Hardcore Mobile Gamers More Likely To 'Like' Ads

While most mobile gamers are not advertising enthusiasts, those that self-identify as “hardcore” are the most likely to “like” ads. 

That counterintuitive finding comes courtesy of a new report from App Annie and IDC, which surveyed nearly 3,500 U.S. mobile gamers in the third quarter of 2019.

Remarkably, roughly 20% of hardcore mobile gamers reported liking ads, which was considerably more than the 6% of all mobile gamers who expressed a similar fondness.

What’s more, nearly 25% of hardcore mobile gamers reported liking video ads, compared to about 10% of all mobile gamers.

The same was also true for “rewarded video ads,” which, as the name implies, reward gamers with something of value in exchange for watching them. About 40% of hardcore mobile gamers expressed affection for these ads, compared to less than 25% of all mobile gamers.

To a lesser degree, hardcore gamers were also more likely to like “playable ads,” which let users try out the core functionality of an app or game. Nearly 30% of this group said these spots were cool in their book, compared to roughly 20% of all mobile gamers.



Meanwhile, as mobile ad spend continues to climb, app developers are increasingly installing SDKs to support ad monetization, App Annie and IDC found.

Among top games by global downloads and monthly active users, the share of apps with an ad SDK installed increased from 83% in January 2019 to 89% in December 2019.

Similarly, the researchers found that ad marketers employed ever-more-sophisticated ad strategies throughout 2019.

Game publishers saw the greatest increase in the number of ad platforms they use, although the change was clear across genres, they found.

There was a meaningful difference between apps and games, with games using 15% and 5% more ad platforms on average across iOS and Google Play, respectively.

Among other benefits of using more ad platforms, advertisers can increase coverage, search for better prices, and test more audiences over time.

Also of note, the number of game downloads and monthly active users (MAU) were not negatively impacted by incorporating ad SDKs, App Annie and IDC determined.

Rather, comparing pre- and post-periods, the researchers found that games actually increased in downloads and MAUs after incorporating ad SDKs.
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