- Smartphone users will boost the number of times they play mobile games by 20% during the holiday season, giving advertisers a chance to reach engaged viewers, per a study that mobile ad firm Tapjoy shared with Mobile Marketer. Eighty-two percent of mobile gamers plan to make their holiday purchases online and through mobile apps, the survey found.
- Mobile gamers are big shoppers, with 73% planning to make at least four separate holiday purchases on their mobile devices this year, while 58% plan to spend more than $250 on gifts. Sixty-one percent of mobile gamers will start their holiday shopping on Black Friday or afterward.
- In terms of preferred brands, 86% of mobile gamers plan to make holiday purchases from Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Kohl's, Macy's, Sephora, Target, Ulta Beauty and Walmart, while 72% plan to buy a subscription box as a gift. Seventy-nine percent of mobile gamers will buy a subscription to a streaming service this holiday season, with the top choices being Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.
Tapjoy's study is another indication that mobile gamers are an increasingly high-spending and engaged audience for advertisers to market to, including during the critical holiday sales period when many consumers have more time to play around on their smartphones.
In order to reach the segment, however, brands will need to include mobile games that sell ad space in their media mix. As Tapjoy notes, rewarded ad placements have become one of the most common ways for app developers to monetize their mobile games, resulting in a significant jump in ad inventory.
Mobile gamers are most likely to see ads from retailers, movie studios, restaurants and other games during the holiday season. Tapjoy's survey of mobile gamers found that they are most influenced by video ads that they choose to watch, gamified ads, ads that provide rewards and ads near the bottom of their screens.
A key weakness of in-game banner ads is their low recall in comparison with their high visibility, a separate study by Kargo found. While banner ads that appear on the bottom of a smartphone screen are viewable 90% of the time to mobile gamers, recall rates were only 11% as those audiences spent 1.5% of their time looking at the ads.