Jul 14 2020
Basis Technologies

Level Up: Mobile Advertising on Mobile Gaming Apps


As the usage rate of mobile devices climbs annually, marketers may be wondering how they can best leverage mobile apps to boost their user acquisition via mobile advertising. While evaluating which channels will best capture an intended audience, I urge you to consider mobile gaming apps for your next mobile advertising campaign!

Why Advertise on Mobile Gaming Apps?

Advertisers looking to cater their mobile advertising to a large target audience will find that mobile gaming apps have a very wide reach. Globally, the number of downloads of gaming apps lead in the app download category, well ahead of downloads of social networking, tools, and photo and video apps.

The diversity of mobile games available to download, such as puzzles, shooter, and/or action games, contributes to a diverse audience of mobile gamers. Research from Jun Group found that the majority of U.S. mobile gamers identify as women, and 45% of U.S. mobile gamers are 18-34 years old. Advertisers should consider their target demographic when selecting a mobile game app type to target ads. The same study found that female gamers prefer puzzle/strategy games, while male gamers prefer sports/racing and adventure/story games.

How to Advertise on Mobile Gaming Apps

Advertisers looking to promote their own mobile gaming app would do well to consider mobile advertising on other similar mobile gaming apps, as users who enjoy one type of mobile gaming app are more likely to install another similar game type. Some networks can leverage behavioral data in their targeting that will allow advertisers to target ads based on mobile device ID, operating system, or device type, but reliable, cost-effective third-party data tools are still in development, as of October 2019.

While mobile gaming apps are generally brand-safe due to the lack of user-generated content, rising ad fraud rates still plague the platform. In a July 2019 study by Appsflyer, most gaming apps measured below-average mobile app install fraud rates, relative to other categories like finance, social, and shopping. As new ad formats, networks, and exchanges are introduced, though, fraud rates will continue to rise.

Displaying mobile advertising on mobile game apps presents new challenges and ad formats for advertisers to try. Because mobile ads can disrupt gameplay and affect gamer satisfaction with the app, there are also unique challenges posed for gaming app developers who include ads in their product. Most global game developers offer a mix of rewarded video, interstitial, and banner ads in their mobile gaming apps.

The majority of U.S. millennials and high-income gamers prefer opt-in rewarded mobile ads, which are ads that can be launched within a game, in exchange for a benefit to the gamer, like a bonus life for example. While this format comes with a higher eCPM, it also delivers results. Video completion and install rates of rewarded video ads are high and the advertiser only pays if the viewer completes the action.

Advertisers looking for an engaging mobile advertising opportunity should also consider a playable ad, which is essentially an interactive, miniature version of the advertised game, or a branded mini-game.

Mobile gaming apps have enjoyed rapid growth in mobile advertising, due to their high number of downloads, wide audience reach, and contextual targeting capabilities. For gaming app publishers and advertisers—advertising on mobile gaming apps is a win-win!

Learn more about Mobile Advertising with Centro.

Wurmser, Yoram. “Mobile In-Game Advertising.” EMarketer, 17 Oct. 2019, emarketer.com/content/mobile-in-game-advertising.