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Ads are back in: Monetizing beyond subscriptions and transactions in gaming

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The rapid growth of direct-to-consumer streaming platforms has proven that subscriptions are viable. Subscription options have seen a massive increase as console, platform, and other industry players have tried to capture people’s time by creating an experience that offers a variety of games.

But in the same breath, we hear about rapid subscription growth across the game and entertainment sector, we also hear of subscription fatigue. Consumers cannot wrap their heads around the number of subscription services they’ve signed up for and now look for ways to cut back. The total cost of ownership of consumers’ recurring subscription payments has actually now, in many cases, exceeded what they might pay for other entertainment services.

While many think the industry has left advertising revenue for dead, I think the fatigue of subscription will bring it back to the spotlight. To get advertising right, here’s what gaming companies need to consider.

Advanced segmentations and agility

During COVID, many of my game-industry customers have said that they saw peak demand on their platform daily as loyal gamers and others looking for new entertainment options had to shelter in place. In fact, one gaming customer described COVID as “Christmas every day” in terms of comparing the scale of demand coming to their platform to pre-COVID days. And while this pandemic is hopefully a once-in-a-century event, it has demonstrated that the need to be agile is critically important for success in a consumer-first economy. The same applies to agility with revenue models.

Peak demand gave many gaming companies the opportunity to experiment with new revenue models and drive a better experience for gamers and advertisers. A focus on advanced segmentation has helped platforms present more targeted ads that improve click-through conversion as well as outcomes for advertisers. More targeted ads also improve customer satisfaction, net promoter scores, and the likelihood to recommend and overall improve the gamer experience. We’ve seen a few platforms experiment with exposing available ad inventory in digital channels while evaluating campaign performance in near-real-time. One innovative use case we’ve seen gives advertisers suggestions for programmatic ad buys based on how current digital campaigns and audiences perform within an hour of a campaign being launched.

From advanced segmentation to providing programmatic buying suggestions, business agility and scalable data platforms are critical to making advertising-focused gaming platforms a success.

The secret: data strategy

Mobile marketers are confused by Apple's IDFA change.

Above: Mobile marketers are confused by Apple’s IDFA change, based on a November survey by AppsFlyer.

Image Credit: AppsFlyer

We know we need more targeted ads that advertisers will buy and gamers will engage with, but actually getting the consumer to take action requires gaming companies to think more holistically about their data strategy. Many web browsers have already moved to block cookies, and platforms like Apple will pull back on IDFA and push consumers to give consent when tracking advertising in order to better comply with GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy regulations. The gaming industry has to shift its focus to consumer value in order to attain the data they need to monetize. In particular, they have to create consistent and personalized experiences — whether in a subscription or ad-supported platform.

While game designers and studio chiefs need to take the same care and consideration for the consumer regardless of how they monetize the experience, this does become more critical in advertising-based models. In ad models, capturing consumer attention and time on site is how platforms drive more revenue. Success on this front comes back to taking granular level consumer data like clickstream, preferences, demographics, and other indicators to start immediately driving a 1:1 experience. We worked with one ad support gaming platform recently that was able to increase player lifetime value by 30% over the course of six months simply by adding more personalized recommendation features in the game, such as enhancing user cold start to increase gamer time on app and drive personalization for ad targeting leveraging user behavior and preferences, which increased click-through rate. There are many steps and many data points like this where personalization for ad targeting and a focus on relevancy of experience work together in driving top-line revenue growth and a superior gamer experience.

With strong 1:1 interactions driven by data, advertisers can keep the interest of their audience at a time when gamers have many options to jump to when they’re dissatisfied with their experience. As John Clarke of Gfinity states in this article on the future of ads in video games, “Gen Z gamers have little or no time for brands that do not add value to their experience, so bringing something special is key.” It’s all about the value add.

The booming ad ecosystem

Not only are infrastructure providers doubling down to win gaming workloads, but they also see benefits to their ad businesses. Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all using the leverage of their advertising business with gaming companies to strike commercially beneficial deals for infrastructure. Above and beyond this, all three cloud providers are also investing heavily in architects, integrations and consulting services to optimize gaming companies’ use of cloud platform ad stacks so as much data (and advertising spend) as possible stays with each cloud provider. We’ve seen some gaming companies be the beneficiary of cloud platform companies willing to augment their customer teams with ad tech experts to optimize customer acquisition cost, targeting and other advertising use cases since this only benefits the cloud platforms’ ability to drive consumption.

We’re also seeing cloud companies innovate their advertising offerings specifically to address the needs of the gaming vertical. Google, for instance, has been very aggressive with creating advertising-based experiences beyond traditional display with the benefit going to gaming companies looking to increase time on site and improve user sentiment. Every cloud provider is investing heavily in the gaming space, so the concept of “buying the business” across infrastructure and ad stack is a trend that will certainly be with us for the next few years — and it’s one all wise gaming companies are pursuing as they mature their infrastructure and consumer acquisition strategies.

With consumer spending on gaming accelerated over the past year, now is the time for companies to take advantage of advertising to uniquely capture user attention and monetize playing time.

Steve Sobel is the Global Industry Leader for gaming, media, and entertainment at Databricks.

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/02/28/ads-are-back-in-monetizing-beyond-subscriptions-and-transactions-in-gaming/

Esports

Enthusiast Gaming announces intention to list shares on NASDAQ

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North American esports organisation Enthusiast Gaming has announced its intention to list shares on the NASDAQ, as the company aims to expand its shareholder base and increase development.

As such, the organisation, which owns Luminosity Gaming, Overwatch League franchise Vancouver Titans, and Call Of Duty League side Seattle Surge, has filed a Registration Statement on Form 40-F with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Credit: Enthusiast Gaming

RELATED: Brazilian company Final Level raises £1.14m

Form 40-F being declared effective by the SEC is a requirement for the organisation to list common shares on the NASDAQ. Enthusiast Gaming is already on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as well as the OTCQB, which is an American mid-tier equity market.

“While we are very much a global company, the US remains our most prominent source of audience and revenue. Naturally, a US registration is a significant milestone for the company,” commented Adrian Montgomery, CEO of Enthusiast Gaming.

“We are the largest gaming media platform in North America and believe a NASDAQ listing will allow us to enlarge our shareholder base and accelerate our growth strategy, including our M&A [merger and acquisition] roadmap. This registration statement is a final step towards a NASDAQ listing.”

RELATED: Luckbox raises $17.8 million in private placement round

Enthusiast Gaming has a significant operational presence in the US and Canada, through the ownership of esports franchises and other entities. Last month, it was revealed that the organisation was set to acquire news and strategy guide platform Icy Veins for €7m (~£5.99m). As of this writing, confirmation of the purchase has yet to be announced.

Esports Insider says: For big entities such as Enthusiast Gaming, having a way to increase its revenue and incoming investment opportunities is a good thing. Having strong organisations like Luminosity Gaming, Vancouver Titans and Seattle Surge in the company’s portfolio will also certainly help motivate investors to buy company shares.

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Source: https://esportsinsider.com/2021/04/enthusiast-gaming-announces-intention-to-list-shares-on-nasdaq/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=enthusiast-gaming-announces-intention-to-list-shares-on-nasdaq

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Esports

Fuse Ignite Debuts as Commercial Rights Consultancy For Esports, Sports, Entertainment

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Fuse unveiled a new commercial rights consultancy agency designed to enhance and expand the commercial capabilities of rights holders in the areas of sport, entertainment, esports, and lifestyle called Fuse Ignite. Part of the Omnicom Media Group, Fuse Ignite will engage with rights holders to help them navigate the “commercial cycle” of bringing IP to sale or license. 

Fuse Ignite will lean on its own in-house team along with specialist consultants from Omnicom Media Group to create what the company is calling a “one stop shop” suite of solutions. The company looks to transform sales propositions into more compelling investment opportunities for brand partners while boosting revenue streams through sponsorship, digital, and ecommerce.

While the official launch of Fuse Ignite was just announced, the company is already working with a number of rights holder clients, including Arsenal FC, England Netball, and the British Fashion Council.

The company recently helped Formula 1 enhance its approach to partner acquisition.

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Source: https://esportsobserver.com/fuse-ignite-consultancy-service/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fuse-ignite-consultancy-service

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Esports

Logitech G named hardware provider for Twitch Rivals North America

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Gaming peripherals firm Logitech G has been named as the official hardware provider for tournament series Twitch Rivals North America.

The deal will see Logitech G’s range of peripherals be promoted during Twitch Rivals tournaments. Moreover, a number of activations including giveaways for viewers and donations to charity will take place throughout the event, which began on April 13th with a League of Legends: Wild Rift tournament.

Twitch Rivals North America x Logitech
Credit: Logitech

RELATED: Doritos teams up with Twitch Rivals Europe

Logitech G is the third partner announced for 2021’s Twitch Rivals North America events, joining the likes of global electronics manufacturer Samsung and coffee and doughnut company Dunkin‘.

Peter Kingsley, Chief Marketing Officer at Logitech G, spoke on the collaboration in a release: “Our full line up of gaming and streaming gear helps gamers win, with unmatched performance and stability to deliver an amazing gaming experience.

“By layering in an exciting partnership with Twitch Rivals, we are well-poised to showcase Logitech’s powerful gaming and streaming product portfolio.”

[primis_video widget=”5183″]

RELATED: CLG Red names Logitech G as peripherals partner

Lou Garate, Head of Global Sponsorship Sales at Twitch, also spoke on the partnership:  “We are thrilled to partner with Logitech G to bring the best of its peripherals expertise to Twitch Rivals North America events. Community and interactivity are at the heart of the Twitch experience.

“Logitech G’s products and services enable in-stream creativity that make them a great fit to join our family of Twitch Rivals partners.”

Esports Insider says: Considering Twitch is arguably the largest streaming platform in the world, it’s no surprise to see it secure a partnership with Logitech G, one of the most recognisable brands in gaming and esports. The deal itself is nothing out of the ordinary but it is another impressive addition to Twitch’s roster of partners.

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Source: https://esportsinsider.com/2021/04/logitech-g-named-hardware-provider-for-twitch-rivals-north-america/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=logitech-g-named-hardware-provider-for-twitch-rivals-north-america

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Esports

Edward Gaming Partners With Electronic Automobile Maker HYCAN

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Edward Gaming (EDG) announced that it has signed a partnership deal with Chinese electronic automobile brand HYCAN. The announcement was made by Edward Zhu, founder of Chinese esports organization, on his Weibo social media page. HYCAN will act as EDG’s official designated partner, according to  Zhu’s post. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition, Zhu promised that if EDG could win the League of Legends Spring Split and go on to attend the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) in Iceland, he would gift an HYCAN  vehicle to an EDG fan. EDG has been 2:3 eliminated by Royal Never Give-Up in LPL Lower Bracket Final on Tuesday.

Founded in 2018, HYCAN is a joint brand of Guangzhou Automobile Group and China’s biggest electronic car company Nio and focuses on the low-end class in the automobile market. In 2020, Nio officially listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NIO). Currently, the company has a $63.95B USD market cap at the time of writing. 

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Source: https://esportsobserver.com/edward-gaming-partners-hycan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=edward-gaming-partners-hycan

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