Google runs skippable video ads in games: Gameloft, Activision and Miniclip sign up

22/08/2013

Google is letting games developers use its DoubleClick Ad Exchange, allowing them to bid for TrueView's "skippable" pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads.

The move will mean publishers pay for the ads only when gamers watch them for a specified length, a format that Google says can increase engagement by up to 75% over standard pre-roll.

Viewers can close the ads after five seconds or once the ad concludes.

Gameloft, Activision, Miniclip and Kongregate are among the game publishers expected to participate in the beta program.

"For advertisers, reaching users across screens and in different environments is one pain point, they want to be able to reach their audiences effectively using one platform. For publishers, they've constantly told us that they want the ability to tap into a large pool of demand from all advertisers, including video advertisers," notes Rebecca Illowsky, product manager responsible for games monetization at Google.

"We work with many advertisers who already know and like the TrueView format and want to reach a gamer audience. Now we can connect them to businesses looking to fund their game development," she says.

"We think this ad is not just game-friendly, but user-friendly overall since users only watch the ads that are actually of interest. The TrueView video ad format leads the way in aligning the interests of publishers, advertisers and the user," says Illowsky. "We also expect that opening up the TrueView video ad format to games will result in better monetization and fill rates for games publishers."

According to Google, TrueView video ads offer lower abandonment rates and greater monetization compared to typical in-stream video ads.

A recent study commissioned by Google on the rise of viewer choice found that people who watch a skippable TrueView pre-roll ad are 75 percent more engaged than users who encounter a standard pre-roll video ad.

The skippable ads deliver about 50 percent more attention overall, as viewers choose not to skip an ad anywhere from 15 to 45 percent of the time, according to Google. The company also boasts that the effective cost-per-thousand impressions for skippable ads grew more than twice as fast as the rate for standard in-stream ads in 2012.

Google expects TrueView to work especially well for online games, and it expects game publishers to make their format decisions based on cost and the needs of users, advertisers and publishers alike, Illowsky says.

Formats available to online game publishers now include images, text overlays, interstitial or standard video ads, and TrueView ads.

Read the Google Study 'The rise of viewer choice' here (PDF)

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