The social gaming industry is booming. GO-Gulf, an international web agency out of Dubai, predicts that by 2014, 50% of social network users and 34% of total internet users will play social games. On a global level, DFC Intelligence states that ad spending in social games is expected to grow from $3.1 billion in 2010 to $7.2 billion in 2016.
Marketers are responding to the increasing number of social gaming users around the world. According to MediaBrix, half of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 44 plays social games daily.
“Video games have reached beyond adolescent males into a mainstream entertainment medium that touches every segment of the population,” said Michael Goodman, analyst at DFC and lead researcher of the report. “Despite this, advertisers continue to underutilize video games as an advertising vehicle. This is slowly changing as more games go online.”
When it comes to online video marketing, advertisers have found that users are more likely to watch and interact with branded content if it’s incentivized. Jun Group, an opt-in incentivized video ad platform, released a study in which they found that users are twice as likely to interact with a brand upon watching an incentivized video ad as they are after watching a pre-roll.
Incentivized video ads are typically presented in games and offer rewards for viewing completion. Jun Group found a 98% completion rate for incentivized ads, vs. 67% for pre-roll, along with 3x higher sharing rate.
Here at ViralGains, we find that placing incentivized video ads in social games drives greater engagement, awareness and purchase intent.
“Social game [value-exchange] inventory is a truly one-of-a-kind ad placement. We’re essentially capturing consumers’ attention while they choose to embrace a brand’s message; as a result we are measuring substantially above-average KPI performance on metrics, from social sharing to actual purchase behaviors,”
said Dan Levin, COO of ViralGains. “Nevertheless, it is not suited for every advertiser, and brands should have a clear understanding of a game’s audience – both demographic & psychographic – before using it as a syndication channel.”