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The video game industry has exploded since its beginnings in the 1980s and continues to see significant growth today. Marketers and advertisers are turning to this platform in increasing numbers to gain exposure for their brands in front of a captive audience.

Global in-app spend on video games grew by over 12% from 2018 to 2019, from $54.7 to $61.7 billion, according to Sensor Tower. This accounted for three quarters of all in-app spend last year.

With the rise in popularity of esports and gaming technologies such as augmented reality, the video game platform’s value has never been greater for marketers and advertisers. To add to the good news, game enthusiasts are a broad and highly engaged audience that make an ideal fit for many different brand messages.

Video games offer opportunities for marketers

We all know how important social media is for brand visibility, but mobile games have an even more devoted audience than social networks. In fact, 69% of gamers say they’d give up TV or social media before they’d let go of their games, according to a Tapjoy survey. Texting is the only activity that people spend more time doing on their phones.

The global coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated the popularity of video games, as people around the world shelter in place to help slow the spread of the virus. Nintendo’s recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons game saw the most successful launch ever on the Nintendo Swift platform, surpassing favorites like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Fifa 20 in the U.K. and selling nearly 2 million copies in three days in Japan.

There’s no doubt that gaming is solidifying itself in mainstream culture. In the 2019 Tapjoy survey, 60% of respondents identified as gamers, compared to 44% in 2017. As this shift continues in society, game creators will increasingly seek opportunities to engage with brands and build solid fan bases, from adults to children and rural to urban in various income brackets.

How video game advertising works

Advertisers can currently buy inventory in video games through app marketing or programmatic platforms. If a company has the production ability and/or the budget, video ads as opposed to static ads are an excellent option due to the interactive nature of gaming and shifting consumer preferences toward video as a medium of choice.

“Brands have the opportunity to create rich digital video experiences to drive engagement with their target audience through the use of innovative technology including interactive video, AR, gamification, and playables,” said this article by The Drum.

Retargeting should also be part of brands’ video game advertising strategies. This tactic has proven to increase in-app purchase revenue by over 50% among paying mobile game app users. Retargeting in these apps allows advertisers to segment users by activity level as well as create engaging campaigns with multiple messages delivered through push notifications, emails, and other forms of communication. Similar to any marketing campaign, player experience should always be top of mind.

Strengthening your sales efforts

As you set forth into this somewhat uncharted sales territory, you can improve your performance with an omnichannel system built to be flexible. Every organization wants to increase revenue while decreasing the cost of sales. This winning formula is surprisingly easy to implement with Lineup’s Adpoint solution, which supports a cohesive sales strategy that will help you save time and earn more revenue. 


Lineup Systems is the world's leading provider of media sales technology, representing over 6,800 media brands globally, including Gannett/USA Today, New York Times and News Corp. Amplio is Lineup's multi- channel audience monetization solution that helps media companies realize their full reader revenue potential, using data-driven intelligence to engage, nurture and monetize readers with personalized offers that increase reader revenue and reduce churn. Adpoint is Lineup's end-to-end multi-channel media advertising sales solution that helps media companies streamline operations, make better use of data, increase efficiency and boost revenue.