Here are some mind-blowing statistics: Approximately half of all Internet users – about 510 million people worldwide – play social games. About 81 million play at least once a day. Top developers such as Zynga and Electronic Arts have close to 300 million combined active monthly users.
Advertisers, developers, and investors may feel weary when shown such statistics and the effectiveness of advertising to this relatively new market, especially when many have the perception that those who use social games are a younger crowd with little spending power. But the numbers actually show that the average age of social gamers is about 40, and their average yearly income is approximately $40,000-$50,000. What’s more, 43% of all social gamers are college-educated and 41% are employed full-time.
How are developers and advertisers continuing to innovate and capitalize on this growing user base?
A couple of recent platform announcements are sure to help both developers looking for a no-risk option to get their games and applications promoted through advertising, and brands that are looking to make the next step towards complete advertising integration.
Gil Shoham, CEO of SupersonicAds, said one of the most significant challenges, if not the most, that many social game developers and publishers are facing is, ironically, their growth.
“They are growing very fast, maybe too fast,” said Shoham. “Their business development team may be very small, and to capitalize on their growth seems to be their biggest challenge.”
SupersonicAds aims to help these developers do just that by integrating them onto their newly developed ad server, Ultra, a supply-side platform that was built from the ground up specifically for social game developers and publishers.
With Ultra, publishers can implement a single ad server using a single integration point for all social game ad formats. For the first time, publishers will have the ability to track, serve and optimize any amount of providers, including their house ads and directly sold inventory without the hassle of multiple integrations and redundant reporting systems.
Using Ultra’s advanced dashboard, publishers can compare IAP and all ad formats side by side with platform, provider, country and product breakdowns, providing the full picture and insight they need to grow their business. Ultra’s optimization technology provides both full transparency and real time provider yield optimization, A/B tests and product optimization.
The ease of adding new providers, reporting, and optimizing across platforms and geographies results in lower costs, shorter development cycles and a significant uplift in ARPU and revenue for publishers using Ultra.
Some of the game publishers currently running and integrated on Ultra (which is optimized for Facebook, iOS, and Android) include King.com, Social Point, Trophy Games, Gamebasics, IsCool and DigitalChocolate, which has seen ad revenues increase 30% to 50% using real-time yield and fill rate optimization from monetizing their user uplift. SupersonicAds profits from their revenue share for the use of their server.
Another platform that is revolutionizing the way developers and publishers advertise is with the new BARTR system from PaeDae. It is a completely free (yes, free) player acquisition network that levels the playing field for developers by providing cross-promotion through the utilization of a virtual currency system. Every developer receives “credits” when they join the network. For example, when a developer advertises an install for another app, they “receive” a credit. When that same developer advertises on another app, they “spend” a credit.
Optimizing the potential of this system all depends on the ability to maximize the “tools” of the system which include customizing your “creative asset,” or tailoring your unique message to engage potential users, as well as targeting the right audience by specifying which genres you prefer, and the right time by recognizing when your preferred audience plays such as after school or work, etc.
“In order to run an enterprise, cross-promotion is an integral aspect to utilize,” said Rob Emrich, CEO of PaeDae. “With the BARTR system, we are now providing a service that would usually be very expensive to developers now for free.”
Emrich further explained that this new platform is a “grassroots, almost viral” way to attract new users and for developers to not only test the advertising field, but also to hopefully establish a trusted relationship with PaeDae for future opportunities with their company.