Research Dive also predicts that the adoption of smartphones and the increasing popularity of mobile gaming will be a driving force in the growth of in-game advertising to 2028, although its projection indicates that PC and laptop gaming will still hold the dominant share of the in-game ad market even in 6 years’ time, surpassing $7.9 billion by 2028. However, the smartphone/tablet sub-segment will display the fastest growth, surpassing $6 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 12.2%.
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And overestimate the opportunity in console gaming
Despite the well-publicised explosion in gaming activity brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, an October 2021 report from Admix shows that there is still a gap between perceptions and reality when it comes to how advertisers approach the games market. A survey of more than 400 UK and US media buyers, conducted by Atomik Research, found that a third of respondents believe there are between 100 and 500 million active daily gamers, while 27% believed there are between 500 million and one billion. In reality, there are three billion, of whom 2.8 billion game on a mobile device.
In a way, it is unsurprising that media buyers underestimate the number of gamers worldwide, given that gamers themselves often do. “Perceptions persist that only certain types of video games on certain types of platform “count” as video gaming,” notes the report author, citing a statistic from Savanta that only 11% of people who play exclusively on smartphones or tablets think of themselves as gamers, compared with nearly half of those who play on consoles or PCs.
But as we have seen, the power of the mobile gaming market is very real – and yet 60% of advertisers surveyed felt that console games offered more “premium” video game inventory when compared with mobile. This may be an image issue that vendors of mobile gaming inventory need to tackle, but the perception gap will also detrimentally affect advertisers themselves if they are missing out on the opportunity to target mobile gamers as a result.