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Marketing 101: How to Leverage Mobile In-game Advertising

When you think of games, you may think of how people need dedicated computers and consoles in order to play them. However, the mobile gaming market is gaining some major real estate. 

In fact, a study by Deloitte found that in 2019, 47% of U.S. individuals spent time playing games on their mobile device. Coming in second place were console players at 27%, while 22% of gamers used either their desktop or laptop. 

According to eMarketer, there is also a trend regarding the amount of time spent on mobile applications. In 2017, the average number of minutes spent per day on mobile gaming was 20 minutes. Meanwhile, 2018 reached 21 minutes. In 2019, it averaged out to 22 minutes. 

As for Android and iOS users, the games category ranked first place in 2019 with 8.21 billion and 2.25 billion downloads respectively. 

Given this data, it is a no-brainer that businesses and marketers should consider turning to mobile in-game advertising. The question now is how to do it and how to do it effectively with the highest return on investment (ROI).

Mobile in-game advertising and free-to-play games

For free-to-play games, mobile advertising can be a great source for untapped revenue. Since these games are free, interested smartphone users can easily download them and start playing right away. This is because the barrier to entry is low. 

However, a free-to-play game does not necessarily mean that its players are interested in a bombardment of advertisements. In fact, according to a study conducted by deltaDNA, the majority of mobile game publishers, at 32.3%, approach in-game advertisements by having players only see one advertisement or less every session. 

Closely following this, at 22.6%, is the strategy to push advertisements to players during their first session. It should also be noted, however, that 20.7% of publishers are not opposed to letting players view five or more advertisements per gaming session. 

Mobile in-game advertising and rewarded videos

When it comes to where and when mobile in-game advertising takes place, there are a variety of options that depend on the games themselves. For instance, if a game requires “energy” from player characters, then a way of recharging that energy can be through in-game advertisements. After players watch a video, they can be rewarded with in-game prizes. 

According to research by Walnut Unlimited, 27% of mobile game developers use these rewarded videos along with banner ads as an advertising format. The second most popular format pertains to a mix of rewarded videos and interstitials at 16%. Following behind are solely rewarded video advertisements at 13%. 

Businesses and marketers should also take into consideration how disruptive certain advertisements can be to the gaming experience. While rewarded videos can be used as an in-game mechanic, tailoring them to the player experience can help improve the rate of retention. 

Mobile in-game advertising and the target audience

Of course, businesses should also ensure that they are targeting the right audience when conducting mobile in-game advertising. Working with either a developer or a publisher whose game aligns with one’s business goals and industry can be a step in the right direction. 

This is due to players being able to relate to the advertisements with which they are interacting. The curation of advertisements can also help in terms of personalizing the in-game experience. Think about one of your favourite mobile games. If you suddenly get an advertisement that does not go with your interests, then the likelihood of you clicking on it would decrease. 

That’s why finding your audience is key when it comes to effective mobile in-game advertising. With the help of the Find Your Audience team, you can start taking your advertising strategies to the next level. 

You can reach our team of professionals and industry experts by calling 647-479-0688. Alternatively, you can also email us at

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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