Mobile In-Game Advertising Grows -- But Expect Some Changes

The amount of mobile advertising on gaming apps continues to climb -- for now.

But changes are coming thick and fast in measuring mobile users, in part due to Apple’s decision earlier this year to leave its identity attribution metric -- IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) -- in the past.

In the short term, this has given a boost to Android, the dominant platform for mobile games, in terms of ad revenues and other metrics.

But here’s the troubling stuff. Mobile game installs on Android have been virtually flat for 2021, according to Singular data. In the last three months of 2021, installs were at 80 out of a hundred.

The good news, according to a Singular report, is that top gaming companies can still pull on average 28 or more advertising partners a month -- with a low of 10 per month for some gaming companies, and a high of 100.

Changes in mobile identity attribution hitting the skids haven’t hurt revenues so far.

First, the big picture: Total mobile advertising, according to eMarketer, is projected to be $117.4 billion in 2021 (up 22% versus the year before), with a rise of another 17% next year to $137.13 billion. The trend lines continue to soar.



Of that, advertising revenues for mobile games will be $46.7 billion this year, going to $61.7 billion in 2022 and $79.9 billion the year after, according to some estimates. So that seems good news, no?

Not exactly.  EMarketer still worries that more changes in identity attribution are expected to continue to “severely affect gaming.” Also, there is this other potential nagging issue: game time usage, with, according to eMarketer, mobile app gaming time projected to virtually flatline to 26 minutes a day in 2020; 26 minutes for 2021; and 26 minutes for 2022.

Can mobile game advertisers just wait around questioning the next potential shot? And, more importantly, where’s that next attribution blind spot?

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