LOS ANGELES – As video game publishers seek more ways to monetize their content, in-game advertising is seen as a source for growth. Because playing video games demands a person’s undivided attention, they can provide brands with a way to raise awareness and recall.

Video games are “one of the most scaleable, cinematic, high-quality content channels you can possibly engage with,” Cary Tilds, chief strategy and operations officer at video game ad platform Frameplay, said in this interview with consultant Zach Rodgers at Beet.TV’s Beet Retreat.

Source: Entertainment Software Association

Gamers represent a diverse group of consumers, despite the misperception that they’re mostly teenage boys playing “Fortnite.” Tilds cited data that indicate the gaming audience consists of older consumers with real purchasing power.

Amid the growth of the gaming ad market, including the sponsorship of esports events, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) published a framework for media buyers and sellers. One of the goals is to better define different kinds of game-related ads, whether they appear within the context of a game or next to live-streamed video of gamer sessions on platforms such as Twitch.

“We need to start treating in-game and in-game measurement in these discrete fashions,” Tilds said.

Advertisers Become More Gamer-Centric

Advertisers are working to understand the gamer audience, and what kinds of messaging and ad creative are best suited for those consumers. Gamers tend to react negatively to advertising that is too intrusive to the gaming experience.

“We’re at a better moment because the industry is paying attention to what the gamer wants, and what the gamer needs,” Tilds said. “If we put the gamer first in the experience, you start to understand that when you’re in an environment and you’re actively playing a game, the creative has to look beautiful within that experience.”

The streamed content in video games are becoming a bigger part of the attention economy, alongside other newer platforms like connected TV (CTV).

“People are streaming content, and they’re actively engaging with that content,” Tilds said. “In a way, it’s similar to CTV, except for it’s always lean-forward. You can’t multi-task when you’re actively playing a game.”

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