of audience engagement, advertisers allocate less than 5% of their budget to this medium, citing concerns over inventory quality, measurement, and brand safety.

Source: Emarketer

In 2023, $80 billion was invested in gaming ads, considerably less than the $207 billion for social media and $150 billion for TV. 

This highlights a missed opportunity in gaming, where ads can captivate an audience's full attention, unlike the divided attention often seen with TV and social media. 

Here's how gaming dominates other media channels by significantly outperforming them in active attention seconds. Gaming captures ten times more active attention than general web content and twice as much as social media.

Source: Amplified Intelligence

The Value Proposition: Benefits of In-Game Advertising

Why It's Worth It

“Video games command a 72% active engagement rate with Gen Z consumers compared to just 30% for movies and series. That means players don’t just see your product or service, they truly engage with it, they utilize it in-game, and it lives on in perpetuity.” 

-Ryan Dow, head of gaming & esports at SportFive

Ads in games do more than showcase your brand. They allow gaming audiences to interact with your brand in a relaxed setting, which means they are more likely to consume the message of your ad. 

Potential for targeted marketing: In-game advertising uses contextual targeting, a strategy perfect for gaming's context-rich environment. This method ensures ads are relevant and hit the mark with specific audiences, making the most of the gaming channel's unique setup.

Immersive brand experiences: Unlike other types of online ads. 61% of gamers prefer ads related to the game they're playing. This shows how important it is for ads to match the game's context and highlights how game ads are an effective mechanism for building relationships with gaming audiences.

High impact: Tailored campaigns and precision targeting mean ads don't just reach people; they engage them, boosting the effectiveness of ad spend. 

The stats speak volumes: 55% of gamers are more inclined to buy from brands advertised in games, 56% discover new brands this way, and gamers over 18% show greater brand affinity than non-gamers.

Source: GWI

The Potential of In-Game Advertising

As we look to the future, several trends and innovations are set to shape the landscape:

  • AR and VR integration: By integrating AR and VR technologies into gaming, advertisers can create even more immersive marketing experiences that blend the boundaries between virtual and physical reality.
  • Cross-platform experiences: With increased connectivity between devices and platforms, advertisers have more opportunities to engage with users.
  • Interactive and personalized ads: The future will see a rise in ads that are not only interactive but also highly personalized based on real-time data and player behavior.

Level Up With iion

In-game ads are changing the game for how brands connect with their audience, mixing fun, interaction, and cool new ideas in a way old-school ads just can't. 

immersiion is here to make diving into game advertising a breeze for brands by expanding brand-audience interactions in the gaming world. 

By uniting all gaming inventory on one platform, immersiion tackles game advertising challenges head-on.

Why game advertising? You'll tap into a channel reaching 3 billion engaged gamers—about 40% of the global population. 

Why immersion? 

  • Craft and tailor immersive in-game ads that sync perfectly with gameplay.
  • Personalize ads to target gamers by context, including genre, subgenre, location, time, and more for maximum relevance.
  • Ensure brand safety by knowing exactly where your ads are displayed.
  • Leverage real-time measurement, attention metrics, and brand lift studies to gain insights into your ad's impact.

Are you keen to see how your brand can be part of the gaming world and connect with billions of gamers? 

Discover how immersion can take your brand to the next level. 

Push ‘start’ today!

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