Are brands missing out on valuable eyeballs by not advertising in mobile games? That is the question Digital Turbine posed in new research revealed at the IAB’s NewFronts conference.

“Mobile games occupy a significant portion of time from consumers, but don’t really command a lot of budget,” Greg Wester, Digital Turbine’s Chief Marketing Officer for On-Device Business Unit, says in this video interview with Beet.TV.

Tracking Gamers’ Attention

Digital Turbine, which considers itself a mobile growth platform for the mobile ecosystem, presented two types of research at the event. The first tracked 20,000 people’s behavior for a full year to understand if ads bought on YouTube and social media are actually reaching people who spend significant time in mobile games.

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“Amongst four or five different industries that we looked at, the portion of people that are actually spending more time in mobile games than in YouTube or Instagram is substantive,” Wester reveals.

“Advertisers aren’t reaching them and the number of ads they see when reached pales in comparison to the other segment that spends a lot of time there.”

Shifting Eyeballs and Media Mix

While Digital Turbine does not have a media mix study showing the value of adding mobile games to the mix, Wester believes the research clearly shows that by not having a direct touchpoint with these gamers, brands’ digital video ads are not adequately reaching a customer that is equally as valuable as those on YouTube.

“Holy shift, people have shifted their eyeballs and brands need to recognize that eyeballs have shifted there,” Wester quips.

He urges brands to ask: “Do I have my shift together?”

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In-Game Advertising Done Right

Wester suggests brands need to look at the “popcorn trail” presented and recognize they likely have a gap in their media mix.

More importantly, he advises taking the time to trial in-game advertising “done correctly” with a bite-sized study to see if it adds incremental lift, then scaling from there.

Digital Turbine focuses on in-app advertising, particularly in games, because unlike social media or the web where ads can be interruptive, in-game ads only play during a break in the content when the user has either succeeded or failed. “That sets up a psychological moment, which actually makes the consumer more available to advertising,” Wester explains.

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