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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Guevara

The state of play and the shift to in-game advertising

I just read an article that stated 93% of media buyers intend to run in-game advertising by 2025 and this just shows how the industry is coming around to this new advertising channel. Personally, I believe there are two reasons for this:

1. The misconceptions around who the gaming audience is are being cleared up

2. Ad space is running out and brands are looking to new places to reach consumers.

Regardless of the reason, the past has shown us that those who are first to embrace new ad technologies are the one who get the head start. So, is it time for your brand to grab the proverbial "controller" and get into the game?

In Canada it’s not hard to understand why many advertisers are getting enthusiastic about in-game advertising, as this marketing channel is home to 23 million active gamers, 20.4 of which are gaming on mobile and tablet devices. In short, advertising in-game across all platforms puts you In front of 61% of the Canadian population across all ages and backgrounds.

As far as the education aspect goes, it seems that reports and figures are not really driving the message home. All this talk about billions of dollars in growth in gaming doesn’t mean much unless you put it into perspective: The reality is that gaming is about to become the main source for media not just in Canada, but globally and if you’re a brand that wants to connect and engage with users – this is the place to be. From the hard-to-reach children’s audience, GenZ, millennials and boomers; you can reach this audience like no other marketing channel can.

The shift into gaming was obvious. A long time ago desktop was the main form of how consumers spent their time, it then became social media, and now slowly but surely gaming is taking over. Theres a reason why not so long ago Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the competition he was afraid of was gaming.

Today, 95% of Canadians adults own and use a mobile device for video game play, and 60% of Canada (almost the entire gaming population) plays across multiple devices. The truth is that the time spent gaming by users is comparable to time spent on social media, yet it provides more advertising opportunities than web browsing, and TV.

Finally, theres the elephant in the room that we need to talk about: No one likes bad or irrelevant advertising. The world of cookies, and other trackers helped in solving the dilemma of how to provide ads to consumers that they want to see. But those days are slowly going and gone. Sure, the answer is going back to contextual advertising, but it’s also looking at new places where brands can advertise.

Gaming helps solve the new dilemma: ad space is running out.

The rise of ad-free subscription-based platforms and increasing restrictions around consumer privacy have more and more brands looking at in-game advertising as the place to be.

The bands leveraging in-game advertising are tapping into the Metaverse played by millions of kids, adults and even seniors, across Canada. This new ad-tech is enabling brands to be present on dynamic in-game real estate opportunities across popular titles with high monthly and daily active users. In-game ads also solve issues around CTR, and CPV by using opt-in ad tactics like rewarded video. But not all gamers are participants; for brands looking to reach spectator gamers – in-game advertising helps solve ad-block and ad-fraud issues suffered by pre, mid, and end roll advertising by using in-stream advertising and endorsements.

If you’ve already overcome the outdated stereotypes around who gamers are and can clearly see the writing on the wall around where consumers are spending their time than the time to carve out your space in the world of in-game advertising is now.

At AGN we know that no two gamers are the same, which is why we’re the only gaming network in Canada that is winning in the highly competitive attention economy by being present across all gaming channels that gamers of all ages and backgrounds prefer.

I invite you to learn more about AGN and how we can connect you with 23 million gamers in Canada.


Carlos Guevara is the Marketing Manager at APEX Mobile Media, the previous host of the podcast "In Search of Good Data" and has helped various organizations in the private and non-profit sector to become more customer-centric with the use of enriched data.

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