Making Science

Mobile gamers are more impacted by in-app ads than non-gamers

Tyrone Stewart


Mobile gamers tend to be interested in and impacted by mobile advertising, compared to non-mobile gamers, with the majority feeling that in-game ads on mobile match up to what they see on TV.

According to a study by social game developer Zynga, 71 per cent of the developer’s mobile gamers feel that in-game ads on mobile are just as or more interesting than the ads they have seen on TV and, as a result, are more engaged than their non-mobile gaming counterparts.

The survey of 1,218 people in the US – including 380 Zynga mobile gamers (ZMGs), 571 non-Zynga mobile gamers (NZMGs), and 267 non-mobile gamers (NMGs) – also found that ZMGs crave escapes across multiple entertainment experiences and, on average, pay for more subscriptions to entertainment streaming services than NMGs.

67 per cent of ZMGs appreciate receiving in-game rewards in exchange for watching an ad, with 32 per cent preferring playable ads compared to the 26 per cent who are more interested in non-interactive video ads. Nonetheless, 41 per cent of ZMGs look for more information about a product they’ve seen advertised in a game, and almost a third ended up purchasing a product.

“Compared to non-mobile gamers, our players were found to be more interested in seeing brand ads and were more likely to take action by researching and purchasing a variety of products and services,” said Gabrielle Heyman, Head of Global Advertising Sales at Zynga. “The secret recipe for brands to unlock this power is to focus on native ads. Our players are willing to trade attention for rewards, preferring both rewarded video and our custom Playables over other ad experiences.”

Looking at mobile gamers more generally, Zynga found that 81 per cent of its gamers play games to escape reality, and 65 per cent do so to feel a sense of accomplishment. In what’s been a tough year, mobile gaming has also helped 58 per cent of Zynga’s gamers to connect with family and friends.

“It’s important to continue driving services that players find engaging and can help connect millions of people around the world,” said Scott Koenigsberg, Senior Vice President of Central Product Management at Zynga. “This study showcases the growth of mobile games and their increasing importance in the hearts and minds of consumers. Brands are following suit, utilizing our unique advertising platform to effectively convey their messages to consumers.”