From board games to the arcade, to dedicated consoles in our homes, we’ve proven our love of games over the years. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that there are over 100 million mobile gamers in the world.
Millennial Media has dedicated their January Mobile Mix report to the art of the game, noting that it’s been the leading app category for more than a year.
The big news for marketers, ad-supported revenue on game apps grew 119% year-over-year. That’s a lot of quarters.
Smartphones were responsible for 74% of the mobile game ad impressions with 64% coming from an Android device. That was higher than the average for all categories combined.
The biggest advertisers in the game category were Travel and Entertainment. I’m both bolstered and saddened by the fact that the third highest advertiser (ranked by spend) was Education. On one hand, it’s a smart place to put ads if you want to reach kids. On the other hand, it’s like we’re saying if you have time to waste on games, maybe you need more education. Probably reading too much into that, but . . . .
The audience for game apps covers a wide range. Parents popped up a lot because they loaded games to keep their kids occupied. Business Travelers also scored high. I guess they play a lot of games while stuck in an airport or a boring hotel room. Other big gamers include Movie Buffs, Mobile Switchers and Insurance Shoppers. (I love these weird interest labels they uses to categorize folks.)
Thanks to pioneers such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, arcade games are still the most popular apps around. Word games come in a close second with 26%, followed by Puzzle, Board and Card games in that order.
When thinking about mobile game advertising, think beyond a banner at the bottom of the screen. You can sponsor a game so it carries your name and logo. You can create a virtual add-on. (Remember when you could use MiracleGro to grow the crops on Farmville?) Or you can use gamification to encourage customers to return to your own app or website.
Want to play a game? Of course you do.