According to a new report from in-play advertising platform Admix, 93% of media buyers intend to run in-game advertising by 2025.
According to the survey, which was conducted of over 400 participants with responsibility for media buying in their company across the UK and the US, advertisers in both the UK (93%) and the US (94%) have seen an increase in video game advertising spend over the past 12 months. 81% of the media buyers plan to maintain or increase their own advertising spend over the next 12 months (41% increase, 40% maintain).
A fifth of media buyers cited a lack of understanding as the biggest reason they were not investing in in-game advertising, while 31% still consider it a grey area – reiterating the need for more education on in-game infrastructure and ad formats. In fact, a third of media buyers said their knowledge of video game advertising was moderate.
Admix says that media buyers “drastically underestimate” the scale of gaming audiences. A third believe there are between 100 and 500 million active daily gamers. 27% think there are more – between 500 million and 1 billion. In reality, there are 3 billion; 2.8 billion of whom play on mobile devices.
“Just as the desktop web was the dominant media channel for the 2000s, surpassed by social media in the 2010s, video gaming is now on the cusp of claiming the crown of key media channel,” said Admix co-founder and CEO Samuel Huber. “However, although buyers are broadly aware of this, the survey reveals that they appear to underestimate how close we are to it becoming a reality.”
The report found that almost a quarter (23%) of US buyers are not spending media budget on in-game advertising because of resistance from clients, compared to just 9% in the UK, suggesting US brands are more wary of the in-game environment. Over and above, 52% of UK media buyers’ clients are asking for in-game activity in the next 12 months compared to a third (33%) in the US. UK advertisers were also more likely to have been recommended to pursue in-game by market research (45% vs 36%).
UK media buyers are more positive about video gaming ad inventory across the board, the report says. 39% of UK respondents said casual mobile games have premium inventory compared to 26% in the US. They’re also twice as likely to consider console inventory premium (42% vs 19% for Xbox and 43% vs 21% for Playstation).