eMarketer: In-Game Advertising Spending to Reach $650 million in 2012
Marketers take note: Driven by the growing video game industry, U.S. in-game advertising spending will increase from $295 million in 2007 to $650 million in 2012, according to a recent report from New York-based Internet marketing research firm eMarketer.
According to the report Video Game Advertising by eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna, most of the growth will come from advertising in Web-based games. Spending in this category, which includes sponsored online game sessions and display ads in or around the game space, will grow to $478 million in 2012 from $205 million in 2007 -- a 133 percent increase.
According to eMarketer, Web-based games range from browser-based casual games to larger, multiplayer online games.
Advertising in console- and PC-based games is expected to grow to $172 million in 2012, from $90 million in 2000. Why the slower growth? According to eMarketer, this segment will be held back by ongoing resistance to ads from hardcore gamers, relatively low levels of online console game play and challenges to measuring the response to ads in offline play.
Marketers' spending on advergames -- video games created as a marketing tool, usually with brand awareness as the central objective -- also will contribute to growth in game-related advertising.
According to eMarketer, the advergames sector will reach $350 million in 2012 from $207 million in 2007. As with console- and PC-based games, however, growth in spending on advergames will be limited as more marketers choose to customize established game franchises with their brands rather than to create new games.
In the report, Verna says, a good example of this type of game branding is a recent version of a Shockwave digital jigsaw puzzle that was customized with a Staples “Easy Button” feature. Shockwave is an online gaming site that became part of Viacom's MTV Networks in 2006. The site has more than 450 games, with new ones added each week.
According to a Feb. 7 article in BusinessWeek, the online video game features the Easy Button from Staples' TV spots that, when pressed, magically makes chores disappear. Women visitors were asked to submit photos showing why they needed an Easy Button. They then voted on the top five, and the winning photos were converted into digital jigsaw puzzles, a favorite among women gamers.