Our latest research published in C21, looks at in-game advertising opportunities .
Kids landscapes continue to become more fragmented than ever before thanks to technological advances and increased access and ownership of technological devices. As a result of these developments and with kids invested in more ecosystems, gaming has become an important and ever-increasing hobby amongst kids across the world.
In the US, gaming is the top hobby for all boys ages 6 to 18, peaking with tweens and younger teens at 26%. In the UK and Spain, gaming is the second favourite hobby only to football. Amongst 16 – 18-year-old British boys, gaming is the number one hobby for a fifth (19%). In India, video gaming is the third favourite hobby among boys – behind only cricket and reading.
With many popular mobile games and apps operating with a freemium model, which can initially suit young gamers and parents as there is no need to part with any cash. However, apps that are free to download and subsequently offer in-experience (INXP) purchases are being increasingly criticised. Purchasing a new ‘skin’ on Fortnite, for example, something that can be considered a status symbol, can cost as much as US$20. Some apps have been accused of aggressively encouraging young people to buy items and new legislations have been put in place to significantly change the fundamental ways they can operate and advertise to kids.
Brands who would like to get themselves in front of children need to seek new and alternative ways, such as those mentioned above, and possibly leverage themselves on gaming platforms in the way they once did with the mediums like TV, before viewership was driven by advertising free VOD platforms such as Amazon, Disney and Netflix.
This coupled with changes in FTC legislation in regard to YouTube advertising could well mean that more and more brands are going to be looking to utilise gaming as a medium – especially as gaming companies become social platforms and metaverses in their own right. Seeking out alternative ways to reach this generation of kids and achieve a better return on investment could result in in-game advertising, advergaming, product placement or brands developing their own games and content.
Using innovative approaches could alleviate some of the pressures placed on advertising and marketing budgets as we enter the new decade. The absence of targeted ads will mean brands are either forced to face a reduction in revenue from media spend, or possibly allocate their budget elsewhere. Brands are going to have to seek out innovative ways to achieve a better return on investment. One of the ways they are doing this is through utilising content as advertising.
In 2019, Apple launched Apple Arcade – a monthly subscription bundle where users can get access to 100 ad-free games. This is likely to be popular among parents who can let their kids play without the fear of them making any additional purchases. In the same year, Snapchat launched its gaming platform – complete with live, multiplayer games that users can play with their friends. Called Snap Games, it is pitched as a “new way to hang out with your friends on Snapchat”.
In 2018, we predicted we would see an increase in government legislation designed to protect children from elements specifically around the “gambling” element of gaming to provide children with even more protection. However whilst there has been some progress, it has widely been led to gaming brands to self-police – but as gaming continues to diversify its audience and with this generation of kids wanting to not just passively consume content but actively control the action in a social environment – gaming is increasingly likely to be a key component of brands marketing mix.
This is just one area which our comprehensive Global Video Games report covers. There is no doubt that there are countless opportunities for entertainment companies with kids in this space, and for those gaming companies not targeting kids this report will in many ways provide a first glimpse of what the next generation of their consumer looks like.
To receive further information and details of how to purchase a copy of the 60-page report, please click below: