Charting in-app advertising: A survey of brands & agencies

Why don’t brands and media agencies increase ad spend through in-app advertising and mobile games? That’s the million-dollar—or rather, billion-dollar—question everyone in the mobile app industry wants to know. Despite countless reports from top market research firms, all of which are forecasting ad spend (mostly from brands) on mobile to surpass other media channels such as TV, the collective mobile app industry, including mobile gaming, hasn’t felt the effects.

Rather than panic, maybe patience is all the mobile app industry needs to hear. “Advertising in games is in the first inning of opportunity,” wrote Activision Blizzard president and CEO Bobby Kotick and chairman of the board Brian Kelly in the company’s 2017 annual report. For those unfamiliar with baseball, Kotick and Kelly were making an analogy between the slow-moving nature of a baseball game and the state of in-app advertising in mobile games.

To truly find out why brand ad spend isn’t flowing into in-app as much as expected, we surveyed both brand advertisers and agency media planners from the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France, gathering over 500 responses, to get a pulse on what they think about advertising in-app and in mobile games. What follows in this report are the top five highlights from the survey as well as a complete list of our findings.

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